Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Back with you for a new week of sharp reports direct from Las Vegas. We have a pretty busy football schedule the next two nights, along with that huge Game Six of the American League Championships Series matching the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals. Here’s a look at how sharps (professional wagerers) have been betting these games. Weekend action in college football and the NFL will be covered in separate reports Friday.
As always, games are presented in rotation order so you can make notes in your schedules…
SEATTLE AT SAN FRANCISCO (on CBS): An opener of Seattle -4 has been bet very aggressively up through and past the relatively key number of -6. Some stores are testing Seattle -7 on Thursday morning. Interest on the dog just isn’t showing up to counteract sharp and square interest in the favorite. This despite the fact that San Francisco’s just played two good games in a row! The market in composite still sees Seattle as a team that can compete for the Super Bowl once everyone gets back on the same page…while San Francisco is still being priced down near the bottom of the NFL. If the game settles on seven…that’s the equivalent of Seattle -10 on a neutral field or -13 at home. Keep watching the price through Thursday to see if a buy-back on the home dog is finally triggered at the key number of seven (or possibly late in the day at 7.5 if it gets that high). The Over/Under is up from 41 to 42 because both defenses have been more vulnerable than expected thus far.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT APPALACHIAN STATE (on ESPNU): Note that this one has been time changed to 7:30 p.m. ET. Clear support for the home favorite at the opener of Appalachian State -5. We’re now seeing -6 or -6.5 at most stores. Sportsbooks are hesitant to test the seven here because underdog support is very likely to come in on the competitive visitor at the key number. The total opened at 60…and is now up to 61.5 or even 62 in some spots.
TEMPLE AT EAST CAROLINA (on ESPN2): This one has been sitting very solidly on East Carolina -2.5. Any stores that test the three get hit hard with Temple money. So, we may have a tug-of-war between EC -2.5 and Temple +3. Or, sportsbooks may decide to stay exposed a bit by sticking at -2.5. They have to pick a side here…because Temple support at +3 would likely flood EC support at -2.5. If the public helps balance the scales with a TV home favorite…the tug-of-war would come into play. Quants loved the Under at the opener of 54…and at 53 and 52. We’re now seeing 51.5 painted across the board.
CALIFORNIA AT UCLA (on ESPN): An opener of UCLA -4 has been bet down to -3.5, where it’s been solid ever since. Obviously sportsbooks don’t want to bring the three into play…because the public (and many sharps) would jump in on the Bruins at the key number. Another tricky challenge for linesmakers, where they have to choose how they want to be exposed in a situation where the books aren’t likely to balance. Sharps preferring the dog are happy at +4…but UCLA -3 would get a bunch of support. The opening total of 67 is up a point to 68.
MEMPHIS AT TULSA (on ESPN): Big move here on the total, as an opener of 72 has flown up to 77. Memphis games can be tough to peg because they’re prone to playing shootouts. Quants thought oddsmakers missed the mark badly with that opener. On the team side, Memphis opened at -10, and has lifted up to -10.5. There hasn’t been resistance to that yet. But, this game hasn’t exactly been on everyone’s radar this week. That move is probably position-taking on the assumption that the public will want to bet the team that just knocked off Ole Miss in a big TV game. I can assure you that many sharps are lying in wait to see what they can get on the home dog in this obvious letdown spot for the visitor. They’re hoping for +11 or better.
UTAH STATE AT SAN DIEGO STATE (on ESPN2): Utah State recently impressed in a home win over Boise State (though they were helped a lot by turnovers!). That respect led to an opening line of Utah State -4, and a Wise Guy push up to -5. We’re not near any critical numbers yet…and this may not be a game the public cares much about. That could lead to a quiet settling here on the five unless the public comes in to give the Wise Guys something to fade. Another big move on the total, as an opener of 47 is down to 44. This is expected to be a defensive battle that would take cheap points off turnovers or special teams to bring the Over into play.
ALCS GAME SIX: TORONTO AT KANSAS CITY (on FOX-Sports 1): We have time to throw in the baseball…though there’s not much to report in the earliest betting action. David Price of the Blue Jays opened at -140 over Yordano Ventura of the Royals. First money was in on the dog fairly tentatively…so what you’re probably seeing now is a few cents lower. Price has been a perplexing pitcher for sharps. His career norms are as a clear ace. But, in playoff action, he’s been awful. Sharps tend to bet based on skill sets and career norms rather than short term trends…so Price has been costing them a lot the past few seasons whichever team he’s been pitching for. At least for now, they seemed to have stopped backing him. Will they fade him? Monitor the prices between now and Friday night’s first pitch.
My top betting opinions in ALL sports are always available for credit card purchase here at the website. If you have any questions about longterm packages, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. It’s not even November yet, so there’s still plenty of football ahead.
See you again around lunchtime Friday for a look at marquee matchups in college football. The NFL report should be ready by late Friday afternoon. Thanks for reading!
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