Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 2:00 PM
A great historical divisional rivalry featuring the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants kicks off a new weekend of football. I’ll start our look at Thursday, Friday, and marquee Saturday action right there. Then, I’ll be back with you Friday afternoon to look at sharp betting in the rest of this week’s NFL.
PHILADELPHIA AT THE NY GIANTS: I held back a little on the release of today’s report because it looks like it’s going to be rainy Thursday night in the Meadowlands. Wanted to see if the Wise Guys hit the Under. Hasn’t happened yet. And, it may not happen given how skittish sharps are about asking two defenses in the same game to succeed for them. The Over/Under is only down a point to 44, from the opener of 45. Keep an eye on that through the late afternoon. Definitely interest in the Giants as a divisional home underdog, as an opening line of +3 has been bet down to +1.5 or even +1 depending on where you shop. That also means the Giants will be a popular choice in two-team teasers at prices ranging from +1.5 to +2.5, because you can use six points to move them up to +7.5 to +8.5 (crossing both the three and the seven). So, sharps LOVE the Giants at +3, and are going to like them in teasers.
TEXAS TECH AT TCU: Host TCU gets the smart money at -7, but it stops coming in once a store is at -7.5. So, interest in the Horned Frogs on the key number, but not above it. No buy back yet on Texas Tech. The Over/Under has come down from 61 to 58.5. That suggests support for TCU’s defense and ability to run clock. Conditions should be great, so that’s not a weather-related line move.
GEORGIA SOUTHERN AT TEXAS STATE: Limited interest in this game from all accounts. An opener of Georgia Southern -17.5 is still painted. Quants did play the Over, as the total has risen from 51 to 53.
SOUTH FLORIDA AT TULSA: Sharp interest on the home underdog. An opening line of USF -7.5 was bet down to the touchdown. The Wise Guys didn’t believe the public would play this game, so they didn’t bother waiting around to see if +8 became available. Respect for this host and the key number from the math guys. The total is down 1.5 points from 63 to 61.5.
ARIZONA AT UTAH: It’s amazing how far Arizona has fallen in perceptions this season. Utah opened at a tall -13, and the game was bet UP. We’re now seeing -13.5 everywhere. I do believe dog lovers would come in on the key number of +14. But, the Wildcats just aren’t a team anyone wants in this spot (tough home field). The total is down from 53 to 50.5. Similar situation here to TCU/Texas Tech in that the Wise Guys are looking for the superior host to use its physical advantages to control game flow and run clock.
AIR FORCE AT SAN DIEGO STATE: Important line move here, as an opener of SDSU -9.5 was bet through the key number of 10 all the way up to -10.5 or -11. Aztecs impressed with a win at Boise State last week. Of course, Air Force did as well in a blowout of Navy. Looks like sharps believe Air Force is more likely to be flat considering how important that battle for the military trophy is. Also, Air Force is typically undersized on defense, which is bad news against
SATURDAY MARQUEE MATCHUPS
WASHINGTON AT OREGON: Looks like a tug-of-war developing here between home dog Oregon +3.5 and Pac 12 championship favorite Washington at -3. Both sides have their constituencies at favored prices. Oregon should have beaten Stanford on this field a few weeks ago, and will have a loud crowd supporting them. Washington is inconsistent on offense depending on the opponent. And, that season-opening loss to Auburn looks worse now than it did at the time.
WISCONSIN AT MICHIGAN: Wow, huge move through a key number for the Wolverines. An opening line of Michigan -6.5 is all the way up to -9…with 9.5 being tested. Sharps are betting this like they know five Badgers are about to be suspended. There is some dog interest waiting on the sideline to see what it can get. Why is this line so high? Remember that a lot of sharps LOVED Michigan entering the season, and apparently haven’t changed their minds yet. Also, Wisconsin is just 1-4 against the spread, with a shocking home loss to BYU on the resume.
WEST VIRGINIA AT IOWA STATE: I’m including this one because West Virginia now has a real chance to win the Big 12 after Oklahoma was upset by Texas last week. And, Iowa State can be a feisty underdog. Cyclones bullied Oklahoma State last week, and covered as a home dog against OU. Quants love this West Virginia offense (and quarterback). They’ve helped lift the opening line of -4.5 all the way up to -6.5. Dog lovers will jump in hard at +7 if it comes into play. Many will settle for +6.5 if that’s the best they’re going to get. Iowa State is typically a respected home dog with old school guys.
GEORGIA AT LSU: Probably another tug-of-war game. Loaded Georgia gets support from some sharps at -7. But, LSU is a very appealing home underdog at +7.5. Talk about “defensive dogs!” Great test for the Bulldogs, who have one of the easiest schedules of the top contenders. It would have been easier to love LSU if it hadn’t played in such a tough battle last week vs. Florida.
MICHIGAN STATE AT PENN STATE: An opener of Penn State -14.5 has been bet down through the key number of 14 to Nittany Lions -13.5. No buy back yet. So, even though that’s only a one-point move…it’s a SIGNIFICANT move on the Dog because the number stuck just below the key number. Maybe the public will hit the TV home favorite and bring -14 back into play. For now, we know that sharps love Michigan State at +14 or higher. Huge drop on the total from 58 down to 53. Part of that is the chance for rain. The rest, the perception that this will settle into a defensive battle. If the weather clears up, I know some sharps that will hit the Over because of Penn State’s preferred style this season.
More coming tomorrow as I look at the rest of the NFL. Don’t forget that 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 baseball. The NLCS starts Friday night with the LA Dodgers at Milwaukee. Friday, the much-anticipated ALCS featuring the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox.
Thanks for reading. See you again Friday afternoon.