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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Monday, January 12, 2015 at 12:00 PM

After a busy week of NFL Playoff action, sportsbooks will now be flooded Monday afternoon for the college football National Championship game featuring Oregon and Ohio State. Avid bettors of both teams won a lot of money on New Year’s Day. They’re all back to support their teams with everything on the line.

Current betting pace suggests this will be one of the biggest bet college football games ever. Some stores are already certain they’ll the have largest betting volume ever at their particular locale.

How have sharps (professional wagerers) been betting the game? Let’s take a look…




8:30 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN from Arlington, TX

We’ve had a lot of movement in this game since the number first went up on the board after the Sugar Bowl ended. Most stores were showing Oregon -7 or -7.5 right off the bat. The game seemed to settle on Oregon -7.5 for several hours in that initial surge of betting. But, the line kept falling for several days after that as more Ohio State support continued to hit the market.

Generally speaking, we saw:

Late January 1 and Early January 2: Oregon -7.5

January 2: Oregon -7

January 4-5: Oregon falls to -6.5

January 9: Oregon falls to -6

January 10-11: Oregon falls to a low of -5.5

January 11: Oregon rises back up to -6

Now: Oregon rising back up to -6.5 in many spots

Different stores may have moved on those tendencies at slightly different times based on their own needs. But, you can see the big picture. Sharps who preferred Ohio State jumped in heavily at +7.5, +7, and +6.5. Square fans of the Buckeyes continued betting even at +6. Sharps who preferred Oregon came in HARD once -5.5 was breached. Fans of the Ducks are excited to get anything below the key number of seven.

The sharp divide is above Oregon -5.5 (and to a lesser extent -6) on one hand, then below Ohio State at +6.5 or better on the other. The percentage of time that the game is likely to land exactly on six is a key factor there for sure. In the mind of the world’s best bettors, that’s where the percentages swing.

The total saw the Over get POUNDED out of the gate. The first numbers up were either 72 or 72.5 depending on the store. That soared all the way up to 75 and 75.5 before Under money was enticed into the market. Quants look to have made this game around 74, which is where the Over/Under is settling as I write this. Those groups are on both Over 72 and Under 75.5 in some form or fashion (some may be weighted more toward the Over, while others came back over the top harder on the Under). The public tends to bet Overs in big games because they like rooting for points. It’s harder for a kneejerk auto-bet when the number is this high, though. Ohio State fans in particular are less likely to visualize their defense allowing 40-45 points.

How should YOU bet tonight’s side and total if the lines ever get settled this afternoon? Obviously, if you have a strong opinion but haven’t had a chance to get down yet…shop around for the best number. (Given the trend of the market, Oregon fans might want to move quickly!).

If you don’t have an opinion yet and are seeking some guidance from a friend in Las Vegas, you can purchase my picks here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about my personal service, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 any time Monday before kickoff.

This will be my final college football report this season. Thanks to all of you who were reading through the late season marquee games, the conference championships, and all the bowl games. We still have some more NFL to discuss. I’ll be back with you Friday to talk about the Conference Championship games matching Green Bay and Seattle, and Indianapolis and New England. Then, of course, there will be a Super Bowl report before the big game.

As football fades from the schedule, I’ll spend more time talking about college basketball. That’s personally my favorite sport to handicap. It’s hard to do timely “sharps” reports in college hoops because lines are going up later and later, and the Wise Guys are having to be more creative about hiding their intentions until late in the day. I’ll figure something out that will help us gear up and prepare for March Madness.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the big championship game! I’ll see you Friday at the latest for the NFL. Keep visiting the blog through the week just in case a special report in college basketball pops up!


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Richie B. on twitter @vsm_baccellieri

Vegas-Sports-Masters on twitter @vsmasters

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