Sportsbooks see surge of big bets on Georgia

by Ricardo Gutierrez - Big bets on heavily favored Georgia began showing up at sportsbooks Monday in the hours leading up to the College Football Playoff championship game against underdog TCU.

Big bets on Georgia pour into sportsbooks ahead of title game play The numbers behind the TCU-Georgia CFP championship matchup (2:54) Ryan McGee breaks down the Horned Frogs' and Bulldogs' journey to the national championship and the numbers to know leading up to the big game. (2:54) 4:04 PM ET David PurdumESPN Staff Writer Close Joined ESPN in 2014 Journalist covering gambling industry since 2008 A surge of big bets on heavily favored Georgia began showing up at sportsbooks Monday in the hours leading up to the College Football Playoff championship game against underdog TCU . Georgia was a 13-point favorite over TCU on Monday afternoon at Caesars Sportsbook. The line had grown to Georgia -13.5 at some sportsbooks, but bettors were undeterred by one of the largest point spreads ever in a college football championship game. BetMGM and DraftKings each reported taking a $550,000 bet on Georgia when the line was at -12.5. Caesars Sportsbook received 26 bets of $10,000 or more on the game since Sunday, with 23 of those big wagers on the Bulldogs, including $220,000 on Georgia -13 and a $184,000 money-line wager on UGA at -450. "We started seeing a lot of sharp action on Georgia come [Sunday]," Joey Feazel, lead college football trader for Caesars Sportsbook, said in a company release. Editor's Picks 2 Related Before the uptick of interest on the Bulldogs, the bulk of the early action had been on TCU, including from at least one professional bettor. "We took a bet on TCU +13 from a very respected player in Nevada," John Murray, executive director of the SuperBook, told ESPN on Sunday. "The public is on that side, as well." And so is Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, the Houston furniture store owner known to make big bets on games to mitigate liability from promotional giveaways. McIngvale placed $3 million in bets on TCU to cover the spread and win the game outright at multiple sportsbooks. McIngvale is offering anyone who spends $3,000 or more at his store double their money back if the Horned Frogs pull the upset. As of Monday, TCU had attracted 63.8% of point-spread bets and 51.9% of the money, which includes a $1 million bet from McIngvale. According to Caesars, without the McIngvale bet on TCU, nearly twice as much money has been wagered on the Bulldogs as the Horned Frogs. TCU kicked off the season at 200-1 to win the national championship at Caesars Sportsbook and could be found as long as 500-1 at some sportsbooks, making the Horned Frogs one of the biggest long shots ever to reach a championship game. Murray of the SuperBook said they took only one $5 bet on TCU at 500-1 before the season.