Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 12:00 PM
The late week schedule is starting to pick up. So, we have a few good games to talk about for Thursday and Friday. I’ll also throw in the big Saturday night showdown featuring Clemson and Virginia Tech as we review sharp betting in games you’ll be watching on TV. Then, I’ll be back Friday at the usual time to rundown the rest of the NFL slate.
Chicago at Green Bay: An opener of Green Bay -7.5 moved down to the solid seven fairly quickly. The public is likely to lay the points with a high profile team on a key number like that…so that could easily happen through the rest of the day. Some stores are already testing 7.5 again. Most likely scenario is a tug-of-war between Green Bay -7 and Chicago +7.5. I know a few sharps who really like that hook. You regulars are aware that the two-team teaser window comes into play here. Stores that hate taking teaser plays may stick at seven because they don’t want to sweat Green Bay -1.5 in a lot of teasers. The Over/Under has dropped from 45.5 down to 44 on the chance of light rain showers, and because Chicago’s offense has had trouble moving the ball in its first three games.
Texas at Iowa State: Iowa State was a popular bet earlier in the week, but Texas has started rising from -4 on game day…and is up to -4.5 or -5 depending on where you shop. The public doesn’t mind laying numbers below a TD with high profile programs. Plus, many watched the latter stages of Texas/USC when the game turned out to be surprisingly close. Sharps prefer the home dog, and may let the squares push this game higher before stepping in again. The total is down from 64 to 62 because of concerns about the Longhorns inexperienced offense. Quants were getting Under gradings because much of UT’s scoring this year has been on defensive pick-sixes.
Miami at Duke: Miami has been bet up from an opener of -4.5 to -6.5. Sharps who liked the Hurricanes jumped in quickly…and this is a program getting respect from Wise Guys out of the gate. Should the line go to the full seven, dog lovers will definitely be jumping in on the host. That’s not really a tug-of-war between sharps because of the distance…but you could say that Miami is the sharp side below six, before Duke would become the sharp side at +7 or more. Key numbers are that important, and sway the percentages that much. The total has dropped two points from 57.5 to 55.5.
Nebraska at Illinois: Not a game sharps are very interested in because both teams have been disappointments. Illinois has looked awful for long stretches. You already know about the turmoil at Nebraska for a team that expected to contend this season. Early dog money came in on the Illini at the opener +6.5. There wasn’t any expectation that the public would want to lay points here. We may stick at 5.5 from this point forward. Maybe squares will come in for action on the favorite, bringing the six back into play. Big drop on the total from 52 to 46. That’s not weather related based on the forecast. Quants in particular got a big Under grading because Nebraska’s offense has been so bad this season, and because Huskers running back Tre Bryant is expected to miss the game.
BYU at Utah State: Interest on another home dog here, as Utah State is down from +3 to +1.5. BYU hasn’t impressed yet this season, with an offense that’s struggled even vs. lesser defenses. No interest on the total, which is still sitting at the opener of 46. Quants are getting more aggressive with larger sample sizes in their 2017 database. Telling that they wanted no part of this total.
USC at Washington State: This is the game everyone’s been waiting for this week, particularly here in Las Vegas. USC has a huge local following when the team is good. Washington State entered the season highly respected by sharps because of quarterback Luke Falk. Because USC is in a disappointing division in the Pac 12, this could be one of the most important regular season conference games all season. The opener of USC -4 has been bet down to -3.5. That actually suggests A LOT of sharp support because USC is such a popular betting team with the public. Sharps were happy to take plus 4, and will be happy to do so again if it comes back into play between now and kickoff. This will be one of the most heavily bet Thursday or Friday night college regular season games EVER because of the teams involved and that late Friday start time. The total has been bet up from 62.5 to 64.5 in spite of the forecast for possible light rain and wind that might reach 10-15 mph. Of course, the Cougars are used to playing in weather like that.
SATURDAY’S BIG GAME
Clemson at Virginia Tech: The Hokies may be the last real threat on the Clemson schedule, at least until the ACC Championship game. And, that could turn out to be a rematch with Virginia Tech! Sharps have been very impressed with this Clemson defense…and the quants are getting big gradings to them because of their statistical blowouts. An opener of Clemson -5.5 was bet all the way up to -7.5 or -8. That’s a BIG deal because the move blew through the key number of seven. Some old-school sharps are going to like this home dog at a dangerous site. They’re waiting to see what they can get before entering the fray. For now, the math guys (and some squares) have spoken. Old school dog lovers will get their money in before kickoff. The Over/Under has been bet up from 49 to 51.
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Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow for a complete rundown of the rest of the NFL.