Alabama line falls 3 points as heavy hitters pounce on Washington

Professional bettors in Las Vegas and around the world love the value on the underdog Huskies getting more than two touchdowns versus Alabama.

 

The Alabama-Washington pointspread, which got as high as 17, has plummeted to 14 as professional bettors back Chris Petersen's Huskies.

Why now? Sportsbooks have begun raising betting limits, making it worthwhile for sharps to show their hand.

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Sat 12/31 3:00 PM EST
Washington +400 O/U 51
vs. Alabama -500 -13
C
C
C
WASH
BAMA
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"Since we raised limits for the CFP semis, we've taken a handful of five-figure bets on Washington from respected clients," said Scott Cooley, odds consultant for BookMaker.eu, a market-setting offshore sportsbook.

Just about every book in Vegas and offshore is dealing Crimson Tide -14. The line opened at 14.5 in early December and quickly rose to 17 on the backs of casual bettors. 

"As far as the public goes, it's almost 90 percent Alabama money," Cooley said.

The line fell steadily since its apex, hitting 14 late Monday, as professionals grabbed what they saw as value on Washington.

"We'll be very hesitant to drop below the two-score spread, and we're surprised it's dropped below the opener," Cooley said.

CG Technology sportsbooks in Vegas -- the Venetian, Palms and Cosmopolitan to name a few -- slashed their spread to 14 due to big moneyline liability on Washington. CG Tech hopes to attract Alabama money to offset that liability.

CG Tech has taken 118 moneyline bets on the Huskies, ranging from +450 to +600 (risk $100 to win $600), compared to just seven moneyline plays on Alabama, per VP of Risk Jason Simbal.

Now some professional bettors could see Alabama as a bargain and move the market again. Plus, those who bet Washington +17 could try to "middle" the game by taking Alabama -14.

"This could all change again if more sharps get involved when limits are moved even higher at the end of this week," Cooley said.