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Submitted by SportsMasters Consensus on Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Three of Monday’s FOUR bowl games are set for afternoon kickoffs. That’s why we went to press a bit early, posting this at halftime of Sunday Night’s Dallas/Washington game. Sports bettors will be taking their shots at 10 games on December 31 and January 1. Let’s see what sharps have been betting in Monday’s Grand Slam of action. We’ll have a special report going up late Monday afternoon to look at the six matchups comprising the annual New Year’s Bowl Bash.

MUSIC CITY BOWL

NC STATE vs. VANDERBILT

Opening Line: Vanderbilt by 6, total of 52

Current Line: Vanderbilt by 7, total of 51.5

The earliest offshore locations actually opened at Vandy -5.5. The latest stragglers opened at Vandy -6.5. Using Vandy -6 captures many openers, and splits the differences for those who either went early or went late. What YOU need to know is that sharps liked Vanderbilt below the key number of seven, but didn’t bet them in a way that would drive the Commodores through the number.

Why so little action? This may be the least bet game from sharps through the entire bowl season! Our sources tell us that sharps respect the SEC, but few are ready to lay this kind of number with an unproven team like Vanderbilt. The Commodores don’t have much of a history as a favorite. Sharps don’t want any part of NC State, which is clear because there was no buyback when the game hit the critical number of seven.

The totals guys haven’t expressed much interest here, with a slight tick to the Under being all that’s happened since the opener. Game day weather can always wreak havoc on a bowl total (which you’ve seen in the bowls and the NFL the past few days!), so pay attention to that forecast when you wake up Monday morning.

SUN BOWL

USC vs. GEORGIA TECH

Opening Line: USC by 10, total of 64

Current Line: USC by 7.5, total of 62

Sharps have been aggressive in this one, fading Southern Cal for a few reasons since the opener went up a few weeks ago:

*USC’s starting quarterback was ruled OUT with an injury

*USC made headlines in a way that suggested they weren’t fired up about visiting El Paso

*The game day weather forecast is for windy conditions, which favors their run-based opponent

As we go to press, the line hasn’t reached the key number of seven. Sportsbooks may be of the belief that the public will come in heavily on Southern Cal at that line regardless of those issues we just discussed. Vegas isn’t far from Los Angeles. UCLA was flooded with public money before their bad loss to Baylor a few days ago.

Sharps were looking Dog and Under before the weather forecast provided an additional boost. The current forecast is for windy conditions that could disrupt USC’s passing attack. If you’ve watched games played in Lubbock, you know that West Texas winds can have a dramatic impact on play and strategy. We’re hearing from our sources in the know that the only concern sharps have about the dog is the poor play of the ACC this year in non-conference action…which was largely confirmed by Virginia Tech’s ugly performance against Rutgers a few nights ago. Sharps passed on NC State in the game above this. If they have to bet an ACC dog, it’s going to be in a spot where they’re fading a potentially disinterested favorite.

LIBERTY BOWL

IOWA STATE vs. TULSA

Opening Line: Tulsa by 2, total of 52

Current Line: Iowa State by 1, total of 51

We haven’t had many flipped favorites this year in the bowls. Rice was bet to a small favorite vs. Air Force very late in the process in early Saturday action. Here Tulsa opened as a small favorite (the earliest places had them at -3, the stragglers had them at -1). Sharps liked Iowa State getting anything, and at pick-em. The line solidified at Cyclones -1 and hasn’t moved since then.

College games can’t end in a tie, so there’s less point value to a move that crosses zero than meets the eye initially. Pick-em is a betting stop though, and sharps did bet Iowa State at +2, +1, and at pick-em.

Not much interest on the Over/Under here either. Remember that both the Music City and Liberty Bowls are being played outdoors in Tennessee. The weather in one place will be similar to the weather in the other, even if the cities aren’t next door neighbors.

CHICK-FIL-A BOWL

LSU vs. CLEMSON

Opening Line: LSU by 3.5, total of 58.5

Current Line: LSU by 6, total of 59

Very big move here on LSU. Oddsmakers thought they had properly anticipated sharp interest by opening the line above the key number of three. WRONG! Sharps had this pegged as something closer to a TD game. They pounded LSU at -3.5, -4, -4.5, -5, and -5.5. The number has finally settled on the six. We’re hearing that underdog money would only come in on Clemson if the public were to drive LSU up to seven. And, even then…sharp interest on Clemson +7 or better wouldn’t equal prior sharp interest on LSU at numbers below five.

This game brings a few sharp preferences together at once:

*Sharps prefer betting the superior conference

*Sharps prefer betting the more physical team

*Sharps prefer fading undersized defenses on teams that run spread offenses

Three of the four games Monday feature ACC underdogs. It’s telling that Georgia Tech is the only one that garnered sharp interest. Sharps really liked fading an ACC dog with LSU, and didn’t mind driving Vanderbilt to the key number against NC State. You can deduce that the Sun Bowl dog had a lot of anti-favorite influence.

Not much interest on the total. There’s no chance for weather to be a factor indoors. The math guys would have acted already if they had seen an edge (because there’s no need to wait for a weather forecast!). Sharps will fade any public move on the total.

Our handicapping legends here at VegasSportsMasters made their names by beating GAME DAY lines. You know what the sharps have done in the build-up to New Year’s Eve. What should YOU bet at the lines that are available RIGHT NOW? Check out the “buy picks” page here at the website for complete details on the major releases and special offers available Monday. And, be on the lookout for Tuesday’s packages as well. The best names in the business know you want your New Year’s information EARLY because of the early kickoffs on Tuesday.

We’ll have a special sharp report for those New Year’s games that will go up here in the blog late Monday afternoon (so we can incorporate the latest news from sharp and square action). Then we’ll be going daily Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for major bowls.

Wednesday: Louisville vs. Florida in the Sugar Bowl

Thursday: Oregon vs. Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl

Friday: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl

Late in the week we’ll also go over Wildcard weekend from the sharp perspective, along with a couple of lesser bowl matchups (Compass and Go-Daddy games). You can look forward to a major report next Monday on the Alabama-Notre Dame showdown or the BCS Championship.

Visit VegasSportsMasters EVERY DAY into the New Year so you can think like a sharp and bet like a sharp!


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