Week 6 of college football action has a wide array of match-ups of teams building their resume for possible playoff consideration. And there’s also some of those teams building an image and 2021 confidence saying to the rest of the nation, ”Look at us, we’re really good.”
The public is taking notice of those good teams and becoming fans of them at the bet window with their parlays. That team this week is the Michigan Wolverines who are 5-0 and 4-1 ATS and come off a huge win at Wisconsin last week.
“Michigan at Nebraska is our most handled game of the week and Michigan is our most one-sided,” said Las Vegas SuperBook manager Randy Blum. “We’ve moved Michigan from -3 to -3.5.”
Sharp money hasn’t moved on Nebraska as the home underdog yet, but maybe they’re waiting for a better number, or maybe they like what Michigan has cooking this season.
Nebraska (3-3, 4-1-1 ATS) has played well defensively lately and Adrian Martinez has executed better at QB and the combination has allowed them to go 4-0-1 ATS in their last five games. Nebraska has proved they’re underrated and by winning this game at home, they can take that next step in the program. This is certainly Nebraska head coach Scott Frost’s biggest game.
The stat of the game to watch is the running numbers of Michigan. The Wolverines average 255 yards per game and the Nebraska defense allows 236 ypg rushing. Michigan QB Cade McNamara had his best game last week at Wisconsin in what was also his first road game. Possible letdown spot?
BYU (5-0, 3-2 ATS) is another one of those undefeated teams who come into their home game Saturday afternoon against a struggling Boise State (2-3, 3-2 ATS) who came off being upset at home by Nevada last week. It’s unusual to see the Broncos lose three games already this season.
“We had a big move on BYU from -3 up to -5.5,” Blum said. “BYU has been a public team the last few weeks, but this is definitely a sharp move.”
The South Point’s Chris Andrews said one of their top public plays this week was also BYU following the move.
So we have a mix of the public seeing a game move driven by sharps. The public follows after looking at both teams going in opposite directions and decides that the two trends will continue.
The biggest game of the day also features two undefeated teams looking to boost their postseason resume. It’s a battle of top-five teams with No. 4 Penn State visiting No. 3 Iowa who are both 4-1 ATS. It’s the first top-five meeting in Iowa since 1985 when Chuck Long and Ronnie Harmon’s No. 1 Hawkeyes beat No.2 Michigan, 12-10.
Iowa’s home field is respected by both sharp and public bettors. Circa Sports opened the game at Pick ‘em and within five minutes after opening on Sunday morning they were at Iowa -1.5 and 30 minutes later they Iowa -2.5. They’re at -2 now.
The last top-five teams to visit Kinnick Stadium have seen four of them go home a loser. The last top-five to come out a winner was that amazing 2017 Penn State squad with Saquon Barkley who totaled over 300 rushing and receiving yards. Penn State won 21-19.
Jason McCormick at Station Casinos says they have a 3-to-1 ratio with tickets written on Iowa in tickets written but it’s still not considered one of their top public risk games. They have Georgia (-16 at Auburn), Alabama (-17.5 at Texas A&M), and Ohio State (-20.5 vs. Maryland) as the top public favorites.
All three games the public have are perfect examples of the public betting what they saw last. Georgia hasn’t allowed anyone to score in their last two games, Alabama just covered against a good Mississippi squad while Texas A&M is banged up with no offensive threat. The Buckeyes returned to normal last week by killing a good Rutgers team and Maryland got roasted at home last week by Iowa.
It’s an odd combination of those top three public teams being the same at several Las Vegas locations as well as Marc Nelson’s Atlantis sportsbook in Reno. Nelson says his biggest risk so far is on Alabama. Andrews at the South Point says Georgia is their top risk of the week. The two teams favored to meet in the Championship Game are big public favorites in Week 6. Go figure.
There was a sharp group taking Air Force this week at the SuperBook and Station Casinos that moved them from a 4-point home favorite against Wyoming to -6 and the total dropped in that one from 49 down to 46.5.
“We also had sharp action pushing the Western Kentucky side and total,” said Blum about their home game against upstart UTSA. “They laid -2.5 up to -3.5 and they bet the total up from 67 to 70.”
UTSA (5-0, 4-1ATS) might be the best team in Conference USA but in this spot, WKU (1-3, 3-1 ATS) is respected by the wise guys. As for the total, it’s interesting to note that UTSA has gone over only once in five games while WKU has gone over in all four of their games.
Here’s a look at the biggest early moves at Circa Sports after opening the numbers at 11 am on Sunday with the biggest move on Bowling Green, the only team to be a perfect 5-0 ATS:
Bowling Green -7 to -14.5 vs. Akron
Syracuse +11 to +6 vs. Wake Forest
Ole Miss -2 to -6.5 to -5.5 vs. Arkansas
BYU -1 to -5.5 vs. Boise State
Liberty -16 to -19.5 vs. Middle Tennessee State
Florida -35 to -39 vs. Vanderbilt
Memphis +6 to +3 at Tulsa