Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, September 11, 2015 at 12:00 PM
I’ve selected nine Saturday TV games for us to look at. These are the main attractions you’ll be checking in on throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening. I’ll list them in rotation order so you can make notes in your schedule. Because of all the time changes, these aren’t in order of kickoff. I’ll make notes of all the time changes as we go along.
SELECT SATURDAY MARQUEE MATCHUPS
LSU AT MISSISSIPPI STATE (on ESPN): The first game we’ll talk about is actually one the latest starts of the slate. This has been time changed to 9:15 p.m. ET for ESPN. LSU is getting a lot of respect from the quants this year. Even ESPN’s quant guys are ranking the Tigers very high in their Power Index. That may be what drove this line from LSU -2 all the way up to -4 as a road favorite. You regulars know it’s a big deal with the key number of three is crossed like that in such authoritative fashion. I would expect some home dog money to come in during the day. Some of the old school guys in particular aren’t sold yet on LSU. The total has been bet up from 48.5 to 50.
OREGON STATE AT MICHIGAN (on ABC): Easy to get confused here…because Oregon State is visiting Michigan, and Oregon is visiting Michigan State…and both games are on ABC! This has been time changed to the early TV window. It will kick off at noon ET (9 a.m. here in Las Vegas). Oregon State looked very sluggish last week in a win over Weber State. Jim Harbaugh is respected by sharps, and was getting the early money here in his home opener. Michigan is up from -14 to -15. Any moves above the 15 have brought in underdog money. That combined with a weather forecast for drizzle and some wind has swung the market the other way. Dog lovers are happy to get anything above +14 in a low-totaled game where weather could be an issue. The Over/Under has dropped from 49.5 all the way down to 45.5.
GEORGIA AT VANDERBILT (on CBS): Georgia is another SEC team that the math guys love. An opener of Georgia -19 has been bet all the way up to -21. That’s a serious move considering the numbers involved for a road favorite. The total has fallen all the way from 56 to 50 because there’s a 70% chance of rain…and because Vandy has trouble finding the end zone even in good weather.
BOISE STATE AT BYU (on ESPN2): A great one for night owls. This one has been time changed to 10:15 p.m. ET. Only slight betting interest so far, as Boise State is up from -2 to -2.5. It’s assumed that BYU money would come in hard if the key number of 3 is reached. Oddsmakers will have to decide what kind of position they want to take here. This could be a heavily bet game by “locals” because it’s prime time here in Vegas. The Over/Under is down from 56.5 to 55 after Boise played a low scoring game with Washington last week, and BYU lost it’s starting quarterback for the season to an injury.
NOTRE DAME AT VIRGINIA (on ABC): Another likely rain game…which means another drop on the Over/Under. This one has fallen from 51.5 down to 48 and may keep dropping. Notre Dame got early respect as a team side, with an opener of -10 being bet up to -12. Sharps were very impressed with the Irish on both sides of the ball last week vs. Texas. That earned ND some bets on Championship Futures as well. Virginia couldn’t stop UCLA’s offense last week…and will have trouble coming through the back door at the smaller spread.
KENTUCKY AT SOUTH CAROLINA (on the SEC Network): This has been time changed to 7:30 p.m. ET. The matchup will be overshadowed by other TV games. But, it’s worth paying attention to if you’re trying to handicap the SEC this season. Kentucky +9 has been bet down to +7.5 in early action. Sharps weren’t impressed with SC in the opener even though the Gamecocks managed to win straight up and vulture a cover vs. North Carolina. The total is down 58.5 to 55.5 because of a chance for rain and SC’s lethargic offense last week.
OKLAHOMA AT TENNESSEE (on ESPN): Oklahoma has been getting the nod here from sharps because of some personnel issues for the Volunteers…and because Tennessee’s pass defense was so helpless last week vs. Bowling Green. The favorite has flipped from Tennessee -1 to Oklahoma -1.5. The total is up from 61 to 63 even with the chance of light rain showers. It might have been bet up to 65 or 66 with a better forecast.
OREGON AT MICHIGAN STATE (on ABC): Revenge-minded Michigan State was bet up through the key number, as an opener of -2.5 made it all the way to -4 before Oregon money started coming in. We might see a tug-of-war between MSU -3 and Oregon +3.5. But Michigan State money comes in so hard at the key number that oddsmakers may not drop it that low again. Likely the most heavily bet game of the day because it’s a battle of top seven teams in prime time. The total is down from 67.5 to 65 because of skepticism about new Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams. Weather isn’t expected to be a factor.
UCLA AT UNLV (on CBS Sports Network): It’s rare to have a national power come to town to play the Rebels. So, this is a high interest game here in Vegas. UCLA opened at -28.5 and was bet up to -30.5 because sharps love what they’re seeing from freshman quarterback Josh Rosen. Even though UNLV covered last week, they have a very weak pass defense. The total has been bet up from 62 to 65.5.
My top plays for Saturday will be available for credit card purchase in the morning before the first games kick off. If you have any questions about longterm packages, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155.
Thanks for reading. Back with you Saturday to see how sharps have been betting the NFL this week.
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