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How the public is betting the Cotton Bowl: Alabama vs. Cincinnati

We break down the betting splits for Alabama vs. Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl.

Syndication: The Enquirer Cara Owsley/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

Update 3:15 p.m. The line has moved just before the 3:40 p.m. kickoff to Alabama -12. It ticked up to -14 late last night, but it’s gone heavily in favor of the Bearcats now.

The first two College Football Playoff semifinals on New Year’s Eve will take place in the afternoon when the Alabama Crimson Tide takes on the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Cotton Bowl from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Alabama is making their seventh appearance out of eight total College Football Playoffs, while Cincinnati is the first Group of 5 team to ever make it this far in the CFP era.

So where are sports bettors going as we get closer to game time? Let’s take a look. All odds and info were provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Point Spread

Alabama is a 14-point favorite, and bettors are all over the Crimson Tide as they are getting 85% of the handle and 73% of the bets.

Is the public right? No, Cincinnati is going to cover this number. Luke Fickell has the easiest pregame speech imaginable because the people who think the Bearcats will win this game are Cincinnati fans or just want to convince themselves for a new story. Still, the Bearcats will prove they belong with a team that ranks inside the top five in yards per play on both sides of the ball and keep the deficit under two touchdowns.


The total is set at 57, and bettors love the over with 60% of the handle and 77% of bets.

Is the public right? Let’s keep fading the public because I’m all about the under in this spot. Both defenses rank inside the top six in yards per play, and Cincinnati’s best chance to win is to limit possessions by keeping the ball on the ground. The Bearcats have the sixth-ranked offense in yards per rush attempt this season, and they’ll go to Jerome Ford often to keep the clock running for a better shot at this under cashing.


Alabama has -590 odds to win this game outright, while Cincinnati is at +425 on the moneyline. The Crimson Tide are getting many of the moneyline wagers with 73% of the handle and 83% of bets.

Is the public right? Neither side is great value because you’d need to risk a ton to get much in return if you want to take Alabama on the moneyline, and you’re basically throwing money away if you predict Cincinnati will beat Nick Saban in a Playoff game. If I had to pick one, I’d say there is more value on betting the Alabama moneyline.

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