Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 1:00 PM
Not exactly a bunch of dream matchups in football the next few days. But, sharps (professional wagerers) aren’t betting for entertainment. They’re betting to make money! Let’s see how the Wise Guys have been betting Thursday and Friday night football, along with marquee matchups Saturday in the colleges. I’ll be back at the usual time Friday afternoon to look at the rest of the NFL.
DENVER AT ARIZONA: Some spots opened Arizona a slight favorite. Money hit the Broncos instantly at those stores, causing stragglers to open more toward pick-em or Denver -1. The line did get as high as -2 in some spots. Right now, it depends on where you look. Or, more accurately, it depends on each individual store’s appetite for teasers. Arizona at +1.5 or +2 is in the popular teaser window, where bettors can move the line six points to cross both the 3 and the 7. Arizona at -1 or pick-em isn’t. As I write this, I’m seeing as low as pick-em, as high as Arizona +1.5. Generally speaking, sharps AREN’T betting DENVER! They’re either taking Arizona +2 or in teasers. Over/Under is up a point from 41 to 42.
GEORGIA STATE AT ARKANSAS STATE: Arkansas State opened at -13. It was soon bet to the key number of -14. Thursday morning, we’re now seeing -14.5 tested. That tells you sharps aren’t interested in the dog unless they get a hook (or more). This isn’t a game the public will pay much attention to. Monitor line movements to see if buy back on the dog comes in at +14.5, or +15. Quants did move the total up from 53 to 57. That was the sharp move.
STANFORD AT ARIZONA STATE: Another big move on a total, as an extremely low opening line of 51.5 was bet all the way up to 59. Rare to see that big a move this late in the season. But, oddsmakers can take their eye off the ball occasionally. And, quants are relentless with their betting until the “right” number is reached. Little interest on the team side. Stanford opened at -2, and slid up to -2.5. Sharps would take the dog at +3 if it comes into play. Might not. Could be a flurry of action in the final hour before kickoff since a lot of locals in Nevada do bet the Pac 12 TV games.
COLORADO STATE AT BOISE STATE: More Over money here in a game with limited team side interest so far. The Over/Under is up from 57.5 to 62.5. Boise State has been painted -23.5 all week. Tells you how bad Colorado State is. Boise has been a disappointment in a few high-profile spots this season. Yet, they’re laying a huge number and nobody wants the dog! Old school dog lovers who take almost every huge dog will wait to see if they can get +24. Not expecting much interest here with the Dodgers playing in Game Six of the NLCS Friday night. Nevada locals will be watching that with more interest.
AIR FORCE AT UNLV: Sharps hit UNLV hard here, as an opener of Air Force -13 has been bet down to -10.5. Some stores are testing -10 as I write this. UNLV can look really horrible when things are going badly. But, inconsistency means good performances also happen. Sharps expect the Rebels to be competitive here against a one-dimensional road favorite that might be prone to getting distracted on a fun road trip.
SATURDAY MARQUEE MATCHUPS
MICHIGAN AT MICHIGAN STATE: Note that this is a very early kickoff, even though it’s become one of the biggest matchups of the day after both teams scored high profile victories last week. An opener of Michigan -6.5 nudged up to -7. Tough one to predict because sharps POUNDED Michigan vs. Wisconsin last week and made a fortune. They’ve had this team rated highly all season. But, rivalry home underdogs do have a constituency. Dog lovers are hoping the public brings 7.5 into play. I think we’ll see a morning tug-of-war (game starts at 9 a.m. Las Vegas time) around the key number. Just don’t know which side of the seven that will be. Huge fall on the total from 47 down to 41.5. That’s a mix of respect for defense and the weather forecast. Good chance for light rain and winds up near 10-12 mph.
OHIO STATE AT PURDUE: Buckeyes have been bet up from -12 to -13. Tricky team to evaluate because their athletes can score points in bunches. But, they aren’t moving the ball with any consistency. Sharps are looking for ways to bet the dog…though Purdue didn’t start the season on fire as some had predicted. The kickoff has been moved to prime time, giving the public all afternoon to bet. I think we’ll see squares (the public) on the favorite. Sharps are hoping to get as much as +14, but might have to settle for +13.5 or +13. A lot of Over interest because of OSU’s explosiveness. The total has been bet up from 64.5 to 68.5.
OREGON AT WASHINGTON STATE: This game got big all of a sudden. Oregon beat Washington last week, and should have defeated Stanford awhile back. Washington State keeps winning off the radar against a soft schedule. Opener of Wazzou -2 was bet up -3. It stopped on the key number. So, the Wise Guys liked WSU below the three but not on it. It’s a letdown spot for the visitor, so there may be less dog interest than you’d normally expect. Over/Under is up from 66 to 68.
OKLAHOMA AT TCU: This has also been time-changed to a very early start. A few weeks ago, this would have been a prime-time national game. Since, TCU has looked pretty awful, while Oklahoma lost its rivalry game to Texas. Sooners opened at -7.5, and were bet up to -8. That’s only a half point, but it’s an important one because it tells you sharps weren’t interested in TCU right above a key number. The game moved AWAY from the seven. Wise Guys don’t respect this team any more.
NC STATE AT CLEMSON: It’s a battle of ranked teams. Though, a lot of casual fans don’t realize NC State is ranked. Clemson opened at -17. Only favorite money has come in so far. That pushed the line to -17.5 or -18 depending on where you shop. Dog lovers will step in eventually for value. Hard to know yet what to expect from the new Clemson quarterback since he missed so much of the Syracuse game with an injury. Can he lead the Tigers to a blowout of a ranked opponent? Total is up from 53.5 to 56.
MISSISSIPPI STATE AT LSU: So far, a tug-of-war between LSU -6.5 and Mississippi State +7. Tough schedule spot for the hosts, who just shocked Georgia last week after going to war with Florida. Mississippi State might not be able to take advantage of that given its poor offensive showings in losses to Kentucky and Florida. Good test for LSU, who might be able to give Alabama a thrill later this season. Important time for the new Miss. State coach too, who needs to show he can run his offense vs. SEC defenses.
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Thanks for reading. See you again Friday afternoon to talk about the rest of the NFL.