Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 11:30 AM
Another busy late-week schedule, with a lucky seven football games on the Thursday night card, followed by three more on Friday. That will lead us into a huge weekend that features blockbusters like LSU/Alabama and Florida State/Clemson in the colleges…and Green Bay/Carolina in the pros.
Games are presented in Nevada rotation order so you can make notes on your schedules.
CLEVELAND AT CINCINNATI (on NFL Network): Johnny Manziel is going to get the start at quarterback for Cleveland…and the market thinks Johnny Football is awful! A high opening line of Cincinnati -10.5 was bet away from the critical number up to -11. That’s where it sits now. It’s only a half-point move…but it’s a half point on a double digit line going away from a key number (10). Very telling. The Over/Under has dropped from 47.5 to 45.5 on the same principal. He’s not expected to move the ball and put points on the board. Even the old school guys who like taking every double digit dog are hesitant to step in unless they get a better line.
BAYLOR AT KANSAS STATE (on Fox Sports1): The only national superpower on the late-week card is Baylor, who opened at -16 and was bet up to -17. That’s despite the fact that they’ll be starting their backup QB for the rest of the season…and here they’re facing a head coach who usually gets respect as a home underdog. Sharps think Baylor is a “system” team that won’t lose much with a QB switch. And, Kansas State has been so awful during their recent shorthanded stretch that they’re not seem as being competitive here. We might see a tug-of-war around the 17 if the public is active. Maybe that’s at K-State +17 and Baylor -16.5…or a tick higher at K-State +17.5 and Baylor -17. The total has dropped from 70 to 67.5 because the quants project less production from Baylor with the QB switch…and there’s a decent chance Baylor sits on a late lead if the opportunity arises.
BUFFALO AT KENT STATE: This one has been time changed to 7 p.m. ET. So, it’s actually the first kickoff of the night even though it’s second on the printed schedules. Buffalo opened at -3. Most action has been coming in on the dog. Stores are fairly solid at Buffalo -2.5 now. Telling that there wasn’t much buy back on the road favorite. The Over/Under has been bet down from 47 to 45 by the quants (weather isn’t supposed to be an issue based on the latest forecast).
ARKANSAS STATE AT APPALACHIAN STATE (on ESPNU): Appalachian State opened at -11.5, and was bet down toward the key number of 10. As of now, it looks like we have a tug-of-war shaping up at App-State -10 and Arkansas State +10.5 or better. The total of 62 has come down a point to 61…which isn’t really much of a move at a number that high. Some tentative interest on the Under.
BALL STATE AT WESTERN MICHIGAN: Odd situation here. Virtually nothing has happened on the side or total (Western Michigan -14.5 and 62) even though there’s a forecast for rain and double digit wind gusts. That suggests sharps were thinking about the favorite and Over but backed off because of the weather. Telling that the Wise Guys didn’t jump on the dog and Under given the forecast. No respect for Ball State.
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT MISSOURI (on ESPN): You know ESPN was hoping this would be a bigger game back when it was set for a Thursday night. Missouri is the two-time defending champs of the East. But, times have been so hard for Mizzou in 2015 that Mississippi State opened as a 7-point road favorite before being bet up to -8. The total rose from 39.5 to 43 because the visitors usually bring energy and pace to proceedings. Note that weather is supposed to be a big factor here…with possible thunderstorms and strong winds. The total went up anyway!
NEVADA AT FRESNO STATE (on ESPN2): Not much interest yet…but locals may get involved since Nevada is playing on a national cable channel. The opener of Nevada -4.5 has come down a tick to the four. Quants hit Under 56.5 on the opener…bringing the total down to 65.
TEMPLE AT SMU (on ESPN2): Temple opened at -14. Situational bettors seeing a potential fatigue spot off the grueling Saturday night loss to Notre Dame bet the dog. It’s now painted at -13.5 without any buy back on the favorite. Not much interest relatively speaking…because the passion for SMU was only worth half a point initially…and then nobody was nibbling on Temple below the key number. A huge move on the total here as an opener of 58.5 has been bet all the way down to 51. There’s a chance for some rain…but that’s much more of a quant move because Temple runs clock and tends to play in the high 30’s or 40’s when they can control their own destiny. Sharps who “liked” Temple hit the Under hard rather than laying the tall number too.
RICE AT UTEP (on CBS Sports Network): Ugly one. Rice opened at -6 on the road. They’ve been bet up to -6.5 and -7, though underdog money starts to come in on the key number. Possibly a soft tug-of-war in a low interest game between those last two numbers. Nothing of interest from sharps happening on the total.
BYU at SAN JOSE STATE (on CBS Sports Network): BYU opened at -12…and was bet up past 13 and -13.5 to -14 in some spots. Some home dog interest starts to come in on the key number. That will probably set up a tug-of-war in the hours leading up to kickoff at BYU -13.5 and San Jose State +14. Wise Guys who laid 13 or less were very happy with their early positions on the road favorite. Quiet total here too.
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Back Friday at lunchtime to look at marquee college football matchups on that loaded Saturday schedule. Then our weekly NFL report will go up a few hours later here in the Vegas-Sports-Masters blog. Thanks for reading!
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