Bookmaker roundtable: National championship action, sharp bets

Alabama and Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry take on undefeated Clemson and quarterback Deshaun Watson in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night. Getty Images

Every Friday during the college football season, ESPN Chalk will ask some of Las Vegas' top oddsmakers where the action has gone during the week. Here is the latest installment, focused on Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T -- which pits the Clemson Tigers against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

1. How much of the expected handle on Alabama-Clemson has already come in?

Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading, William Hill: Around 10 percent of the expected handle has come in, with the weekend being where we expect the most action to come in.

Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports at MGM: About 20 percent of the handle is in action now, but the majority of the wagers on the semis were produced by strong late money -- and I expect the same with this game.

Jay Kornegay, head oddsmaker at Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook: Approximately 20 percent of the expected handle has been wagered so far.

Jason Simbal, vice president of race and sports at CG Technology: Using last year as a baseline, slightly over 10 percent of the total volume on the game has already been wagered already.

John Avello, race and sports operations director at Wynn and Encore: Only 10 percent of the total handle has been wagered on the National Championship Game. I don't expect to see it pick up until Monday, because there will be too much focus on the wild card games.

2. How much line movement has there been? Where is the public/wiseguy betting?

Bogdanovich: The line for this game has only been moving .5 back and forth, for now. We opened at Alabama -7 and the line moved to Alabama -6.5, then back to Alabama -7. It is currently steady at Alabama -6.5. For the public action, as it stands now, the public is mostly on Alabama, with 70 percent of point-spread tickets on Alabama and 65 percent of the total dollars wagered on the point spread leaning toward Alabama. Wise guy action at this point hasn't yet been determined -- we will see shortly.

Rood: Very well-split at this point. Early sharp money on Alabama, but the Clemson money showed up in the last couple of days.

Kornegay: Alabama opened at -7 and that's where the line sits today. A lot of public money has come in on Alabama, while the sharp money has been wagered on Clemson +7.

Simbal: During the third quarter of the Alabama-Michigan State game, we posted Alabama -4.5 vs.Clemson. People laid 4.5, 6 and then 6.5 on Alabama, moving the line to 7. Then customers took Clemson +7, which moved the line back to 6.5.

Avello: On what we've written so far there's been excellent two-way action, with the 'Bama supporters laying the 6.5 points and the Tiger believers taking back the 7. Again, the sophisticated play hasn't chosen a side yet, but they have played the total under where it currently sits at 50.5.

3. Which team would be better for your book to win/cover (including futures liability)?

Bogdanovich: The team that would be better for our book to win/cover at the moment really hasn't been determined yet, as the betting will be heavy this weekend. As it stands currently, it looks like Alabama.

Rood: For the future book, we need a Clemson win. As far as cover, it's too early to tell, with about 80 percent of the final handle yet to show.

Kornegay: A Clemson cover and win would definitely be better for us, including futures liability.

Simbal: Clemson is better for us in the futures, and thus far we need them in the game as well.

Avello: We're okay with the futures, and while I suspect we'll need Clemson by kickoff decisions change rapidly with us.

4. Any betting on props?

Bogdanovich: We will likely open betting props on the game on Friday or Saturday.

Rood: Props are a little light, but we will see some action this weekend on those.

Kornegay: We have 20 props that were posted.

Simbal: We took a few bets on the "yes" for "will there be a special teams or defensive touchdown" as a +140 underdog.

Avello: There will be plenty of proposition wagers to keep everyone in action and keep the energy high throughout the game.