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Gambling report: Ohio State now co-favorite for title with Alabama

The Ohio State Buckeyes are now 5-2 co-favorites with the Alabama Crimson Tide to win the College Football Playoff. Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State has caught up to Alabama in the odds to win the national championship at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

The SuperBook moved the Buckeyes into the role of co-favorites early last week, after taking a five-figure wager on Ohio State at 4-1, according to Ed Salmons.

Alabama remains the consensus favorite in Las Vegas, but the gap between the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes has narrowed. Alabama opened at 6-1 to win the national championship, with Ohio State opening at 10-1.

The Crimson Tide and Buckeyes are now each 5-2 at the SuperBook. Clemson and Washington are next at 6-1, followed by Michigan at 7-1 and Louisville at 8-1. Those six contenders are the only teams with single-digit odds at the SuperBook.

Salmons projected Alabama would be around a 3.5-point favorite over Ohio State, if they were to play this week on a neutral field. "It definitely would make for a great game," Salmons said. Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading at William Hill's U.S. sportsbook, said the line may even be smaller.

"Under a field goal, I think," he added.


Washington attracts big bets

The Washington Huskies inflicted some serious damage on Las Vegas sportsbooks over the weekend.

More than twice as much money was bet on Washington-Oregon than any other game at William Hill's Nevada sportsbook, with 84 percent of the money on the favored Huskies. Five of the nine largest bets the sportsbook took on Saturday were on Washington, the largest being a $44,000 pop on the Huskies.

Washington closed as a 10.5-point road favorite and easily won 70-21, handing multiple sportsbooks their worst defeat on Saturday. Only the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots cost Caesars Palace more money than the Huskies. A Caesars representative said the book's loss on Washington was four times greater than any other single-game loss Saturday.

The Huskies opened as high as 75-1 to win the national championship at MGM's sportsbook, which took 50 small bets on Washington at those odds. The 6-0 Huskies are now 6-1 to win the title.

"Washington is kind of the new Oregon," Westgate SuperBook assistant manager Salmons said.

The Ducks are 0-5-1 against the spread this season.


NFL book report

Sunday got off to a good start for bettors, who sided heavily with Brady and the Patriots against the Cleveland Browns. "The morning was a little ugly," MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood said. "With Brady coming back, [producing] the normal results, it was the worst game of the morning."

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings also delivered early blows to the sportsbooks, with the Detroit Lions' win over the Philadelphia Eagles producing the house's biggest win of the morning.

"The Lions saved the morning," said Jason McCormick, a sportsbook director for Station Casinos.

Outright wins by underdogs Dallas and Atlanta helped the books recover in the afternoon. The Cowboys opened as 1-point favorites, but closed as 2.5-point home underdogs to the Bengals.

"We had some strong play on Cincinnati," said Rood, who added that Dallas' victory would erase all the book's losses from the morning.


Football vs. baseball betting

More money is being bet on sports in Nevada than ever before, with the state's regulated books handling a record $4.23 billion in 2015. It was the sixth straight year Nevada sportsbooks set record for the amount wagered, with all-time highs being bet on basketball ($1.25 billion) and baseball ($897.31 million), according to gaming control. The amount bet on football, however, saw a slight drop from $1.74 billion to $1.69 billion in 2015, the first year-over-year decrease since 2008-2009, during the recession.

Football remains king at the window, though. Three times as much money was bet on the primetime game between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers than was bet on Sunday's three MLB playoff games combined at William Hill's Nevada sportsbook. (That includes wagers on Game 3 of the ALDS between Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, which was postponed by inclement weather).

Overall, on Sunday, 11 of the 12 NFL games attracted more betting handle than any of the three baseball games at William Hill. The Washington Redskins-Baltimore Ravens game was the least bet NFL game Sunday. It had comparable handle to each of the baseball games on Sunday.

Game 1 between the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs on Friday was the most-heavily bet baseball game in the divisional round. It attracted only 5 percent of the handle that Giants-Packers did at William Hill.


Presidential odds

Hillary Clinton is a 2-9 favorite to win the U.S. presidential election, with Donald Trump listed as a 10-3 underdog at English sportsbook giant William Hill.

Graham Sharpe, media relations director for William Hill U.K., told ESPN on Monday morning that 2 million pounds had already been wagered on the presidential election. Sharpe said the book took its largest wager ever placed on any U.S. election last week, when a 46-year-old woman staked 550,000 euros on Clinton at 4-11. The bet would net 200,000 euros. Sharpe said the six-figure bet is the largest wager ever placed at William Hill on any U.S. election market.

"Trump would be the best outcome for us," Sharpe said.

Clinton was a 1-5 favorite before the debate Sunday night. She was down to 2-9 Monday morning.