Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 1:18 PM
The college schedules are often too big to evaluate fully here on these pages. But, with a relatively reduced schedule of board games this week (many teams open with non-board “paycheck” games) and the lack of the NFL, we have space to run through the major moves from professional wagerers in this week’s college football.
THURSDAY’S MAJOR MOVES
*South Carolina opened at -4 but was bet up to -6.5 at Vanderbilt. It’s worth noting though that the game basically hit a wall at 6.5…which means oddsmakers are confident sharps would come in very strong on the underdog Vandy at +7. Should the public play the favorite in this TV game from now until kickoff, that might drive the line temporarily to the critical number of seven before sharps brought it back down. Basically…many respect sharps made the game SC by about 6…so they jumped on the lower early number, but would come back over the top if the game reaches a critical number.
*Something similar happened in the other direction in UMASS/UCONN. Connecticut opened as a big favorite at -25 points. The line has come down to -21.5…but not all the way to the three-touchdown mark. That suggests sharps would be buying back on the favorite at -21.
*Washington State and new head coach Mike Leach got a lot of sharp support at the opener of +13.5. Oddsmakers had anticipated some of that to a degree by staying below the 14. But, the line has come all the way down now to Washington State +11.5 where it’s settled into a widely available line away from a critical number.
FRIDAY’S MAJOR MOVES
*Tennessee/NC State is sitting on the big number of three. We’re basically seeing general interest in Tennessee -3 and NC State +3.5 because that’s such a common number. There are rumors of developments here coming up in the last two hours before kickoff from our sources though.
*Michigan State opened at -4.5 vs. Boise State, and is now sticking at -7 after sitting at -6.5 for an extended period. Sharps don’t trust this inexperienced Boise team on the road, and laid anything below a touchdown. If the public drives the line any higher on the favorite in this big TV game, sharps may buy back on the dog at +7.5 or better. Most we’ve talked to our happy with their positions on the favorite, and on the Under…which opened at 51.5 but is now down to 46.5.
SATURDAY’S MAJOR MOVES
*West Virginia opened at -21.5 vs. Marshall and was bet all the way up to -24.5 and -25. That’s important because it blew past the important 24 and kept right on going. Sharps watched the Orange Bowl win over Clemson too!
*Ohio +9 has been bet down to +6.5 in that much anticipated game at Penn State. There hasn’t been buy back on the Nittany Lions at the number below a TD, as sharps want to wait and see what this depleted roster is going to look like on the field.
*Nebraska is now up to -20 over Southern Miss after opening at -15. The visitor having to deal with a hurricane this week sure didn’t help their preparation. But, you get the sense there would be buy back if the number made it all the way to -21.
*Iowa has been bet up from -6 to -10 at Northern Illinois, which is extremely solid because it flew past the seven and stuck on the 10 without coming back down.
*Florida has been a popular choice since the number went up vs. Bowling Green. An opener of -23 is now all the way up to -28.5 or -29 even though the Gators announced they would be alternating quarterbacks in the first two quarters because they still haven’t determined a starter.
*Texas -28 has been bet up to -31, possibly on news that very hot temperatures are in the forecast. Tough for an undersized visitor to go hard for four full quarters in those conditions.
*Clemson opened -1 vs. Auburn in the Georgia Dome, but is now up to -3 and even -3.5…which suggests very strong support at a field goal or less.
*USC opened at -37 vs. Hawaii, and is now all the way up to -42. This is a combination of sharp action (at the earlier numbers) and square action from the public who believes that USC has a great chance to win the national championship this year. Sharps involved in this game are those who laid 37, 38, and 39, while the public kept on betting at -40 and -41.
*Alabama opened at -11 vs. Michigan, and we’ve just started seeing some -14’s as we go to press. Sharps drove the line to -13, while squares came in on another national championship threat to give the game a shot at a two-touchdown spread. It will be interesting to see if any sharps come in at +14 on the dog. We expect many would at +14.5 if the public takes the number that high before kickoff of this prime time game on ABC.
*Washington opened -12 in the final game on the regular board against San Diego State, but has been bet up past the key number of -14 to -14.5. That’s meaningful because there wasn’t a buy back on the dog after it crossed an important number. We’ve heard from multiple sharps who like Washington in general this year but know they have a brutal schedule.
The best way to think like a sharp and bet like a sharp is to visit VegasSportsMasters every day! The sharpest minds in the handicapping industry will have major releases posted for you every day this week. Be sure you check out the display ads on the home page, and the expanded service details on the “buy picks” page.
The sharps are just as excited as you are that college football’s regular season has arrived. Let the games begin!