NCAA Football Week 3 Betting Recap at Bovada
The Stanford Cardinal were the story of the college football weekend as they upset preseason Bovada national championship favorite Southern Cal on Saturday night. And the Cardinal's 21-14 upset over the then-No. 2 Trojans was the biggest win for the book last week - and also the most-wagered game.
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It was the fourth straight victory for Stanford over USC. It perhaps not only ruined Southern Cal's national title hopes - it dropped to No. 13 in the Associated Press poll - but also possibly Matt Barkley's Heisman Trophy hopes. Barkley was the 11/4 favorite entering the season but was an ugly 20-for-41 for 254 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions vs. Stanford.
The Cardinal closed as 9-point underdogs and took just 17 percent of the action. At +290 on the moneyline, Stanford took less than nine percent. The under 57 points took approximately 16 percent of the lean. Barkley finishing with less than 2.5 total touchdowns also was one of the book's top prop wins of the week.
It was an unusual week in that the book came out ahead on the spread in each of the top-five most-wagered NCAA games. The others were Notre Dame plus-6 at Michigan State (less than 28 percent on Irish), Florida plus-3 at Tennessee (32 percent on Gators), UNLV plus-9 vs. Washington State (35 percent on Rebels) and Pittsburgh plus-11 vs. Virginia Tech (only 13 percent on Panthers). Bettors did fare well on Notre Dame at +175 on the moneyline and Florida at +145.
For the third week in a row, a prop on Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller was one of the top victories for bettors. This time it was over 190.5 yards passing vs. California, with the sophomore finishing with a career-high 249 yards. Miller is now 10th in the nation in rushing, 12th in total offense, has accounted for 12 of OSU's 16 touchdowns and is starting to enter the Heisman conversation.
Other top player prop wins for bettors were on Virginia receiver Darius Jennings under 4.5 receptions vs. Georgia Tech (he had three) and BYU receiver Cody Hoffman over 5 receptions vs. Utah (he finished with 8). Outside of Barkley, the book fared best on Pittsburgh receiver Mike Shanahan with more than 4.5 catches vs. Virginia Tech (he had 5 in the upset) and Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell under 124.5 rushing yards vs. Notre Dame (he had 77).
Early-Week Live Betting Preview
Bettors get a treat this week as the first Wednesday night NCAA game of the season is played when Kent State (1-1) visits Buffalo (1-1) in the Mid-American Conference opener for both. There will be live betting on the game at the book, with the Bulls opening as 3.5-point favorites.
It's the first time these foes have played since 2009 despite the fact they are both in the MAC East Division. It could be a shootout as Buffalo ranks No. 113 in scoring defense (39.5 ppg) and Kent State is No. 98 (34.0 ppg). The Bulls' Branden Oliver is the nation's second-leading rusher, averaging 174.5 yards per game. Receiver Alex Neutz leads the country in the touchdown catches per game at 2.5.
Kent State, meanwhile, hasn't won a conference opener on the road in six years and hasn't won any September road game since 2007.
The Thursday night ESPN game this week features two teams that had hopes of crashing a BCS bowl, hopes since dashed: BYU at Boise State, with the Broncos as 7.5-point favorites.
The Cougars (2-1) had a rather unusual ending in their 24-21 loss at Utah on Saturday. A potential tying field goal in the Holy War was blocked by Utes star defender Star Lotulelei with a second remaining. But the Utah crowd prematurely rushed the field and the Utes were penalized 15 yards. However, BYU kicker Riley Stephenson's 36-yarder hit the left upright. The loss knocked BYU out of the Top 25.
Boise State (1-1) bounced back from a season-opening loss at Michigan State with a 39-12 home win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. That got the Broncos back into the AP poll at No. 24. Boise State has not lost a home game in September since 2001.
This will be the first time since 2005 that Boise State will play on such a quick turnaround. But the Broncos usually thrive in this situation as they are 33-4 in regular-season non-Saturday games and have covered four straight Thursday games. BYU might be at a disadvantage because the Cougars couldn't practice Sunday due to religious reasons at the Mormon school.
BYU and Boise State haven't played since 2004 but are now scheduled to play each season through 2023. This will is the only time all season that ESPN's Thursday national TV game doesn't include at least one team from a BCS conference.
Check back Thursday for a weekend live betting preview at the book.
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