Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:57 AM
Total Moves - Week 4
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College Football Week 4 Total Moves
Obviously the oddsmakers weren't to happy with the fact that I got out the broom for the sweep with these selections in Week 2, as they flipped that broom around and spanked my ass with the handle to sweep Week 3's plays into the loser's circle. That's twice this year that betting Alabama totals has burned me, but Nick Saban has never really been a man of the people anyways, unless you are cemented to your seat for all four quarters.
Backing the Clemson 'over' never came close, as the defending National Champs brought their best form on defense yet again, holding Syracuse to just 6 points in a 41-6 laugher. But when you're involved in games with the top two teams in the country on the field, having them show up on either side of the ball isn't exactly surprising.
It's on to Week 4's selections of total moves plays though, and one thing's for sure, I'll be on the sidelines for Alabama's game this week.
YTD: 3-3 ATS
Week 4 Total move to disagree with:
Michigan State/Northwestern from 39 to 38
Not the biggest move south by any means on this number, as this Michigan State Spartans team is looking to rebound from a highly disappointing first loss of the year. Getting away from East Lansing and all the discussion about them losing as a 15-point favorite probably is a good thing in terms of them rallying around one another as they open up Big 10 play.
While there is no question that Michigan State's defense is one of the best in the country this year, but it's the Spartans offense that unquestionably has to pick things up and start carrying their own weight. That won't be easy against a Northwestern team that's good on defense as well, but Mark Dantonio has had a knack for knowing how to move the ball against the Wildcats and I doubt that changes this week.
Each of the last three meetings between these teams has cashed 'over' tickets, with total point numbers of 48, 70 (OT game), and 94. Each time the two teams have come into the game with the expectation from the betting market that it will be a brutal defensive slugfest – not total closed higher then 43 – and the two schools completely flipped the script in that regard. With the way both defenses have played this season with neither of them allowing more then 17 points against in any one game, that kind of sounds familiar doesn't it?
Furthermore, Northwestern as covered the spread in all three of those games, have scored no fewer then 29 points themselves in any one of those contests, and just like all three of those contests, they are catching points (+9) again this week. You give a 9-point underdog 20+ points on their home field, and chances are this total of 39 will be left in the dark by the time the midway point of the 3rd quarter rolls around as 'over' bettors smile at is as they surpass it.
With the betting percentage numbers up at VegasInsider.com showing a healthy majority (75%+) on the low side of this number, it's best to be on the side of history between these two teams repeating itself this week as we get a lot of points relatively again. Situationally, Michigan State's offense knows it needs to be extremely better to stop putting the burden of each week's result on their defense, while Northwestern won't shy away from doing what they have to Dantonio's defenses the past three years and take full advantage of their opportunities.
Week 4 Total move to to agree with:
UCF/Pittsburgh from 58 to 61
This is another minority play based on the betting percentages currently up on the site (75%+), and while it is easily understandable as to why there is healthy support for the 'under' in the Michigan State/Northwestern game, the case for it here is a bit puzzling.
Yes, Pittsburgh has been a great 'under' team dating back to the end of last year as they are on a 0-7 O/U run as a program, but how much success they expect to have against a UCF attack that's put up 45 or more points in every game this year can't be a lot. The Knights have surprised me with just how good their offense remains to be this season, and even though Pittsburgh's defense has looked good for the bulk of 2019 – the season opening 30-14 loss to Virginia was a tad rough – I believe you've got to expect another 40+ point effort from UCF this week.
Maybe it's the fact that Pittsburgh played in a slugfest type game against Penn State last week and that's still fresh in the minds of the majority of the betting market, but remember conditions in that game weren't ideal, and that rivalry does tend to be a war. I mean, Pittsburgh's defense did little to stop UCF in this game a year ago (45-14 UCF win) and based on that alone, you've got to figure that Pittsburgh knows they've got to adopt a much more aggressive offensive approach to have a chance at pulling off the upset this season.
Just in terms of game script, if you give the Knights somewhere in the 35-45 point range for this game as it's not hard to do given their offensive performances this year, a 10-11 road chalk line suggests that Pittsburgh will be able to put up 24-34 points themselves in many likely scenarios. The lowest of those ranges don't eclipse the current number – hence the total move up – but the highest of those ranges eclipses the current number by multiple scores. That's quite the margin of error you've got in a game where you are also going against the majority of the market seemingly, even if you are betting into a bit of a bad number currently.
Other Notable Moves
Central Michigan-Miami, Fl.: 51 to 48
Tennessee-Florida: 52 to 49
Nevada-UTEP: 54.5 to 52
Bowling Green-Kent State: 59.5 to 62
Stanford-Central Florida: 59.5 to 62
Notre Dame-Georgia: 56 to 58.5
(Odds Subject to Change)