Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, November 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM
This is the day college football fans have been waiting for. The highlight is #1 Alabama hosting Auburn in a huge revenge game from last season. Note that it’s been time-changed from the original schedule to prime time. Also on tap, #4 Mississippi State visits Ole Miss in a game that’s been time-changed from evening to mid-afternoon.
I’ve picked out the six biggest TV games for our report today. Let’s see how sharps have been betting the marquee matchups you’ll be watching all day and night. Games are presented in the order they appear in the Nevada rotation.
WISCONSIN AT MINNESOTA (3:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. PT on the Big 10 Network): This is for the Big 10 West Championship and the right to play Ohio State next week for the league crown. Wisconsin opened at -14, and was bet up early by position takers to -14.5. The public usually bets Wisconsin at home, and rarely bets Minnesota! So, this line is likely to go higher if it moves at all. Sharps would definitely consider the dog at +16…but aren’t keen because Minnesota ranks poorly national in yards-per-carry defense. You don’t get rich fading Wisconsin with mediocre run defenses. The total has come down from 51.5 to 50 from Wise Guy action.
GEORGIA TECH AT GEORGIA (noon ET, 9 a.m. Pacific on the SEC Network): Here’s another double digit spread that was bet up a half point by position takers. Georgia opened at -12.5 and is now up to -13. Remember that Todd Gurley is out for Georgia. He underwent knee surgery this week for his ACL injury. Very important to note the possible lookahead dynamics that are in play here. Georgia Tech is definitely playing next week in the ACC Championship game against Florida State. Georgia will know by late Friday whether or not they’re playing in the SEC Championship game. If Missouri loses to Arkansas, Georgia has a huge game next week! If Missouri wins, then Georgia can focus exclusively on Tech. I believe sharps will look at Georgia Tech at +13 or better if both teams are playing next week. Georgia may drift higher if they don’t have any lookahead issues. Not much happening on the early total of 66. Most stores came down a half-point off the opener.
AUBURN AT ALABAMA (7:45 p.m. ET, 4:45 p.m. PT on ESPN): This was originally in the middle of the schedule as a projected afternoon kick. It’s now a prime-time game that will have a huge national audience. The opening line of Alabama -9.5 has come down…which is important because that’s moving away from the key number of 10. If sharps liked Alabama, the line would have gone up instantly. Instead, it sat at 9.5 awhile before starting to fall. Sharps have been betting Auburn +9.5, and some are still betting +9. We’ll see what happens in the hours before kickoff. Squares have gone broke backing ‘Bama this year. The Crimson Tide is just 3-8 against the spread. There may not be much interest in going back to that well. The total is up a little from an opener of 53.5 to 54. If weather isn’t going to be an issue, that may rise during the day given Auburn’s tendency to play shootouts.
FLORIDA AT FLORIDA STATE (3:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. PT on ESPN): One of the biggest moves of the week. Florida State opened at -10.5. The line has plummeted all the way down to FSU by -7.5. At a time when not much was happing on the board in the main TV games, this stuck out as HUGE. It crossed one key number and almost made it to another. Sportsbooks don’t want to bring the seven into play if they can avoid it because that would set up a large middle with a key number as a “side.” (Bettors on FSU -7 and Florida +10.5 would have a big window to hit a double, and would go 1-0-1 if the Seminoles won by exactly seven). I can tell you that oddsmakers and sharps have really soured on FSU in recent weeks. Their Power Ratings keep falling even though they keep winning. Florida’s not having a great year, but they rose up to shock Georgia. Sharps expect them to stay within at least 8-10 of the Seminoles. The total is up a point from 52 to 53 because Florida State’s defense doesn’t start playing until the second half.
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT OLE MISS (3:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. PT on CBS): This has been moved to the mid-afternoon window. Mississippi State opened as a small favorite, and has actually been bet up by sharps to -2 or -2.5. This is a bit of a surprise because Ole Miss was almost equally respected until very recently. Mississippi State would now be a clear neutral field favorite and a surprisingly high home favorite based on this number. The Wise Guys would definitely come in on the home dog at +3. A lot of money is waiting to see if the public takes it that high. This is a must-win game for Mississippi State as the #4 ranked team by the selection committee. Squares love betting must win teams. Nothing happening on the total.
NOTRE DAME AT USC (3:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 p.m. PT on ABC): This is the bottom game in the Nevada rotation, but it’s no longer a night game! If you’re planning on betting it, be sure you take care of business before the midafternoon TV window. USC opened at -6.5, and was bet up to the key number of -7 fairly quickly. The line has stayed solid since then. Sharps have been unimpressed with both lately. Notre Dame lost at home to Louisville last week, and have been falling backward fairly dramatically in recent weeks. Southern Cal was outclassed to a surprising degree by UCLA. I believe sharps would fade any public move off the seven for value. I don’t expect heavy Wise Guy interest unless an anti-Notre Dame bandwagon starts because of their recent poor results and potential travel fatigue. It’s ND’s third road game of November, and second out West. Nothing yet on the high opening total of 62.5.
You’ll be able to purchase my Saturday BEST BETS in the morning before the first games kick off. If you have any questions about my personal service, call the VSM office Friday during normal business hours or Saturday morning at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about combination packages that include basketball. I love handicapping early season colleges hoops!
Thanks for reading. Back with you Friday afternoon with our regular weekly NFL report. See you then.
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