Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 1:00 PM
Time for our look at late-week (Thursday/Friday) football betting, and Saturday’s college marquee matchups. Here’s what sharps (professional wagerers) have been doing so far in the games you’ll be watching on TV.
MINNESOTA AT THE LA RAMS: An opener of Rams -7 is sitting on that number today. But, it’s not true that the line has stayed frozen all week. Early sharp money on Minnesota did bring the game down to -6.5. The public loves the Rams. And, some sharp influences do as well…they came in when they saw that 6.5. I’m not sure if this will stick all day, or if we’ll see a tug-of-war between Rams -6.5 and Vikings +7. Los Angeles is getting a lot of respect in futures prices, and with quants. Worth nothing that the opening Over/Under of 47 has been bet up to 48.5 or 49. Sharps don’t like the Minnesota defense this year as much as they did last year.
NORTH CAROLINA AT MIAMI: An opener of Miami -18 has been bet down to -17.5. We’re not to the key number of 17 yet. Oddsmakers likely believe the public wants to bet the ranked/favored Hurricanes…and would jump in hard at -17. Sports books would prefer to wait the squares (general public) out and make them lay -17.5 before kickoff. We’ll see. Sharps like the dog at +18.
MEMPHIS AT TULANE: Big move here on Memphis from an opener of -11.5 up to the key number of -14. Betting stopped at the two-touchdown mark. Important to note that there wasn’t a buy back on the dog yet. That’s a surprise for a HOME dog in a TV game. Looks like it’s going to take +14.5 to bring in old-school underdog bettors. Sharps, particularly the quants, like Memphis at -13.5 or below.
UCLA AT COLORADO: Colorado opened at -11, which would have been hard to imagine a month ago. UCLA really has been that bad so far. But, sharps did take the Bruins at +11, +10.5, and +10. We’re now seeing either Colorado -9 or -9.5 out there. No support yet for the Buffaloes. Tough to trust an inconsistent team as a favorite of more than a touchdown. Will be interesting to see how (or if) the public plays this.
SATURDAY MARQUEE MATCHUPS
SYRACUSE AT CLEMSON: Why am I putting a game like this in the mix? Clemson’s favored by 25.5 points as we go to press! Very simple. This is an important game for the season because Clemson just made a quarterback change to a guy sharps love. Trevor Lawrence takes over for this game, which caused the opening line of Clemson -19.5 to rise six points! Also, Syracuse is a talented dog that could make this one very interesting if there’s any sort of awkward transition. Looking forward, sharps are much more optimistic about Clemson’s chances to upset the SEC apple cart in January with Lawrence than they were with Kelly Bryant (who has already announced he’s transferring). Note that the Over/Under rose from 61 to 66. Sharps LOVE the new guy!
BYU AT WASHINGTON: BYU knocked off a highly ranked team a few weeks ago at Wisconsin. Can they do the same thing here? Washington opened at -16.5, and has been bet up to -17 or -17.5 depending on the store. BYU does get interest at +17.5…which could create a tug-of-war between now and kickoff between Washington -17 and BYU +17.5. The Over/Under is in the mid 40’s. This tells you sharps think BYU will have some trouble moving the ball and scoring…more than it did at Wiscy. If sharps LOVED this dog, they would have come in at +17 rather than +17.5.
OHIO STATE AT PENN STATE: This is the game everyone will be watching. Kind of feels like a playoff game already because the winner has the inside track in the Big 10 East. Ohio State opened at -4. No interest on the chalk at that price. We’re now seeing -3.5, and even -3 out there right now. Ohio State’s stats vs. TCU weren’t as good as the final score. And, Penn State’s been closing well since the shaky opener vs. Appalachian State. Quants pounded this Over from 65 all the way up to 71. That tells you the weather will be nice, and that both defenses will likely be overpowered by the opponent’s offensive talent.
WEST VIRGINIA AT TEXAS TECH: West Virginia has a real chance to win the Big 12 now that Oklahoma has been exposed a bit…having to go overtime in Norman against Army. Tough test in Lubbock. Texas Tech found themselves after a poor start, and impressed on the road at Oklahoma State last week. An opener of West Virginia -4 has been bet down to -3.5. Sports books expect the favorite to get hard if the key number of three comes into play.
STANFORD AT NOTRE DAME: Strong interest on Notre Dame from the Wise Guys. An opener of -3.5 moved hard away from the key number. We’re now seeing ND -5.5 painted. You regulars know that any move away from any key number is a big story. Sharps like the quarterback change with the Irish almost as much as they do with the one at Clemson. I do think Stanford money would come in at +6 if the public bets Notre Dame on game day.
MICHIGAN AT NORTHWESTERN: Remember how much the sharps loved Michigan back in the season opener at Notre Dame. Hurt them badly there. Same thing is happening here, but at a higher price. Michigan was bet from an opener of -11 up through a key number to -14.5. And, it’s holding steady with the hook…no buy back on the home dog. That’s tremendous support for the Wolverines against what’s often a feisty home underdog. Opening total of 49 is down to 47, which means sharps think NW will have trouble putting points on the board.
I’m looking forward to all the big games this weekend. 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. Don’t forget to ask about packages that include the baseball playoffs.
Thanks for reading. I appreciate all of you that have made this feature so popular with sports bettors. Back with you Friday afternoon to talk about the rest of the NFL.