Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
Total Moves - Week 3
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College Football Week 3 Total Moves
Week 2's underdog selections may have stunk up the joint, but last week's total plays were right on point. Oregon came out looking to take someone out behind the woodshed for a thorough beating and did just that against Nevada in an easy 'over' cashing, while the Illinois/Connecticut game topped out just over 50 as expected to stay below any and all moves on that total.
Sweeping the board like that always feels good – especially when you have an 0fer on the underdogs – but there is never too much time to pat yourself on the back in this business because then you are missing out on time spent researching and firing on the next winner(s). Can't expect to sweep the board every week, but it never hurts to try, so let's get right to this week's selections.
YTD: 3-1 ATS
Week 3 Total move to disagree with:
Alabama/South Carolina from 59.5 to 61.5
Disagreeing with a move on an Alabama total in Week 1 accounted for my only loss of the year so far with these total plays, but that isn't stopping me from going back to the well in that regard this week.
The market has seen early love for the high side of this total as Alabama rolls in to South Carolina needing to win by 26+ to cover the spread. Having averaged 52 points on offense for the first two weeks, you can get why an opening number of 60 did look low to many, hence the support for the high side of this number. I mean, whether Alabama covers this spread or not, it's hard not to believe they roll in this game as it is.
However, after Nick Saban spent much of the early week complaining about early start times due to the heat in the region, I'm not sure he's looking to run his guys up and down the field all afternoon here, as this may be one of those “get in, get out” type wins for Alabama this week. There is no concern about a big game upcoming, but with this being the first SEC game of the season, there will be that extra focus early on as the Tide establish their lead and likely look to bleed the clock from there.
At the same time, given that it is the first SEC road game of the year for Alabama, it's important to note that they have gone 2-3 O/U in that spot the past five years, allowing 7, 0, 43, 10, and 23 points in those games. The game that they pitched a shutout in back in 2017 actually cashed an 'over' as the Tide rolled over Vanderbilt with a 59-0 win, but that total was priced far too low at 42. Saban prides him program on making sure his stellar defense travels well, and that should be the case again this week.
South Carolina's offense is coming off a 72-point performance against Charleston Southern, and whenever there is a major step up in competition level like that, it's hard to expect anything near the same type of success offensively. That's a pretty obvious statement to make given that it's Alabama on the other side of the field, but this Gamecocks offense struggled against North Carolina in the opener, and scoring 10 or fewer points could definitely be in the cards for them this week against the Tide.
Will Muschamp also understands that if his team is to have a shot at pulling off a monumental upset here, it's not going to come in a 40-37 type game, it's going to come in a 28-27 type game, meaning his own defense better show out to stop Tua and company on that side of things.
What it all comes down to here is that to catch an 'over' ticket cashing, you are going to likely need 20+ points from South Carolina in this one, and there are just so many results in terms of game script where that just doesn't end up happening. Alabama's allowed 10 or less in three of those five first road SEC games of the season as it is, and with heat potentially being a factor here, this game has something like 42-13 written all over it.
Week 3 Total move to to agree with:
Clemson/Syracuse from 61 to 65
As I've stated from the start of these pieces a few weeks ago, it's always tough to bet into bad numbers like this and in-game wagering is likely the smarter way to go with these things, especially with a move the size of this one. But it's easy to agree with the 'over' support in this game for a variety of reasons.
The first being that Clemson's defense is in a great spot to have a mental letdown after dominating Texas A&M last week in the 24-10 win. That game was so hyped, and so critical to the potential success of Clemson's season that it's only natural in terms of the human nature concept for those guys to ease up a bit mentally this week against Syracuse. Yes, there have been some recent scares vs the Orange and that would have been a talking point in meeting rooms this week, but as a four TD road favorite, it's easy for those Clemson guys on defense to assume they'll just have to essentially show up and there shouldn't be too much worry about leaving with a W.
Offensively, Clemson's attack has to be salivating at the prospect of facing a Syracuse defense that gave up 63 points to Maryland last week in a game that was expected to be close. Facing that Orange defense might feel like the are up against a middle school team at times after that A&M game, and a team like Clemson that's got some of the best talent in the country on offense should have a field day. They should be able to easily get in the 40's against this team, if not threaten 60 themselves like Maryland did a week ago.
Conversely, Syracuse's offense is looking at this game as a huge redemption spot for them after getting blasted a week ago. And while South Carolina's path to a potential upset has got to come through strong defensive play, for Syracuse to do the same, it's got to be on the shoulders of QB Tommy Devito and the offense.
Devito was talked highly of coming into the year, but he's really yet to show anything of substance in deserving those kind words, and doing so on this stage could flip that narrative in a second. Going up against a Clemson defense that's nowhere near as talented as they have been in recent years, and one that may be lacking focus, this Syracuse attack that's scored 23+ points in this game in three of the past four years – against those far superior Tigers defensive units – has a shot to put up 30+ themselves this week if everything goes right.
That's still a big ask, and the best of the number is long gone, but getting 70+ points in this game is highly possible, and if Syracuse gets the ball first and has a quick three-and-out or something like that, the in-game number should be much closer to the opener and it's then where you can comfortably fire away on this 'over'.
Other Notable Moves
Washington State-Houston: 75.5 to 73
Florida Atlantic-Ball State: 67.5 to 64.5
Buffalo-Liberty: 57.5 to 55
Florida-Kentucky: 50.5 to 48
Maryland-Temple: 64 to 66.5
Stanford-Central Florida: 59.5 to 62
Colorado State-Arkansas: 60 to 64
Texas State-SMU: 59.5 to 62.5
TCU-Purdue: 51 to 53
(Odds Subject to Change)