How Sharps are Betting Late Week Football
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A great matchup Thursday night in the NFL kicks off a new week of TV football. Here's a look at how sharps have been betting the Thursday and Friday night games, along with some marquee college football matchups on Saturday. I'll be back with you Friday afternoon to run through the rest of the pro football slate.
Philadelphia at Carolina: We've seen a tug-of-war all week in what could be a hotly contested matchup between two playoff caliber teams. Carolina -3 draws money as a favorite. Philadelphia +3.5 draws money on the underdog. Many sportsbooks are trying out different levels of vigorish on the key number of three in an attempt to balance out their risk (-115, -120, -125, and so on). You should be able to shop around and get your preferred side at a decent price. The Over/Under has risen a tick from 45 to 45.5. Some stores are using 46. Quants didn't get involved here. Typically. the public prefers Overs in big TV games...though we all know that can be dicey on Thursday nights.
Texas State at Louisiana-Lafayette: Nothing special in the colleges on the networks tonight. The other betting attraction is in baseball...where mystery over Washington's pitching plans makes it hard for sharps to bet hard in advance. Here, Lafayette opened at -14.5. in anticipation of interest in the favorite. Dog lovers surprised oddsmakers by hitting Texas State. We're now seeing plus 13.5 at most stores. The total was bet way down by quants, as an opener of 60 is now 55.5.
Clemson at Syracuse: A pair of top 10 teams are road favorites Friday evening. But, the market doesn't anticipate upsets in either game. Number two Clemson opened at -21 on the road at Syracuse. The line has been bet up already to -22.5. I do think some sharps would come in at +23 because this has been a dangerous site for road favorites historically (and old school Wise Guys have long memories). Any syndicates who liked the favorite knew they had to bet early an advance of game day square money.
Washington State at California: Number eight Washington State opened at -13.5. A line like that...a half point below a key number...is usually a sign that oddsmakers expect sharps to love the dog at +14...so they don't put that into play unless the public pushes things higher. The public pushed! We're now seeing -14.5 at some stores, who now would like sharps to come in on the dog to help balance things out. The opening total of 58 has been bet down to 55 by the guys who run models.
SATURDAY MARQUEE MATCHUPS
Michigan at Indiana: We move now to Saturday, a day that's been disappointing to Nevada books in terms of traffic. There have been few matchups that grabbed the public's fancy. Most of the best college teams don't run into each other until later in the season. And, they're really scattered around conference-by-conference this year. It can be hard to find marquee matchups! I included this one because Indiana has the talent to be a dangerous home dog, and Michigan has shown vulnerability. Michigan opened at -6. It has been bet up pretty hard to -8. That blew past the key number of -7. I do expect home dog money to come in before kickoff. It's going to wait to see how high the public drives this number.
TCU at Kansas State: TCU rose up from an opener of -4.5 to -6 on news that the Kansas State quarterback probably wouldn't be able to play. Last week he was supposedly very questionable at Texas, but then started. TCU continues to get a lot of respect in the line since its upset of Oklahoma State. They were respected too much last week in a non-cover vs. West Virginia.
Utah at USC: No much interest yet. An opener of USC -12.5 is up to -13. Sharps and squares have fallen out of love with the Trojans because they've burned some money this season in big games. Tough to lay such a high number against a tough dog like Utah. Sharps who prefer dogs are waiting to see what they can get before kickoff. Plus 13 might be as high as it goes.
Oklahoma at Texas: This game lost a lot of its marquee value when Oklahoma lost as a 31-point favorite at home to Iowa State last week. Hard to see them now as a Final Four caliber team, unless they look fantastic here. Texas continues to improve under new head coach Tom Herman. They were lucky to cover in overtime last week at home against K-State. The opener of -8 has dropped a tick to -7.5. It's assumed Oklahoma money would come in hard if the key number of -7 comes into play. Will squares want to lay this chalk with such an inconsistent favorite? They might.
Ohio State at Nebraska: I included this one more for name value than thrills. Though, it's possible Nebraska could make things interesting. The market doesn't seem to think so...as an opener of Ohio State -21.5 is up to -24. I would expect it to settle there unless the public comes in harder on Saturday.
Auburn at LSU: Sharps surprised a lot of market observers last week by pounding LSU in advance of its kickoff in Florida. That turned out to be the right choice for anyone playing the Tigers plus points or at pick-em. LSU won by one. Here Auburn was bet up initially from -6 to -7. I'll be very interested to see if there's game day money on LSU again. This is a tough site historically for road favorites, and LSU might be one of those teams that you fade as a favorite but take as a dog.
Georgia Tech at Miami-Fla: This is a write-in game for Saturday that's turned into one of the most important matchups of the year in the ACC. An opener of Miami -7.5 has been bet down to -5.5. That represents HUGE support for Georgia Tech because it blew through the major key number of seven, and the minor key number of six. Tech has earned the respect of sharps with solid play this season. Miami is in a very tough schedule spot after a physical battle with state rival Florida State last week
That's how the sharps have been betting so far..