Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Monday, August 27, 2018 at 12:00 PM
Generally speaking, my football articles will be looking forward through this coming season. Starting next week, Thursdays will focus on how sharps are betting the Thursday and Friday action, plus select marquee matchups in college football Saturday. Then, our traditional Friday report (popular for years under different authors) will look at how sharps are betting the rest of that week's NFL action.
This is our final week in the summer schedule...so, our last Monday report for awhile. I wanted to spend today talking about how far off the betting markets were for the first two games of the college season. A quick look back to a couple of days ago.
*Hawaii (plus 17) beat Colorado State 43-34 (and it wasn't that close!)
*Wyoming (-6) won at New Mexico State 29-7 (was never close!)
Hawaii covered by 26 points, and at one point was ahead of the market by 47 points with a 37-7 second-half lead. Wyoming covered by 16 points...but you never got the sense NMSU would score in the first teamers if the game was close. Only points from the home dog came late in garbage time. If Wyoming played a more free-wheeling style, it might have won 52-7.
To say that oddsmakers and sharps misread these teams is an understatement. Now...obviously some sharps were betting Wyoming late in the week. But, even they weren't thinking the game was going to be THAT one-sided or the number would have risen past the key number of seven. Sharps stopped betting once six was in play. Sixteen would have been too small a number.
Colorado State was supposed to crush Hawaii. That line was bet up from -14 to -17. WRONG! From the get-go, the "big, ugly dog" looked like the better team. Hawaii did get tired in the fourth quarter, which isn't a big surprise for an island team playing a season opener at altitude.
Now, the question is...how much of an adjustment should you make in your Power Ratings? I have to say that this is going to be tricky. Normally, I'd tell you not to overreact. Even when the market misses big, teams usually regress the next week, or gradually in time. The problem here is that game stats and the eye test basically confirmed the final scores. CSU really was that bad (until late). Hawaii gained more than 600 yards. An offense that potent deserves respect. Wyoming might be a top 20 caliber team...at least the type that can win defensive struggles with other ranked teams. Some publications didn't have the Cowboys in the top 80 entering the season.
In the past I'd say that moving 2-3 points might be too much. You could make the case that all four teams should be moved seven points or more! Hawaii and Wyoming are much better than they were given credit for. CSU and NMSU much worse.
Personally, I'm going to move my numbers conservatively...but I'll keep an eye on these future games for guidance.
Hawaii: Saturday vs. Navy, September 15 at Army
Colorado State: Friday vs. Colorado (in Denver), September 8 vs. Arkansas, September 15 at Florida (great schedule for getting a clean read on the Rams).
Wyoming: Saturday vs. Washington State, September 8 at Missouri (good tests in advance of what's shaping up as a huge game September 29 vs. Boise State).
New Mexico State: Thursday at Minnesota (short week!) September 8 at Utah State, September 15 vs. New Mexico. (The Aggies are an Independent this year, with several weaker opponents late in the season.
I'm confident I'll have these teams pegged by the end of the month, if not sooner. I could very well take what I learned last week when making my customer releases later this week. I definitely have my eye on Wyoming again. Home dogs with great defenses are historically sound bets.
Early lines for those teams this week:
Thursday: New Mexico State is up from +17.5 to +20 at Minnesota
Friday: Colorado State is up from +6 to +7.5 vs. Colorado in Denver
Saturday: Wyoming is down to +3 from +3.5 vs. Washington State
Saturday: Hawaii is +14.5 vs. Navy
I think you'll see Wise Guy interest in Wyoming by Saturday. I think you'll see the quants looking at the Over in Navy/Hawaii because Hawaii and CSU combined for 77 points on 1,270 yards. Though, Navy's option-based offense does run clock very well.
We'll talk about all the marquee matchups later this week. I'm personally very interested to see what happens in the Michigan/Notre Dame line.
If you'd like additional help from your "friend" in Las Vegas, you can purchase 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 long term or combination packages that offer the best value. Thanks to all of you who were with me this past Saturday for Wyoming (-6) over NMSU. Off to a 1-0 start in college football. I also won by biggest NFL release of the weekend with a 2-unit play on the LA Rams (+) outright over Houston.
Thanks for reading. It was great meeting so many new sports bettors in the New Jersey area. I know college football betting is going to be very hot there...and it will be HUGE with locals in Mississippi and West Virginia. Such an exciting time to work in this industry. See you at the end of the week.