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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, September 4, 2015 at 1:00 PM

I’ve picked out 8 board games to review on the first big Saturday college football slate of the 2015 season. Then, I included the one Sunday and one Monday night game to finish out the weekend on this report. When the NFL regular season begins next week, we’ll probably be using the following schedule:

Tuesday: An Update of NFL Futures Prices

Thursday: How Sharps are Betting Thursday/Friday games

Friday: How Sharps are Betting Saturday’s Marquee College Matchups

Saturday: How Sharps are Betting the NFL

There was a huge response to last year’s market analysis…so we’re trying to keep up with demand! Thanks so much for your interest and support.

Saturday’s card is highlighted by the prime time trio of Alabama/Wisconsin, Texas/Notre Dame, and Texas A&M/Arizona State. There are a few games you’ll be watching before then. Let’s take a look at some of the high profile matchups. Games are presented in the order they appear on the schedule.


SATURDAY (select games)

PENN STATE AT TEMPLE: Penn State is up from an opener of -6 to -7. Oddsmakers had been anticipating interest in Temple because a few off-season pundits were talking about all of their returning starters. Looks like they guessed a shade low. Let’s see if underdog money comes in on Temple before kickoff. An extremely low opening Over/Under of 38 has been bet up to 44. Under money started coming in at 44. Given the fact that 80% of the board games Thursday stayed Under…we may see more Under money here and elsewhere on game day.  

VIRGINIA AT UCLA: Many out here in Vegas and through Pac 12 country are high on UCLA this season. They like the young quarterback…and the high number of returning starters. An opener of UCLA -17 has been bet up to 19 and -19.5. We may see a 20 tested soon. I anticipate Virginia money coming in on the 20 because the Cavs tend to play smash mouth style battles.  The Over/Under is down from an opener of 54 to 52 in deference to that tendency. (Note, I’ll only mention totals when they’ve moved at least a point off the recent widely available openers)

STANFORD AT NORTHWESTERN: This is a time change to noon ET (9 a.m. Las Vegas time), which makes it a “bad body clock” spot for the Pac 12 visitor. Not much betting interest yet in the highest profile early kick. An opener of Stanford -12 is still fairly solid…though I’m starting to see some home dog money come in on the Wildcats. The Over/Under has been bet up from 45 to 47.5. Interesting move from the quants that goes against the grain of early results.  

LOUISVILLE VS. AUBURN (in Atlanta): Very little early betting interest, as Auburn is still sitting at -10.5 in this neutral site game. A lot of smart money likes Auburn in terms of the national title picture…but isn’t looking to lay double digits vs. a decent opponent like Louisville. Cardinals backers may be waiting for softer spots on the schedule to express their support. Definitely check this one out in the mid-afternoon window (or lunchtime window here in Vegas).  

TEXAS A&M VS. ARIZONA STATE (in Houston): Very interesting situation here. Many sharps and squares in Vegas are high on the Pac 12 this year (particularly that loaded South division). Yet this game opened with respect shown to A&M at -3 in Houston…and it’s been bet HIGHER. That sustained move off the key number deserves a lot of respect…and is probably telling you that A&M is going to be better than their early poll rankings this season. The Over/Under has shot up from 66 to 70, which is very odd for a field that usually isn’t conducive to Overs. The quants are expecting a wild and crazy shootout. Under money is starting to come in at the 70.

BYU AT NEBRASKA: Nebraska opened at -6 in most places…was bet up to -7…and is now part of what appears to be a tug-of-war between Nebraska -6.5 and BYU +7. Both teams have support at their favored number. Big move down on the total as an opener of 65 has been bet all the way down to 60.  

TEXAS AT NOTRE DAME: An opener of Notre Dame -8.5 had been bet up to -10. A tug-of-war was in play for awhile between Notre Dame -9.5 and Texas +10. More Texas money has been coming in late in the week…which is causing some stores to go down to Texas +9. Maybe that Texas money is overly excited about the Aggies and Longhorns this weekend. It was certainly overly excited about TCU up in Minnesota on Thursday night. An opening total of 54.5 has been bet down to 50.5. There’s respect for Charlie Strong’s defense in that move. Though, Texas is going to run an up-tempo spread on offense this season.  

ALABAMA VS. WISCONSIN (in Arlington): Big move on Alabama to start, as an opener of -9.5 was bet all the way up to -12. That just blew through the key number of -10…which is a benchmark to pay attention to. We have a tug-of-war on game day between Alabama -11.5 and Wisconsin +12…as Badgers money has begun to hit the board. Alabama has a new starting quarterback…and even veteran QBs showed rust as double digit favorites Thursday.  


SUNDAY (one game)

PURDUE AT MARSHALL: Normally I wouldn’t talk about a game like Purdue/Marshall in a “marquee matchup” context. But, it’s the only football game on TV Sunday…which means almost all of you are going to be watching it! Or, you’ll bet it even without watching it. An opener of Marshall -8.5 has been bet down to -7.5. This may be a down year for the Thundering Herd compared to their most recent seasons because graduation hit them hard in terms of star power. Purdue is still going to be pretty bad, but they do return a lot of experience. The opening total of 64 was bet down to 62 and 61.5. That may fall further if Saturday continues the trend of Unders that we saw in so many games Thursday night.  


MONDAY (one game)

OHIO STATE AT VIRGINIA TECH: It’s still amazing that the eventual National Champion Buckeyes lost a home game to this mediocre Virginia Tech program before running the table. Obviously revenge will be on their minds. But, that’s been priced into the game already. An opener of Ohio State -14 has gone as low as -12 or -12.5. Buckeyes money came in late in the week to push that back to -13. This could be a very heavily bet game on game day. It’s the only Monday football on the schedule and it involves the defending champ! Squares will like Ohio State at anything below -14….and might still keep betting on that key number. Wise Guy dog lovers were happy at +14 and +13, and may be getting favored pricing all the way up until kickoff. The Over/Under has been bet down from 54 to 52.5 because Ohio State does have some issues at the receiver position because of suspensions.

Not exactly a blockbuster weekend to start things off…but there are a few really great matchups that will set the stage for a big year. 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 or weekends before the first games start.

Back with you on Tuesday with a final look at NFL Super Bowl prices just before the 2015 regular season begins. Then, we’ll be looking at Wise Guy action for both college and football later in the week…on a schedule that should provide strong coverage week-by-week and month-by-month all the way until new champions are crowned. Thanks for reading. Let’s go make some money this weekend and I’ll see you again here in the VSM BLOG on Tuesday.   


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Richie B. on twitter @vsm_baccellieri

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