Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Thursday, August 31, 2017 at 10:00 AM
We’re going to transition from Preseason to regular season for 2017 beginning today. No reason to worry about all of those Week Four exhibition games in the NFL where very few starters will be seeing any action. Most sharps only have token involvement because limits are small and there’s so much randomness when backups are playing the whole way.
We have plenty of college football action Thursday and Friday to talk about. Then, I’ll be back with you tomorrow to look at how sharps have been betting the marquee college football games scheduled for Labor Day Weekend (including that huge game between Alabama and Florida State).
Ohio State at Indiana: This game has been around OSU -21 since it went up weeks ago. Sharps didn’t like the favorite at that price or they would have moved above the key number. They’re waiting to see if the public pushes the game any higher. So far, we haven’t seen as much public interest in the Buckeyes as anticipated. Some stores are testing 20.5, as a few sharps have decided it’s worth getting in at +21 just in case it doesn’t go higher. Indiana will be the sharp side at +21 or better. We’ll see what the squares do before kickoff.
Buffalo at Minnesota: Openers went up on these Week One games earlier this summer. So, we’ve seen some big line moves that were based on early sharp action at lower limits. Buffalo has been hit from +26.5 down to +24. That’s a key number (three TD’s and a field goal). I would expect sharps to fade any public move off the 24. That would mostly likely mean the dog…because squares rarely like big ugly dogs. So far, the betting public hasn’t been interested in Big 10 favorites.
Louisiana Monroe at Memphis: Slight move here on ULM from +27 down to +26. A low interest game for sharps and squares alike at this price.
New Mexico State at Arizona State: We’re down from Arizona State -25 to New Mexico State +22.5. The public took some hits in recent years on mediocre Pac 12 teams laying way too many points out of the gate. They didn’t want ASU…and the Wise Guys figured they might as well take anything at +23 or better on the dog. No resistance yet from the public.
Florida International at Central Florida: Another low interest game involving teams most squares don’t pay any attention to. Still sitting on favored UCF -17.
Tulsa at Oklahoma State: The first number up a couple of months ago in Las Vegas was Oklahoma State -10. That didn’t last very long at all…because many sharps are looking at Okie State as a high-quality team this season. Tulsa has to break in a brand new starting quarterback. The more recent opening at other stores was OSU -16.5. That’s been bet up to -18…and might go higher if the public byes into media hype about the Cowboys. We haven’t yet found a number that brings in strong support on the dog. Maybe +18.5 or +19 will do it.
Charlotte at Eastern Michigan: Eastern Michigan has been pushed up from an opener of -12.5 to the key number of -14. That tells you sharps liked the home favorite, and wanted to get in before the public. This may be a game that squares leave alone because of the teams involved. Dog play from old school sharps might come in at +14.5. Low interest game.
Washington at Rutgers: Very interesting that Washington has been bet down from an opener of -31 all the way through the key number of -28 to -27.5. A lot of folks out here in Las Vegas love this team, head coach and quarterback. But, they couldn’t justify laying THAT many points on the road. Plus, the quants were getting math gradings on the home dog too. I would expect the public to bet Washington once they start paying attention to Friday’s schedule. Sharps will take plus 28 or better on Rutgers.
Navy at Florida Atlantic: Huge move here on Florida Atlantic, as the market is showing respect for new head coach Lane Kiffin. They don’t trust him as a favorite at a big program. But, he is expected to cause immediate improvement at a smaller place like FAU. An opener of FAU +14.5 is all the way down to +9.5. That means it blew through two key numbers (14 and 10) on the way down. Sharps still loved the home dog at +10. The public might take a shot on Navy as a single-digit favorite come game day, setting up a tug-of-war around the key number of 10.
Utah State at Wisconsin: We’ve come through a key number here, as Utah State +29 is now down to +27.5. A high number like 28 isn’t the same as blowing through a 7 or a 3. But, it is telling that sharps hit Utah State despite the fact that Wisconsin is a high-profile team getting a lot of media hype this season. The Wise Guys wanted to get in at +28 or better without even waiting to see if “better” became available from square money. That’s an indicator for strong support.
Boston College at Northern Illinois: Wow…a very important move here for a road favorite that doesn’t have a great reputation as chalk soaring through the key number of three. BC opened at -1.5, but is now all the way up to -3.5 and holding on the road. I’ve seen some stores test the four. What will it take to bring in sharp money on this home dog?
Colorado State vs. Colorado (in Denver): Colorado State looked great last week in blowing out Oregon State. That plus having a week head start on sharpness and execution has brought in big money on them as a neutral field dog. An opener of +7 is all the way down to +4.5…with some stores testing +4 and rumors that it might go even lower. Sharps respect that head start advantage in college football. And, the market has been undershooting quarterback Nick Stevens ever since he took back his starting position in the second half of last season.
That’s it for Thursday and Friday. You can purchase my daily BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about full season rates that offer the most bang for your buck, and combination packages that include baseball through the World Series.
Thanks for reading. See you again tomorrow to talk about the holiday weekend college football slate.