Andrews: Inside the betting action for CFB Playoff, other bowls this weekend


Happy Holidays to everyone out there. I enjoyed a nice break from the action last week and am looking forward to what ought to be an incredible weekend in the sportsbook at South Point.
Many of these bowl games have seen a ton of movement. I believe I have made mention of this in a prior column, but it is worth noting again: these games move a lot more than just a typical Saturday slate of college football. You have the transfer portal, players opting out, coaches changing jobs, etc. It is not necessarily the amount of money being bet, but more so, just keeping up with the volatility in the market.
I intentionally left out a few games that either aren’t worth noting – or are starting too early by the time this gets posted. We got to most of them, though, and here they are in official Nevada rotation order.

Sun Bowl
Pittsburgh vs. No. 18 UCLA (-7.5, 54)


This game went nuts on Thursday morning. We began the day at UCLA -5.5 and they climbed the ladder with me all the way, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, and we’re now at 7.5. Funny, though, I opened this game at UCLA -7. They took 7, 6.5  … we went all the way down to UCLA -4. It slowly climbed back up but then on Thursday morning, as I say, it shot all the way back up to 7.5, with action. This has been a crazy game. We opened the total 57.5. We got bet on the Under all the way down to 53 and then back up to 54.

Gator Bowl
No. 20 South Carolina vs. No. 19 Notre Dame (-3.5, 51)

We opened Notre Dame 3.5. They took 3.5, took 3, took 2.5, and we went all the way down to Notre Dame -2. Then they laid me back up. Laid me the 2, laid me the 2.5, laid me the 3, and I’m back to 3.5 with the game. I opened this total 52 and I’m down to 51.

Orange Bowl
No. 10 Clemson (-5.5, 63.5) vs. No. 6 Tennessee

We opened Clemson -7. They took 7, took 6.5, and took 6. We’re at 5.5 now and they are starting to lay back the 5.5. And this has been all sharp money, both ways – in the games listed above, too. Unless it is the big playoff games and such, the public usually does not get involved until the day of the game. No movement on the total.

Music City Bowl
Iowa (-2, 31) vs. Kentucky

We opened Kentucky -1.5. They took 1.5 and we went all the way to pick-’em. Then they laid me Iowa at pick-’em and I moved it a point and a half again. I went to Iowa -1.5 and they laid that, so I am at Iowa -2. I opened this total 31, haven’t moved it and I tell ya, I cannot remember ever opening a total lower than this one.

Sugar Bowl
No. 11 Kansas State vs. No. 5 Alabama (-7, 56.5)

We opened Alabama -3. They laid me 3, laid me 3.5 and I saw it going up so I went from 3.5 to 5. They laid me the 5, I went to 6, they laid me the 6, I went to 6.5, they laid me the 6.5, and I went to 7. I believe I was the first one to go to 7 but I am now starting to see some others show up – and so far, I haven’t gotten anything back on Kansas State. This is one game where the public has gotten involved early. It is both public and sharp action on Alabama. Not much on the total. We opened 54.5 and we’re up to 56.5 with action.

Peach Bowl
No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 1 Georgia (-6.5, 62)

We opened 6. They laid me the 6 and they are laying me the 6.5. I haven’t gone to 7 yet but I can see it happening as there hasn’t been much to stop this Georgia train. They’ve been hitting the money line, too. I opened it -240. They laid me -240, -250, -260, and I finally went to -280 with it. I haven’t gotten anything back on Ohio State and personally, I kind of like Ohio State in this game. I really thought the number should have been closer to 3 but it has been both public and wise guy money on Georgia. I opened the total 61 and they bet me up to 62. They’re still betting me Over 62 but I’m not ready to move it yet.

Fiesta Bowl
No. 3 TCU vs. No. 2 Michigan (-8, 58.5)

We opened Michigan -9. They took 9, they took 8. I went to 7.5 and they laid me back the 7.5 pretty good, so I went to 8 as I was writing up this report. Sharp money took TCU at 9, but it is mostly recreational money that has bet Michigan back up. We opened the total 60 and now we’re at 58.5. Little bit of play on the Under.

Reliaquest Bowl
No. 24 Mississippi State (-1, 46) vs. Illinois

We opened the game at pick. They bet me Mississippi State at pick-’em, now I’m at Mississippi State -1 and am writing pretty even business at 1. Wise guys bet me at pick and now not much sharp action at all at 1. Recreational money both ways now. Nothing on the total here.

Cotton Bowl
No. 14 Tulane vs. No. 8 USC (-2, 62)

This is an interesting game. We opened USC -1.5. They laid me the 1.5, laid me the 2. I went to 2.5 and they took back the 2.5. They’re even taking the 2 pretty good but not enough to move me back down to 1.5. Now here’s a game with a big split. The public is all over USC. It’s about a 5-to-1 ticket ratio on USC but the sharp money is definitely on Tulane. We opened the total 62 and haven’t moved it.

Citrus Bowl
Purdue vs. No. LSU (-14.5, 56)

Another crazy one here. All kinds of transfer portal, opt out stuff in this one. We opened LSU -8. They laid me the 8 and then the news came and we went straight to 10.5. Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm and his defensive coordinator are headed to Louisville. Their quarterback Aiden O’Connell, among others, have all opted out. For LSU, it looks like Jayden Daniels will play at quarterback. So they laid me the 10.5 and I went to 11. Then the market started going crazy and I went from 11 to 14 just to keep up. They laid me the 14, so now I’m at 14.5 but I do see it higher. I’m going to need to get another bet before I go any higher. We opened the total 58 and we’re down to 56 but not much action. This is more based on the news and the situation.

Rose Bowl
No. 7 Utah vs. No. 9 Penn State (-2.5, 52.5)

We opened Utah -3. I opened it above the market because, I hate to say it as a Penn State fan, but I like Utah here. They took the 3 and now I’m writing pretty even business at 2.5. Some good play on the total. We opened 52 and I’m up to 52.5 but pretty well-bet on the Over. Not enough to get me to 53, but definitely a lot of play on the Over.

Chris Andrews is the sportsbook director at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas, a member of the Sports Betting Hall of Fame, and has been a Nevada bookmaker for more than 40 years.