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Market Insights: Clemson-LSU caps 3-day football frenzy

January 13, 2020 05:35 AM

We entered the weekend with the Elite 8. Now we are down to the Final Four. 

Sunday was another thrilling day of NFL Playoff betting, as both favorites covered and overs went 2-0 (although unders still lead 6-2 in the playoffs).

In the early game, the Texans raced out to an improbable 24-0 lead over the Chiefs. But then Kansas City turned it on and never looked back, blowing out Houston 51-31 and easily covering as 10-point favorites. 

In the nightcap, it was a tale of two halves as Green Bay led Seattle 21-3 at the half, but then the Seahawks outscored the Packers 20-7 in the second half. Still, it wasn't enough for Russell Wilson and company as Aaron Rodgers and the Pack won 28-23, covering as 4.5-point favorites. Seattle failed a two-point conversion attempt late which would have made the score 28-25 and covered the spread.

Now it's on the AFC and NFC Championship games. Here are the lines for both games.

Chiefs -7.5 vs Titans, OU 52

49ers -7 vs Packers, OU 45

We'll have detailed betting breakdowns of both games in the next two newsletters.

Monday's action includes 7 NBA games, 5 NHL games, 11 college basketball games and, of course, the college football national championship. For an updated breakdown of sharp action across the marketplace, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Our epic three-day football frenzy isn't over quite yet. Let's discuss where sharp money is falling for tonight's national title game.

8 p.m. ET: LSU (14-0, ranked 1st) vs Clemson (14-0, ranked 3rd)

LSU is one of the most dominant college football teams we've seen in years. The Tigers are 14-0, including 9-3-2 ATS, and have beaten their opponents by an average score of 49-22. LSU also features the Heisman Trophy winner and likely No. 1 overall pick, Joe Burrow, and just demolished Oklahoma 63-28 in the semifinal, easily covering as 12.5-point favorites. Clemson went 11-3 ATS on the season, outscoring their opponents by an average margin of 45-12. The Tigers have won 29 consecutive games. Clemson sophomore QB Trevor Lawrence is 25-0 as a starter. 

This line opened with LSU listed as a 5-point favorite (some books opened closer to -4). The public is pounding LSU to the tune of nearly three-out-of-four bets, which means this is shaping up to be one of the most lopsided title bouts in recent memory. This heavy support pushed the line up to the key number of 6. Some books even reached 6.5. That's when we saw major sharp buyback on Clemson, dropping the line down to 5.5 or even 5 where it rests now. 

LSU has a "home-field" advantage as this game will be played at the Superdome, home of the Saints and also LSU's backyard. Clemson has unique value in this game, though. The Tigers are super contrarian in what will be the most heavily bet game of the season (maybe even all time). The Tigers are also the beneficiary of an inflated line. A unique buy low, sell high recency bias element exists as well, as LSU rolled over Oklahoma in the semifinal and Clemson barely edged Ohio State 29-23 as 2.5-point favorites. Clemson has an experience advantage as well, having played in three of the last four national title games and won two of them (2016 and 2019). Also, dogs are a perfect 5-0 straight up and ATS in the last five national title games. 

The total opened at 69. Despite two-thirds of bets taking the over the total has fallen to 68, signaling some sharp under money. The over is 9-5 in LSU games this season but the under is 8-6 in Clemson games. 

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