Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 1:00 PM
Another weekend of football is about to begin. Today I’ll look at how sharps (professional wagerers) have been betting Thursday and Friday night action…along with a few marquee matchups in the Saturdays colleges (including Penn State/Ohio State). I’ll be back at the usual time Friday afternoon to preview the rest of this weekend’s NFL.
As always, games are covered in Nevada Rotation order so you can make comments in your schedules to review up until kickoff.
Miami at Baltimore: The market has been very solid on Baltimore -3 all week. Sharps would fade any move off that key number, particularly in a game with such a low Over/Under (37.5, down from 38) where every point is so precious. It’s tough to love either side given their respective issues. I would expect this game to stay on the three all day, barring surprising injury news or an unexpected late-day syndicate move.
Toledo at Ball State: Ball State is horrible! Toledo has been bet up from an opener of -23 to -26. Some dog money does come in at +26, which has caused a few stores to settle at Ball State +25.5. The Over/Under was driven down by quants from 61 to 56.5. Wind might be a minor issue. But, that’s mostly a reflection that Ball State will have trouble scoring points.
South Alabama at Georgia State: South Alabama opened as a short road favorite at -2. It’s now just -1 or pick-em at most stores. Not avid passion for the home dog. But, it’s always telling when an opener under -3 isn’t driven toward the key number. This went away from the key number, which means Georgia State is the sharp side. The total has been bet up from 48 to 50.
Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois: Northern Illinois opened at -8. It was driven down to the key number of seven…where it’s been sitting ever since. For now, no buy back on the home favorite at that key price. We WOULD see favorite money come in at -6.5. Basically, sharps liked the road dog at +8 or +7.5, but would hit the favorite below the seven. Big move from quants on the total from 42 up to 46.
Stanford at Oregon State: Not much interest in this game because Oregon State’s been so bad…but Stanford’s head coach has a history of calling off the dogs with a big lead (though he didn’t do that against Rice in the season opener). Most stores are at -21 or -21.5 for the Cardinal. Dog lovers have taken some flyers with the hook. The public will likely lay the chalk if they play this game. That’s a big if.
Florida State at Boston College: This might be a fun game to watch. Boston College got good all of a sudden, upsetting Louisville and routing Virginia. Florida State has a ton of talent, but doesn’t have much to play for until rivalry games with Clemson and Florida down the road. FSU opened at -3.5 as a road favorite. It was bet up to -4, where it’s been sitting since. I believe some dog lovers are waiting to see if the public drives the game higher before they take a piece of BC. The Over/Under is up from 45 to 47 because Boston College’s offense has shown improvement in recent weeks.
Tulane at Memphis: Memphis opened at -10…and has been bet up to -10.5 or -11 depending on the store. That’s not aggressive support…so we might see Tulane money come in if the public drives the game higher. Tough to gauge this year how the public is going to bet some of these lesser conference weeknight matchups. It’s mostly “sharps vs. the oddsmakers” in many of them.
Tulsa at SMU: This one opened at -10 and went the other way. Tulsa is now +9.5 at most stores (+9 at some outliers). SMU is one of those teams that’s hard to trust as a big favorite. Tulsa did shock Houston a couple weeks ago, but struggled vs. lowly UCONN last week. The Over/Under is up from 73.5 to 76.5 from quant action, despite the possibility for a chilly, windy night (by Texas standards).
SATURDAY MARQUEE MATCHUPS
Oklahoma State at West Virginia: The market has had some trouble figuring out what’s going on in the Big 12. Both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State were seen as potential Final Four contenders entering the season. Both had early success. Yet, OU has been on a long pointspread slide, and Okie State has failed to cover three of its last four. Here, Oklahoma State opened at -7 on the road against a respected opponent. Some stores have tested -7.5 because of early betting on the favorite. Note that West Virginia had covered four of its last five before falling asleep with a big lead at Baylor last week. Rain is currently likely, which could influence both passing attacks. The total is hanging around 74 as sharps wait to see what game-day weather is going to look like.
NC State at Notre Dame: Suddenly a big game because Notre Dame is in the Final Four discussion while NC State is a serious threat in the ACC. The Irish opened at -8.5 off that impressive blowout of USC. Sharps jumped right in on the dog rather than waiting to see if the public kept riding ND. That’s very telling…because the Wise Guys were fine with the dog at +8. 5 and +8. We’re now seeing Notre Dame -7.5 at most stores…with some sevens out there. I would expect the public (and some sharps) to back the Irish at the key number. We’re looking at a tug-of-war between ND -7 and NC State +7.5 on game day most likely. The fact that this is happening BELOW the opener suggests a lot of respect for the Wolfpack. The Over/Under has fallen from 61 to 58 as temperatures are supposed to be in the low 40’s with a chance for rain and wind.
Georgia vs. Florida (in Jacksonville): A big change from summer expectations! This was seen as a toss-up before the campaign began, with both teams perceived as threats to win the SEC East. Now, Georgia is -14, and knocking on the door of the Final Four. Some stores are testing Georgia -13.5 based on early dog money. No sharps wanted to lay this high a number in a rivalry game with a low total (an opener of 46.5 was bet down to 43.5). The public might back the favorite on game day. Georgia is 5-0 ATS this year at spreads below -20. Maybe we’ll have a tug-of-war between Georgia -13.5 and Florida +14.
Penn State at Ohio State: This is the one everyone’s waiting to see. Don’t forget that it’s an afternoon game rather than a prime-time matchup. FOX will be showing this showcase during the day, then Game 4 of the World Series Saturday night. The first numbers up were around Ohio State -6.5. Very early money hit Penn State hard, driving the line down to -5. Other stores opened at the five. Buckeyes backers stepped in…pushing the line all the way back up to -6.5. If the public drives the line up to OSU -7, dog lovers would really jump in hard. But, Ohio State does get market respect at -5, -5.5, and -6. Many of the quants have Ohio State rated up with Alabama despite its home loss to Oklahoma. A rare split between different sharp syndicates in this one. Not much interest in the total. There is a chance for light rain.
Looks like a great weekend ahead. You can purchase my BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card every day. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about combination packages featuring football and basketball (plus the rest of the World Series).
Thanks for reading. See you again Friday.