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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 1:00 PM

The Golden Nugget posted their “Game of the Year” lines for showcase college football matchups earlier this week. That created a lot of buzz in sports betting media because football is king! It was a busy day at the Golden Nugget. Just remember to keep things in perspective when looking at those numbers.

*The openers represent team perceptions held by oddsmakers at the Golden Nugget rather than a composite of all oddsmakers across Nevada and the offshore world.

*Betting limits are still smaller than you’ll see during the regular season. That means it doesn’t take much money to move the number. (And, it means that many sharps didn’t even get involved because they want to wait until limits are bigger!)

Still, the numbers that have settled after local sharps took their early cracks does give you a pretty good sense of how “the market” will be rating teams this coming season. I strongly encourage serious handicappers to study the numbers. Most of you probably make your own Power Ratings. You now have something to compare them to as you map out your early season strategy.

Those of you who don’t have the confidence yet to make your own numbers can just use the early pointspreads to build your own set! Assume about 3 points for home field advantage in most cases. If a team is -7 at home over their opponent, that means they’d be about 4 points better in neutral field Power Ratings. There’s enough interconnectivity from all the “Games of the Year” posted so far (some of which will helpfully be played on neutral fields) that you can at least peg the top 50 teams or so. (You’ll have to wait for the regular season to figure out the worst teams in the major conferences and the majority of teams in the mid-majors.)


Helpful to know that:

*Wisconsin is +9 vs. Alabama in Arlington, which connects the Big 10 to the SEC

*Oregon is +1 at Michigan State, which connects the Pac 12 to the Big 10

*Arizona State is +3 vs. Texas A&M in Houston, which connects the Pac 12 to the SEC

*Notre Dame plays Texas of the Big 12, Clemson, Georgia Tech, and Virginia of the ACC, and USC and Stanford of the Pac 12

There are other connectors too…but you can see right there that scales for the Power Five conferences (SEC, Big 10, Pac 12, Big 12, and ACC) plus Notre Dame can be easily managed.

It looks like the Golden Nugget oddsmakers had a bad read on a couple of teams. Big line moves in games involving Arkansas and Boise State really jump out.



*9/26: Arkansas -6.5 dropped to -1.5 vs. Texas A&M in Arlington

*10/24: Arkansas -6.5 dropped to -1.5 vs. Auburn

*11/4: Arkansas +1.5 rose to +5 at LSU



*9/4: Boise State -13 dropped to -8.5 vs. Washington

*10/12: Boise State -6 dropped to -1 at BYU

*10/16: Boise State -9.5 dropped to -6 at Utah State

As an oddsmaker myself, I know it’s tough to peg every single team correctly. I’m really not sure what the guys at the Nugget were thinking in terms of Arkansas. The Hogs were being priced as if they were superior to Auburn and LSU when the “Futures” markets weren’t showing anything like that. Who knows…maybe it will turn out that the Golden Nugget braintrust was just way ahead of the curve and Arkansas is a team to watch. For now, early bettors think they got free money in those three listed games.

Boise State was priced like a mid-major super power even though the program has been fading a bit in recent years in terms of recruiting big time talent. And, they have to replace a star QB and RB this season. Hey, being -8.5 at home vs. Washington already suggests you’re a good team. But, -13? Or -6 on the road at BYU?

Actually, BYU shows up as a team that sharps seem to be focused on. Let’ look at that…



*9/12: BYU dropped from +6 to +1 vs. Boise State

*11/14: BYU dropped from +12 to +7.5 vs. Missouri (in Kansas City)

*11/28: BYU rose from pick-em to -4 at Utah State

Given that both Boise State and BYU show up as teams of interest in early market “disagreements,” it’s great that they play each other so early in the season on September 12. Be sure you watch or record that game for study.

Like you, I can’t wait for football to get here. In the meantime, let’s keep building our bankrolls with baseball. You can purchase my daily BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about longterm packages, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 any weekday during regular business hours.

July will be a quiet month in terms of web articles. August brings NFL Preseason football. We’ll definitely look at how the sharps are betting the exhibition slate up through the dress rehearsals. Then the college regular season starts…and things will get very busy! Thanks for reading. Remember to check out my baseball!


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Richie B. on twitter @vsm_baccellieri

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