It’s Week 5 of college football and the success, or lack of, in the first four weeks has the average Joe bettors all aligned with similar selections this week while sharp money is being more reserved with revealing their entire hand in the first half of the week.
“Sharp action has been light early in the week and my guess is that the opening lines have become stronger after four full weeks of play,” said Las Vegas SuperBook manager Randy Blum.
“We did get sharp money moving Louisiana from -11 to -13 for their game at South Alabama,” Blum said. “We also had some respected money push a few totals. The Baylor and Oklahoma State total was bet from 48.5 down to 47.5 and Duke-North Carolina rose from 70.5 up to 72.5.”
There are so many big games to entertain us this week starting with a battle of undefeated SEC teams when Mississippi visits Alabama.
“It’s a typical season with Alabama where they have the most tickets written on them in a big game, this time against Ole Miss,” Blum said.
And how about that total from 80 down to 79? Ole Miss leads the nation by scoring 52 ppg. Will they do it against Alabama, and how much will Alabama score against the Rebels questionable defense? Last season it was The Tide 63-28 at Ole Miss with the home team covering +24 and the year before it was Alabama 59-31 with Ole Miss covering +37.5. Both games went way over the total.
The SuperBook opened Alabama as 15-point home favorites this season and it’s down to -14.5. Circa Sports is at -15.
The Ole Miss Rebels enter Tuscaloosa on Saturday as a double-digit underdog. (AP)
“The Cincinnati-Notre Dame game is our most handled of the week with most siding with Notre Dame,” Blum said. “More tickets have been written have Notre Dame, but money-wise from straight bets and parlays, 95% of it is on Notre Dame.”
SuperBook VP Jay Kornegay opened Cincinnati -3 and has them -1.5 on Thursday afternoon. He says this is their biggest decision of the day. He’ll be rooting hard for the Bearcats to win by 4-points or more
‘We’ve had really good two-way action on Florida-Kentucky and Arkansas-Georgia,” said Blum.
The SuperBook opened Florida (3-1) an 8-point road favorite at undefeated Kentucky on Sunday night and were at -8.5 for about five hours Monday and it’s been -8 ever since. The Kentucky defense allows only 260 ypg but they also haven’t stopped one team in the red zone. Not one stop, either a TD or field goal. Kentucky also has an issue holding on to the ball with six fumbles lost.
Circa Sports manager Jeffrey Benson says the games they have the most tickets written/volume on is Michigan-Wisconsin, Iowa-Maryland (Friday), and Arizona State at UCLA.
Most bettors wondered how 4-0 Michigan wasn’t favored here as Wisconsin (1-2) opened -1 at Circa Sports, but as of Thursday afternoon, the Badgers have been bet up to -2. Wisconsin’s defense allows only 210 ypg which ranks second in the nation.
UCLA opened -3.5 at home against Arizona State and the line is now -3. UCLA is having trouble gaining trust again after some of us went too far with their 2021 prospects after beating LSU. The Sun Devils have had 43 penalties in four games. It’s very unusual for a Herm Edwards team to be one of the most penalized teams in the nation, a stat I’m sure he’s reminding his players about.
Station Casinos VP Jason McCormick says their top public plays this week are Oregon, Arkansas, and Notre Dame while his most sharp money has taken Maryland (+3.5 vs Iowa Friday), Georgia Tech (+3 vs. Pitt), and East Carolina (+4 vs. Tulane).
Oregon is the last hope for a Pac-12 team in the College Football Playoffs as the only undefeated team after four full weeks. They’ve been a steady at -7.5 to -8 for their game at Stanford. Oregon is only 1-3 ATS with the win at Ohio State being their only cover. The best stat for Oregon is they lead the nation with a +12 turnover margin.
By the way, only four teams are a perfect 4-0 ATS: Arkansas, Rutgers, UTSA, and Bowling Green.
It’s part of the public allure with Arkansas who has big underdog wins against Texas and Texas A&M while starting 4-0. But those big games were at Arkansas. Undefeated Georgia has been a steady 18-point favorite all week. The Bulldogs have the No. 1 defense in the nation allowing only 185 ypg and have averaged a 42-5 score this season. Yes, they allow only 5.8 ppg which is the lowest in the nation as well. Georgia is 3-1 ATS. Arkansas hasn’t lost a fumble yet.
C.J. Stroud is back at QB for the Buckeyes at Rutgers. Ohio State was bet against early and often with Circa Sports dropping them from -17 down to -14.5. The South Point and SuperBook each have Ohio State -15.
South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews says his top public plays are Oregon and Notre Dame like Station books but also Penn State while his top sharp bets have been Wisconsin (-2 vs Michigan), Tennessee (+3 at Missouri), and Temple (+12.5 vs Memphis).
Penn State is a popular choice to stay unbeatable and cover for the fourth time in five games. They’ve won eight straight games dating back to last season and face an Indiana squad (2-2) that has been pushed around and covered just once so far. Circa Sports have moved Penn State from -10.5 to -12.5. The South Point has them -13, and why not. Get to the number early. No one is coming in on Indiana. All the books will be -13 and higher by Saturday. If you like Penn State, bet it sooner than later.
Up north at the Atlantis Reno sportsbook, director Marc Nelson has only seen real sharp action on Oregon State coming off their big win against USC last week. His top public plays are right in line with what’s happening down south with the most action on Notre Dame, Oregon, and Penn State.
Circa Sports started with Washington the 4-point road favorite in their opening number Sunday morning and by Monday night the favorite had flipped to Oregon State -2.5. Washington has gone 1-3 ATS so far.
Here’s a look at the biggest early moves at Circa Sports when they opened their college football spreads on Sunday morning at 11am:
Mississippi +20 to +15 at Alabama
Coastal Carolina -30 to -34 vs. UL-Monroe
Michigan State -8 to -11.5 vs. Western Kentucky
UTSA -18 to -21 vs. UNLV
Air Force -7 to -10.5 at New Mexico
Utah State +10 to +7.5 vs. BYU
Nebraska -8 to -11 vs. Northwestern