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The stakes don’t get much higher in college football than No. 3 Georgia going up against No. 2 Alabama this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS. As if this colossal clash needed another major storyline, Alabama announced on Wednesday that head coach Nick Saban tested positive for COVID-19.
Before the announcement came around 5:49 p.m. ET/2:49 p.m. PT this past Wednesday, Alabama was a 6-point favorite (-220 moneyline) at William Hill. After the news broke, the Crimson Tide reached as low as -4 before rising slightly to their current odds of -4.5 (-180 ML).
“I was surprised that the line moved that much,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “I moved the line down slower than most of the market, I thought it was a huge overreaction. Saban probably already had the gameplan in place, now his coordinators can carry it out for him.
“I don’t see him making that many major decisions on the sideline that day to be worth 1.5 or 2 points. Some of those assistant coaches make seven figures, so it’s not like they’re taking a high school JV coach to lead these kids.”
Overall, Alabama has received 52% of the total number of tickets for all spread bets in this showdown, while Georgia has generated 55% of the total dollars wagered.
However, there’s been a noticeable split for how William Hill bettors have been wagering on this spread before and after the Saban news.
Before the news broke, Alabama was attracting 58% of the total number of tickets whereas Georgia was reeling in 52% of the total dollars wagered. Afterwards, Georgia has drawn 56% of the total number of tickets and 66% of the total dollars wagered.
Additionally, in a battle between an elite offense and an elite defense, William Hill bettors think plenty of points will be scored. The over has captured 63% of the total number of tickets and 60% of the total dollars wagered. The total has risen half a point from its opening number, as it sits at 57.5 now after originally being posted at 57.
Check out William Hill’s latest trends for Georgia vs. Alabama below.