How Sharps are Betting Late Week Football
A lot of lesser conferences in college football try to grab the TV spotlight the next two nights. Sharps have been betting those games along with Chiefs/Raiders in the NFL. Let's take a look at how the Wise Guys have been betting Thursday and Friday action. I'll also include four marquee matchups from Saturday's college slate. Then, I'll be back at the usual time Friday to run through the rest of this weekend's pro football.
Kansas City at Oakland: We've been sitting on a solid three since the game hit the board. That's such a common number that sharps would fade any move off the three for value. KC -2.5 would be popular because the Chiefs are playing so much better than the Raiders, and are in bounce back spot off a loss. But, Oakland as a divisional home dog of +3.5 would also get action. The total has moved down from 47.5 to 46.5 because Oakland's offense has struggled when QB Derek Carr hasn't been at full strength.
Memphis at Houston: Not quite the monster the conference (and TV networks) were hoping for. This isn't last year's Houston team, obvious in that blowout loss at Tulsa. And that Memphis win over UCLA that a lot of people watched a few weeks ago was erased by a 40-13 rout at the hands of Central Florida. Still, this could be a great game to watch and bet. Sharps liked Memphis +3, leading to a solid +2.5 everywhere as I write this. That's actually strong support for the dog...because the line didn't move back to the key number. No interest yet in either of the Thursday night college totals.
Louisiana Lafayette at Arkansas State: Another half-point move toward the underdog just below a common number. Not quite as meaningful here with Lafayette moving down from +13 to +12.5. There wasn't buy back on host Arkansas State...which is a telling indictment of the host in terms of betting value.
Western Kentucky at Old Dominion: Note the early starting time here of 6 p.m. ET, 3 p.m. out here in Las Vegas. Western Kentucky opened at -10 on the road. ODU is getting enough interest as a home underdog for some (but not all) stores to test +9.5. That means we could see a tug-of-war between WKU -9.5 and ODU +10 through the day Friday. Big drop on the total from 51 to 47.5 caused by the quants.
Marshall at Middle Tennessee: The opener of Marshall -2.5 on the road hasn't moved. That might seem like no news. But, whenever an opener of -2.5 stays frozen, that tells you sharps like the underdog. The game would have moved to the key number of three immediately if the Wise Guys liked the favorite. Obviously, sharps would pound +3 if it comes into play. Many are looking at MTSU on the moneyline to win outright. Huge move on the total from an opener of 43.5 up to 49.5. You'll often see some very big moves, even this deep into the season, on Over/Unders in these smaller conferences. Tougher for oddsmakers to post strong openers, and the computer guys run the numbers in every game.
Air Force at Nevada: Air Force opened at -5.5. They were bet up to the key number of -7 because Nevada is so bad. But, some dog lovers have come in at +7...leading a few stores to backtrack to +6.5. The total of 65.5 has been bet up to 67.5. Locals watched Air Force rally from a big early deficit to beat UNLV last week.
Colorado State at New Mexico: A point move here...but it's a big point because Colorado State jumped from -6.5 to -7.5. That's crossing the key number of seven without any buy back yet. Not much interest on the total.
SATURDAY MARQUEE MATCHUPS
Michigan at Penn State: Sharps are expecting a defensive-minded struggle, as an optimistic opener of Penn State -12.5 has been bet all the way down to Michigan +9.5. This despite the fact that Michigan's offense has been very shaky all season, no matter who was at quarterback. The fact that the game fell below the key number of 10 without any buy back surprised many. We know that sharps LOVE Michigan at +10 or better. If the public drives Penn State higher before the prime time kickoff, sharps will come in for more on a double digit road dog.
Oklahoma State at Texas: Oklahoma State opened at -6, and was bet up to -7. Since Oklahoma was -9 on a neutral field vs. the Horns last week, that tells us that the market sees OU and Okie State as dead even. Home field advantage is worth three points. It will be interesting to see if Texas can hang tough for four quarters against a high-octane opponent given physical battles the past two weeks with Kansas State and OU.
Louisville at Florida State: Note quite the matchup everyone was expecting before the season began. Florida State has been a disappointment after the quarterback injury. Louisville still has a great quarterback but lost to Boston College anyway! It's still a marquee matchup on a relatively quiet week. Looks like a tug-of-war shaping up between Florida State -6.5 and Louisville +7. The total has been bet up from 56 to 59 on the theory that even struggling offenses can score on Louisville!
USC at Notre Dame: No movement yet...but a telling indictment of how far USC has fallen in the minds of sharps because the line is Notre Dame -3.5. That's just above a key number...and it wasn't bet back towards the key number. If sharps don't want USC at +3.5...then this isn't a Final Four caliber team. Looks like nobody in the Pac 12 is Final Four caliber after both Washington and Washington State lost as big favorites last week. Big move higher on the total, as an opener of 61 is up to 65. That tells you the weather is likely to be nice in South Bend.