Last Updated Sep 23, 2021, 8:00 PM
College Football Week 4 Money Moves
There aren’t any huge college football match-ups in Week 4 action, but that’s alright because we are right in the middle of the groove we’ve been waiting for since the spring.
“It feels like normal again,” said Las Vegas SuperBook manager Randy Blum. “We’ve had a few weeks to get acclimated from all angles of booking college football.”
It’s been an amazing season so far with lots of upsets among top-25 teams, including elites like Ohio State and Clemson already going down.
So far on the season, bettors have gone 116-120-8 against-the-spread in college football with the only angle not hovering around 50% is home underdogs going 30-19-3 ATS (61%).
Wise guys have found their way to a couple games they believe were priced poorly against their own ratings and fired away on a few games.
“We’ve had a few games moved by sharp money starting with them betting against Oklahoma State who have dropped from -7.5 down to -6 taking Kansas State and they also bet against Texas dropping them from -11 down to -7.5 against Texas Tech,” Blum said.
Sharps on Kansas State is interesting because QB Skylar Thompson is worth 4.5 points to backup Will Howard, or at least that was the number before last week’s impressive 38-17 win against Nevada that Howard started. Impressive for sure, but it was at home.
However, the K-State defense has looked solid so far holding opponents to 54 yards rushing per game and only 15 ppg allowed. Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders was harnessed last week by only throwing 13 passes as the Cowboys featured Jaylen Warren who ran 32 times for 218 yards and 2 TDs.
You’ll never guess what the most handled game of the week is at the SuperBook.
“Our most handled game of the week so far has been Utah against Washington State,” Blum said. “I know it sounds crazy but that’s the game with the most money, most of it on Utah going from -14 up to -15, but it’s all public money. It’s one of our most bet public sides in parlays.”
The public knows Washington State hasn't covered in their last six games while Utah is 6-0 ATS in their last six against losing teams, but they just lost back-to-back games on the road as a favorite. USC got out of a slump last week in Pullman, winning 45-14, to easily cover -7. Last year at Salt Lake City, Utah beat Washington State 45-28 to cover -11.5. Utah is 0-3 ATS so far this season..
Blum said in addition to Utah, his other top public plays are Oregon, Michigan State, and Iowa.
Oregon has gone from an opener of -27 at Arizona to -28.5 at Circa Sports while Michigan State has gone from 3.5-point home favorites to -4.5 against Nebraska and Iowa has gone from 22-point home favorites to -23 against Colorado State.
Arizona looks awful every week while Iowa has a 30-10 average score in winning all three of their games and Michigan State looks as though their back to mattering in college football again.
Station Casinos VP Jason McCormick said their public play has been on Notre Dame, Michigan State and Iowa which is the identical three games South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews gave me.
Notre Dame is +6 playing Wisconsin at Soldier Field in Chicago. I don’t understand the number. What is going on? Are we sure this game isn’t in Madison? Wisconsin, who lost their home opener to Penn State, have fooled the ratings with impressive defensive metrics of allowing only 33 ypg rushing and 194 total ypg. It’s two games and one of them was a 34-7 home win against Eastern Michigan.
Andrews and their top sharp sides bet this week has been Oregon State, Indiana, and Stanford. McCormick says theirs are Oregon State, Florida Atlantic, and Mississippi State.
USC has dropped from a 13-point home favorite against Oregon State to -11 at Circa Sports, a signal that USC is overrated again, but also a bet against the USC QB situation. Will they start Kedon Slovis (neck) play or will Jaxson Dart get the start again. Dart threw for 391 yards and 4 TDs, 2 picks, in their win at Washington State last week. Dart didn’t practice Wednesday so expect Slovis to start.
LSU has beat up cupcakes the last two weeks at home after losing at UCLA in the opener. Mississippi State comes off a tough loss at Memphis, 31-29, but the week before they were in almost the same situation as this week when they were a short home dog (+2) with NC State visiting. The cowbells played a frenzied effect on NC State, and it fired up the Miss State defense who shut down a very good offense. Sharps like the home angle here against an LSU squad that might not be as good as we thought coming into the season.
Western Kentucky has sharp support because Indiana looks broken after losing at home to Cincinnati last week. Also, the 22,000 fans at Western Kentucky for this night game will be rocking all night with hopes of beating a Big Ten team, Circa Sports dropped Indiana from -10 to -9.
I checked in with Marc Nelson up north at the Atlantis Reno and he says the bulk of his action will come Friday and Saturday and that no sharp money has passed through his bet windows yet, but he says his popular parlay plays have been Maryland, Army, and Rutgers with Rutgers having the highest ticket count.
Rutgers? I can make a case for them getting +21 at Ann Arbor, but the public rarely takes underdogs and when they do it’s usually an elite program. But Rutgers, yes, okay Reno.
It’s hard to ignore what Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano has done since coming back to the program last season. They’ve won and covered all three games this season. They’re disciplined. They believe in the process and I believe in their process after looking at some of their impressive stats. Third down defense? No 2 in the nation allowing only 17% to convert. Penalties? They don’t make them, only seven in three games. Turnover margin? They don’t make turnovers. None, while forcing eight themselves. But Michigan has won and covered all three of their games too.
How about a live total to follow?
“We’ve had one total that sharp money bet with Hawaii and New Mexico State moving up from 58.5 to 61.5,” Blum said. .
That’s all I have for now, until next week here is a look at the initial moves when Circa Sports opened their college football numbers on Sunday at 11 am PT:
Texas Tech +13 to +8 at Texas
Akron +53 to +49 at Ohio State
Missouri +1 to -2 at Boston College
Auburn -23 to -26 vs. Georgia State
Utah State +12 to +9 vs. Boise State
Western Michigan pk to -3 vs. San Jose State
Duke -13 to -16 vs. Kansas
Troy -21 to -24 at Louisiana-Monroe
Georgia -31 to -33.5 at Vanderbilt