Bettors undaunted by giving points to Alabama

ByDavid Purdum ESPN logo
Monday, September 28, 2015

Alabama is an underdog for the first time in 72 games, and the early money in Las Vegas was betting against the Crimson Tide in their SEC showdown at Georgia on Saturday.

On Sunday afternoon, the Wynn race and sports book opened Georgia as a 1.5-point favorite over Alabama. The Wynn is the first Nevada sportsbook to post weekly college football point spreads and quickly attracted money on the Bulldogs.

Wynn executive director John Avello said he took three $2,000 limit bets on Georgia, pushing the line up to Bulldogs minus-2.5. As of Monday afternoon, he had taken only one limit bet on Alabama.

Limits will grow as Saturday's 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff approaches, but it looks like the Crimson Tide will enter a game as the underdog for the first time since the 2009 SEC Championship Game.

"They're a 'dog," Avello said, "but they're such a small 'dog that obviously this game could go either way."

Alabama was a 5-point underdog versus Tim Tebow's Florida Gators in the 2009 SEC title game. The Crimson Tide upset the Gators, went on to win the national championship and have been the favorite in every game since. Until this week.

"Whether we're a favorite or not doesn't matter," Alabama center Ryan Kelly said Monday. "It's about our 11 versus their 11."

Avello said he doesn't believe the line will grow to Georgia minus-3 and said there is a possibility enough money will come in on Alabama to change the favorite prior to kickoff.

"We'll see what the weekend crowd brings," Avello said. "Don't be surprised if Alabama does end up the favorite. I could see that very easily. You know [Alabama coach Nick Saban] is definitely going to use the underdog card."

Alabama's 72-game streak of being favored is the longest such streak in the modern era. The Crimson Tide have gone 62-10 straight-up and 36-35-1 against the spread during the run.

If this line holds and the Crimson Tide kickoff as an underdog, Marshall will have longest active streak of being favored at 28 games, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

ESPN staff writer Alex Scarborough contributed to this article.

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