Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
Friday's Tip Sheet
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We've got to wait a week before we get those stand alone Friday night affairs in college football this year, but that's not necessarily a bad thing as the opening Friday of the season is never short on action. This year we get eight games of FBS action to help further along that great first weekend of college football, and with the market place geared up for these games for months now, all eight will see significant action.
However, with seven of the eight games having double-digit favorites currently listed, how competitive these eight games on Friday end up being is up for debate. Three of the seven teams laying double-digits are doing so on the road, with Big 10 teams Wisconsin and Purdue being two of those three. Michigan State is another Big 10 team in action, laying 20+ and climbing at home against Tulsa.
With plenty of action available out there, there are a few games that deserve at least some discussion, so let's take a look at a few different spots out there on Friday night.
Massachusetts at Rutgers (-15.5), Total 55.5
Rutgers as a double-digit favorite? Is it warranted?
It's not often that Rutgers gets to be laying points against anyone in a given year, but they do tend to be double-digit chalk at least once per season, and it's usually in these early season games against FCS competition often times. U Mass moved up from that classification early on in this decade, but they are still far from competitive and that will likely be the case in 2019 as well.
It's still Rutgers laying this big number though, and it's one that's been bet up since opening around -12. Rutgers is not expected to be all that competitive in the Big 10 either, but early action and market adjustment suggests laying it with Rutgers is the way to go. After all, they are 3-2 ATS the past four years as a double-digit favorite (2-0 ATS last two seasons), and the two ATS defeats were by the hook at -13.5 in a 13-point win, and a 38-point victory that fell short of covering -42. Rutgers may not be a great upset candidate in Big 10 play, but when they are projected to win easily, that's what they tend to do.
Definitely tough to lay it now with the best of the number long gone and it still saying “Rutgers” beside that point spread, but don't be surprised to see Rutgers feeling extra confident going into Iowa next week off a blowout 20+ point win this week.
Oklahoma State (-14.5) vs Oregon State, Total 74
Too far to travel for Oklahoma State out of the gate?
The betting market has already shown support for Rutgers and their chalk this week, but the same can't be said for Oklahoma State and their chalk out on the road in Corvallis. An opening line of -16.5 saw quick resistance at -17, before even more action started to settle on the Beavers, knocking it down to it's current state of -14.5. That's a move that does look a bit more significant then it really is – moves tend to be multiple points between the key numbers of -14 and -17 – but is this move going to be the right one?
You never know how the actual game will play out, but on the surface, taking a home dog at more then two TD's against a team that's got to travel a long way and has a history of shooting itself in the foot at times does make a lot of sense. But then it puts you on this Oregon State Beavers program who's likely to struggle again this season.
The Beavers do have more experience on offense that will help them be a bit more competitive in the end, but not necessarily the firepower that OK State brings to the party. With a total in the mid-70's, can you really trust that Oregon State will score 30+ here? Oregon State managed to hit that mark in their first three games a season ago vs Ohio State, Southern Utah, and Nevada, but it's not a thing I'd count on regularly from this team, even if it is against an OK State team that gave up 32.5 points/game a season ago.
It still is the Cowboys on the other side of the field though, and they are no strangers to losing games outright as multiple score favorites. It is a long way for them to travel to not really increase the standing of their potential 2019 resume much (it may be a Pac-12 team, but it's still Oregon State), and if the offense doesn't find itself in sync, can a defense that's been bad for years really carry the load? Not something I'm willing to risk a unit on to find out, as this game could end up landing rather close to either side of this current number.
Colorado State vs Colorado (-13.5), Total 57
The annual tradition of Colorado and Under in this rivalry game
The Colorado/Colorado State game has opened up the season for these two programs in nine of the past 11 years, but as is the case whenever these two meet up, support for Colorado and the 'under' always takes center stage.
While totals for some of these games have been out for weeks and line moves over that kind of time span are going to generally be greater, this total opened up at 64.5 at the beginning, and apart from a blip of 'over' money a few days ago, it's all 'under' money on this total. Considering that of those past 11 matchups between these two instate rivals, the 'under' has gone 10-1 against the number, it's easy to see why that side of the total is getting support. The hatred seems to never take a summer break for these schools and they bring it in terms of physicality every year. Oddsmakers continue to put out totals that get pounded to the 'under' and keep having to pay out.
Backing Colorado ATS is the yearly tradition as well, and with a 7-3-1 ATS record the past 11 years in this game – including entering this year on a 3-0 ATS run – the Pac-12 team has lived up to the general belief that nearly all Power 5 conference teams should be able to beat the non-Power 5 schools. This spread has really only seen Colorado money since coming out at -11, and we could end up seeing this game close at greater than two TD's.
However, eventually one of these initial numbers that oddsmakers put out on this yearly contest is going to be more accurate then the market continues to think, and of determining whether to go against the recent runs of Colorado and the 'under' in these games, it would be the total streak that I believe will get snapped.
Colorado is going to be much more consistent on offense this year, and the defense will continue to not be great. Colorado State is in a similar position this year as well, so when you've got the strengths of both sides going up against the weaknesses on both sides, chances are siding with the former will work out better.
Colorado State already gave up 42.5 points per non-home game last year, and last year's game, despite cashing the 'under' easily with a 45-13 score staying well below the 65.5 total, that final score this season would now hit current 'over' bets. It's not like it's rare for these CFB totals with major moves to land somewhere in the middle of those moves, leaving a lot of initial steam chasers left in the dark.
But having hitting that key number of 57 (and even lower in some places), I think we see these two rivals bring out the points this year, in a game that in all likelihood results in another Colorado win.