Las Vegas wins as Clemson backdoors Alabama on late TD, flips millions

Alabama and Clemson gave us an all-time great game in the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night in Glendale, Arizona, as the Tide came away with a 45-40 win and their fourth title under Nick Saban

Those that had some action on the game, at either the 6.5 or 7-point spread favoring Alabama, went through a whirlwind of emotions in the final few minutes of the game. 

Alabama punched in a late touchdown to take a 45-33 lead with 1:07 to play on running back Derrick Henry's third touchdown run of the game. After the two teams were locked in a tight back-and-forth for almost the entire game, that score looked to have made it a tough beat if you had Clemson and the points. 

The majority of the public would have been thrilled with that outcome as 65 percent of tickets and 78 percent of all money wagered at William Hill US Sports Books was on Alabama at -6.5. At Pinnacle, 59 percent of the money was on Alabama -6.5. 

However, Las Vegas was saved once again as Clemson drove it down the field against Alabama's prevent defense with Deshaun Watson tossing his fourth touchdown pass of the game to make it only a five-point deficit for the Tigers with 12 seconds to play.

A failed onside kick followed by a knee from Alabama brought joy to Tide fans and sports books, and misery to Alabama bettors. The best possible outcome for Vegas was an Alabama win, but Clemson cover -- 70 percent of money line action at Pinnacle was on Clemson. 

For sports books in Vegas and worldwide, the late touchdown saw millions of dollars change hands and, at least at William Hill, it was a lucrative score for the book. 

Jordan Leggett (USATSI)
Jordan Leggett's late touchdown swung a lot of money in Las Vegas. (USATSI)
CBS Sports Writer

Robby Kalland covers college football and golf for CBS Sports; he also dabbles in boxing, mixed martial arts and other sports. Prior to joining CBS in 2015, Robby spent time working for the Atlanta Hawks,... Full Bio

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