Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, November 7, 2014 at 12:00 PM
As promised, I’m back with a special Friday report outlining what’s been happening with sharp betting in all of this week’s college football TV blockbusters. I’ll present the games in Nevada rotation order so you can makes notes in your schedules. Just be aware that the starting times have become jumbled because of national TV commitments. It’s Baylor/Oklahoma that actually kicks the day off in the earliest TV window, even though the prime time affair matching Alabama and LSU comes first in the rotation that was based on original scheduled start times.
I’m going to talk about the six games that are creating so much media buzz…the matchups featuring 12 of the top 17 teams in the selection committees’ playoff rankings. Here we go.
#5 ALABAMA a #16 LSU (8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. Pacific on CBS)
The game opened at Alabama -6 as a road favorite. Early action on the Tide pushed the game in some stores to -6.5. But, LSU money does hit the board with the hook. So, before the public has gotten involved, we have a minor tug-of-war between Alabama -6 and LSU +6.5. Sharps would fade any influence from the public that might move the number beyond that range between now and the prime time kickoff. The Over/Under opened at 47, and has been knocked down to 45 by the quants. I’m interested to see if a buy back kicks in on the Over at some point. Alabama is playing more wide open this year with Lane Kiffin running the offense.
#12 BAYLOR at #15 OKLAHOMA (noon ET, 9 a.m. Pacific on FoxSports1)
Oklahoma has been bet up from an opener of -4 to -5.5. This is a bit of a surprise given how poorly Oklahoma has played vs. good teams this season (and they should have lost to Texas, who isn’t very good). But, Baylor’s defense is seen as suspect by many sharps. So, there was early position-taking and support for the Sooners. We’re hearing that Baylor money would come in at +6. The market is expecting a high scoring shootout, though the opening total of 73.5 has dropped to 72 on forecasts for winds in the mid-teens. Gusty conditions could disrupt both passing attacks.
#14 OHIO STATE at #8 MICHIGAN STATE (8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. Pacific on ABC)
Very strong support here for Michigan State. The Spartans opened at -2, and were bet through the key number of three all the way to -3.5. The movement stopped there, but there hasn’t been much buyback interest on Ohio State (yet). Perhaps Buckeye money would come in strong at +4 if the public pushes the game higher before the prime time kickoff. Typically, Ohio State gets market respect, so the strong move through the key number is very telling. We have a huge move on the Over/Under because of math and weather. An offshore opener of 63.5 is down to 56. Most Vegas stores saw the early offshore sentiment for Under and opened in the high 50’s. The quants had the game well below the offshore opener, and we’re looking at a cold night in East Lansing with winds that could be an issue at times.
#10 NOTRE DAME at #9 ARIZONA STATE (3:30 p.m. ET, 9 a.m. Pacific on ABC)
The big move here has been on the total. An opener of 54.5 has been bet all the way up to 60 (honestly, some questionable openers on Over/Unders this week). Quants had the game in the high 50’s…and the weather looks like it will be ideal for scoring (85-90 degrees in an afternoon start). We’ve seen a slight move on the team side from Arizona -2 to -2.5. Sportsbooks don’t want to bring the key number of three into play because Notre Dame is a popular betting team for squares. They’ll only do that if ASU gets pounded by Pac 12 fans in the morning. Sharps haven’t expressed an opinion with their money yet, but would do so on Notre Dame if they see +3.
#4 OREGON at #17 UTAH (10 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. Pacific on ESPN)
A drop from Oregon -9.5 on the opener down to -8.5 or -8 depending on the store. Money on the favorite does start to come in at the eight. Sharps respect this home field, and know that Oregon has had some trouble in recent seasons against teams who defend well and try to control the game at the point of attack. They didn’t wait to see if the public brought the full ten into play off the opener…and got in on the dog at anything higher than eight. The opening total of 62.5 has been bet down to 60 along similar lines of thinking. Sharps who like Utah’s chances to make this a game do so because they think the Utes can control the flow of action and reduce Oregon’s explosiveness.
#7 KANSAS STATE at #6 TCU (7:30 p.m. ET, 4:30 p.m. Pacific on FOX)
No interest on the team side here, as TCU has been a solid -6 all week. This is a fantastic matchup in terms of the championship chase, but will be overshadowed in sportsbooks because the other prime time games have much more star power. This will definitely be the least bet of the “big six” we’re discussing today. Sharps made the line six, and will fade any public moves off of that number. The total has dropped from 60.5 to 58 because of influence from the math guys. Weather isn’t supposed to be much of a factor at last report.
I’m definitely looking forward to watching these games as a fan and handicapper. You can purchase my BEST BETS from the full Saturday card right here at the VSM website with your credit card before the first games kick off. If you have any questions about my personal service, call the VSM office weekdays during normal business hours, and weekends before first kickoff at 1-888-777-4155.
We’ll be back for our second Friday report in a few hours, breaking down sharp betting in all of the NFL games set for Sunday and Monday Night. You can expect more college reports like this in the weeks ahead whenever there are marquee matchups that will be heavily bet. And, of course, we’ll have multiple reports per week during the bowls and playoff. Thanks for reading the most informed online connection to the marketplace!
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