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Submitted by SportsMasters Consensus on Thursday, January 03, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Thursday Night’s Oregon-Kansas State showdown has drawn significant sharp action in recent hours. This is not a game the sharps are passing, or betting lightly. This is a game that sharps are apparently taking a stand in through the hours leading up to kickoff.



Opening Line: Oregon by 8, total of 76

Current Line: Oregon by 7.5, total of 73.5

We start with the team side, where the line has dropped from Kansas State +8 down to Kansas State +7.5 at a time when marquee TV lines generally go UP. This is very significant in terms of market dynamics. The sharps like Kansas State…and they’re not waiting around to see if the public is going to take Oregon to -9 or -10. In fact, we’re hearing that sharps determined that oddsmakers were fine with taking a position themselves against public Oregon money at the eight. Since this was the best sharps would see on the dog, they came in hard. That has driven the line down to 7.5 because sportsbooks now need some favorite money to get back to the eight!

It’s unlikely that sportsbooks would drop all the way to the key number of seven unless a major Oregon injury or suspension is announced. The key number would likely bring in a flood of money on the chalk from both squares and sharps alike.

You saw above that the total has dropped as well. It’s important to remember that some of the “unofficial” openers at the earliest stores had this number as high as 77 or 78. Sharps showed their Under preferences at that time…and the money continues to come in on game day towards the Under.

And, once again…this is AGAINST the flow that you usually see on game days in big TV games. Squares love betting favorites and Overs. The lines are moving toward the Dog and Under in Kansas State-Oregon, one of the most anticipated TV games of the whole bowl slate. These are very meaningful moves for market watchers.

What’s going on?

Our sources don’t want to tip their hands because they may not be done betting either the side or the total. This is what we’ve been able to determine through even deeper backdoor channels.

*Sharps are concerned that the condition of the turf will slow down scoring. You’ll recall the Auburn-Oregon game played on this field a few years ago that saw a big Under because star athletes were having trouble getting traction. Oregon didn’t look like themselves in that game. Neither did Cam Newton and Auburn for that matter. If Oregon’s fast break attack is slowed down by less than ideal footing, then a Dog and Under combo makes sense.

*Sharps have noted that superior teams have had trouble scoreboard getting distance in the most recent major bowls. Florida was upset by Louisville. LSU was upset by Clemson. South Carolina was almost upset by Michigan. Stanford won a grinder over Wisconsin. That’s a sign of parity at the top of the college heap this year. This would suggest that a line over a TD might be a bit too high whenever top teams play each other (particularly if game conditions aren’t helping the favorite).

*We’re also hearing that sharps have been influenced by all the distracting talk about Oregon head coach Chip Kelly going to the NFL. This has happened to other top teams in the past in big bowl games, and it rarely helps. The coach can’t focus as much on game preparation as he’d like. Players who aren’t seniors start wondering if they’re going to lose their coach.

It’s this combination of factors that seem to be at the heart of these moves against the standard market flow on the day of a big TV game.

Who should YOU bet at the settled lines Thursday afternoon before kickoff? The handicapping legends here at VegasSportsMasters made their reputations by beating game day lines. You can purchase their major releases here at the website with your credit card. Big play bulletins and complete details in long term packages are always available on our “buy picks” page.

Our next sharp report will be midday Friday with a look at what sharps are betting in the Cotton Bowl featuring Texas A&M and Oklahoma. We will also have postings for the NFL Wildcard games and the minor college bowls going this weekend coming up in the next 24-36 hours. This is why you need to visit VSM every day!

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