Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 10:00 AM
The college football postseason is just racing by! We’re now within arm’s reach of the much hyped and anticipated Final Four matchups featuring Oklahoma vs. Clemson and Alabama vs. Michigan State. Before we discuss sharp betting in those, let’s run through how the Wise Guys have been betting the Wednesday and Thursday preliminaries that lead up to that doubleheader.
WEDNESDAY’S BOWL GAMES
BIRMINGHAM BOWL: AUBURN VS. MEMPHIS (in Ft. Worth on ESPN)
Money started hitting the board offshore early Wednesday…which means the Vegas books will be following that when they open up (early writing deadline today!). The opener of Auburn -3 is now up to -4 or -4.5 at some offshore books. That just might be in response to LSU looking so great vs. Texas Tech Tuesday night. The only SEC team to take the field so far covered by three touchdowns. Plus, the American Athletic Conference that Memphis belongs to has mostly been a disappointment. The only combination win/cover has come from Navy, who was playing on its home field. So, it’s late support for Auburn on the team side. The total has been pushed up by quants from an opener of 61.5 to 63.5.
BELK BOWL: NC STATE VS. MISSISSIPPI STATE (in Charlotte on ESPN)
Similar situation here with SEC money coming in offshore before the Vegas books have opened for business on Wednesday. The opener of Mississippi State -5 had already risen to -6. Now we’re seeing a push to the key number of seven. Tough to back NC State (even in Charlotte) after NC looked so bad as a favorite against Baylor. That’s 1-4 ATS out of the gate for the ACC. And, it was an ACC team from Pittsburgh that gave Navy that only win/cover for the AAC. The total was pushed hard by quants from an opener of 57.5 up to 61.
MUSIC CITY BOWL: TEXAS A&M VS. LOUISVILLE (in Nashville on ESPN)
News of Texas A&M losing its top two quarterbacks to transfer helped move this from the opener of Texas A&M -3 all the way to Louisville -5. Sharps who were interested jump in during that process. It’s been pretty dead since. Tough to back the Aggies with confidence with an unknown at quarterback. The Over/Under had dropped from 51.5 to 48 on the assumption he’d struggle. Though, some offshore Over money has been coming in this morning at the 48.
HOLIDAY BOWL: USC VS. WISCONSIN (in San Diego on ESPN)
Interesting game…because both teams typically have strong backing in Las Vegas…but neither is in the form right now that would encourage big money bets. We’re seeing a slight tug-of-war between USC -3 and Wisconsin -3.5. Though, line value often doesn’t mean much in the bowls. You’ve already seen how few games are landing near the number. More “square” money will be backing USC because of LA’s proximity to Vegas, which will probably keep the game at -3.5. The total is down a bit from 51 to 50.
NEW YEAR’S EVE BOWL GAMES (including two National Semifinals)
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL: HOUSTON VS. FLORIDA STATE (in Atlanta on ESPN)
Florida State opened at -6.5 and was pushed to the key number of -7. Not a particularly passionate push on the front end, but no significant buyback on the dog either. Both conferences (AAC and ACC) have struggled against expectations so far…which doesn’t give the math or matchup guys much to go on. I do know some dog lovers are waiting to see if +7.5 comes into play after the public has more time to bet the game. If sharps liked FSU, we’d have seen the hook already. The total is up a point from 54.5 to 55.5.
NATIONAL SEMIFINAL #1
ORANGE BOWL: CLEMSON VS. OKLAHOMA (in Miami on ESPN)
I’m going in kickoff order rather than Nevada rotation order here. This is the game you’ll be watching first in the big doubleheader. Oklahoma moved from -3.5 to -4 on the news of some Clemson suspensions. Also…there may be some anti-ACC money coming into play after North Carolina looked so bad vs. Baylor. OU’s win over Baylor was more impressive than Clemson’s win over North Carolina once you factor in where the games were played. Sharps who want to fade Bob Stoops are going to wait to see if they can get a better number. Those wanting to bet OU (sharps and squares alike) will have to accept that -3 has very little chance of coming into play because of those suspensions. Generally speaking, this will be a game where sharps will be looking at line value with the dog while squares will be laying points with OU hoping for a laugher. If sharps wanted OU, this game would have been making a run at -5 or -6 already. Not much happening yet on the Over/Under.
NATIONAL SEMIFINAL #2
COTTON BOWL: ALABAMA VS. MICHIGAN STATE (in Arlington on ESPN)
What had been a tug-of-war between Alabama -9.5 and Michigan State -10 has mostly settled in on the 10 now. The public is going to be on the favorite. Sharp support for the big dog won’t be enough to offset that volume unless there’s a surprising headline between now and kickoff. Big move on the total, as an opener of 49 has come down to 46.5. In some ways, sharps who “like” Alabama preferred to bet Under 49, 48, and 47 rather than lay the 10 points. Alabama’s defense matches up very well with Michigan State’s disappointing offense.
My bowl BEST BETS continue to run very well. Thanks to all of you who have signed up for service! You can purchase my top daily plays right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 before the day games kick off Wednesday and Thursday.
Back with you tomorrow to study the New Year’s Bash and those four games set for Saturday January 2. Here’s the upcoming reporting schedule…
Thursday December 31: The New Year’s and post-New Year’s bash for January 1-2 featuring the Outback, Citrus, Fiesta, Rose, Sugar, TaxSlayer, Liberty, Alamo, and Cactus bowls.
Saturday January 2: we close out the 2015 NFL regular season with a look at Week 17.
Tuesday January 5: A look at NFL Super Bowl Futures at the close of the regular season.
Friday January 8: A close study of how sharps have been betting the four Wildcard Weekend games that will kick off the NFL Playoffs.
Monday January 11: Sharp betting in the College Football National Championship!
Thanks for reading and visiting daily through this super-busy part of the football schedule. See you tomorrow as we get ready to bring in a Happy New Year!
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