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Submitted by SportsMasters Consensus on Monday, December 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM

Sharps have been playing a “wait and see” game with Monday Night’s Hawaii Bowl matching the SMU Mustangs and Fresno State Bulldogs. We’ve seen limited line movement on the side and the total to this point. There are several reasons for the delay. Let’s take a look at the numbers, then discuss the sharp approach to this game.

HAWAII BOWL

SMU vs. FRESNO STATE

Opening Line: Fresno State by 12.5, total of 60.5

Current Line: Fresno State by 11.5, total of 60

The money that has come in has been on the underdog SMU. But, frankly, it’s been in dribs and drabs rather than in a way that suggests passion. The line dropped to +12 fairly quickly, then sat there for a long time. In the past couple of days, the line came down another tick to +11.5. We’re hearing that this is mostly from the contingent of sharps who trust the longterm history of double digit dogs. You probably know that big dogs have a good cover rate. When it doubt, take the points!

That being said…the line didn’t drop like a rock from the opener…and it wasn’t bet anywhere near a key number. So, the ONLY sharps betting are those betting big picture history.

Why the delay?

*First, with the game in Hawaii…sharps want to know the weather. The difference between rain and sun on this field can be dramatic. You don’t to ask for a favorite or an Over in wet conditions. Trying to figure out a pure game-time forecast is always dicey on the islands. Sharps weren’t hurt any in the true percentages by waiting…so they can act this afternoon once they have a better read on the weather.

*History may be with big dogs, but the matchup advantages favor Fresno State. The Bulldogs have been playing great football this year, and have covered the Vegas spread an amazing 11 of 12 times! More than a few sharps have lost money fading Fresno State this year. They’re not particularly enthusiastic about trying that approach again…even if big dogs generally get the money in early bowl games.

*Fresno may have clear matchup advantages, but the oddsmakers adjusted so much from the regular season with their opener that value may be gone. Well, many sharps would assure you the value IS gone. The line finally caught up they say, so you can’t bet Fresno now.

*If a posted line isn’t offering value, pass or wait to fade the public. Should squares come in on the favorite through the day Monday, sharps would consider SMU at +13 or better. Should squares take the dog (which is rare in early bowls unless a marquee team is playing), then sharps would think about Fresno State at -11 or better.

With “wait and see” elements on the weather and potential public action, sharps have mostly passed this game to this point. Slight interest on the dog because of bowl history. Slight interest on the Under (though it’s telling whenever a total in the 60’s or 70’s doesn’t immediately fly higher…suggesting betting interest from sharps may show up before kickoff on the Under). Keep an eye on line movement throughout the day to see if a story develops.

Our next sharp report will run Wednesday, just in time for the Little Caesar’s Bowl. Then, we’ll have expanded daily coverage through Bowl Week beginning Thursday. The busy college football slate will feature three bowls on Thursday, three more on Friday, five on Saturday, four on Monday after a one-day break for the NFL, and then the classic six on New Year’s. Of course, we’ll continue letting you know what the sharps are betting all the way through the BCS bowls and the championship game matching Notre Dame and Alabama.

Don’t forget that the best way to think like a sharp and bet like a sharp on GAME DAY is to link up with the handicapping legends here at VegasSportsMasters. Complete details on available selections are available on our “buy picks” page. Don’t forget that Christmas Day features a five-game NBA extravaganza that will be a true holiday treat. Deck the halls with big money winners!


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