Last Updated Nov 12, 2021, 00:00 AM
Vegas Money Moves - Week 11
The public has already spoken loud and clear who they’re betting in Week 11 of college football action. Only 15% of the action is in with 85% of it coming on Friday and Saturday, but for such a small sample, it’s the same teams on top at several Nevada sportsbooks and that bet flow should continue through the weekend on the same teams.
The top public teams are Michigan (-1.5 at Penn State), Georgia (-20 at Tennessee), Notre Dame (-4.5 at Virginia), and Michigan State (-13 vs. Maryland).
All four of those favored teams have postseason implications and those are games they have to win to stay alive. That’s the attraction. If they lose, they really lose out on CFB polling except for maybe Georgia. But Georgia allows only 6.6 points a game and last week they won 43-6 against Missouri. The Las Vegas SuperBook opened Georgia -20.5 and it’s remained steady at -20 since Wednesday at most sportsbooks.
Circa Sports opened Notre Dame -6 at Virginia on Sunday and it’s been bet down to -4.5. Both teams are 6-3 ATS but the Irish are 8-1 SU and sitting No. 9 in the CFP poll waiting for the teams in front of them to drop. No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Michigan State, and No. 4 Ohio State all have tough schedules ahead and at least two of them should have 2 losses. No. 3 Oregon is also likely to lose somewhere. No. 8 Oklahoma appears to be begging for anyone to beat them.
The CFP committee isn’t going to send a no-loss Cincinnati team instead of a 1-loss Notre Dame squad even though their one loss came at home to Cincinnati. At least that’s my belief, but it helps me understand more how my public is betting the Notre Dame game and all the other contenders.
Circa Sports opened Penn State as the 1-point home favorite and the first bet was on Penn State to make it -1.5 and then the next bet was at -1.5 to make it Penn State -2 and then Michigan was bet all the way down the ladder to pick ‘em. That movement was all on Sunday and stayed that way until Wednesday when they went Michigan -1.5. Caesars sportsbooks have the highest number at Michigan -2. These are two good defenses with each allowing only 16 ppg. Michigan has the No. 6 defense allowing only 297 ypg but also has the distinction of being 0-6 ATS in their last six games against winning teams. The Wolverines are 7-2 ATS this season. Penn State lost three straight games until beating Maryland last week and has rushed for less than 93 yards in each of their last three games. The total has been steady at 48.5.
Michigan State has had their secondary exposed the last two weeks against Michigan and Purdue, but are still 8-1 and 6-1-2 ATS. Maryland averages 316 ypg passing this season, something to think about with the total that has dropped from 62 to 61.5. The SuperBook has been at Michigan State -13 all week.
Something to keep an eye on for Maryland-Michigan State is Heisman Trophy candidate Kenneth Walker III who leads the nation with 147 ypg rushing. After his 5 TD performance against Michigan two weeks ago, his odds to win dropped from 18-to-1 down to 3-to-1 as of Thursday at Circa Sports. The favorite is Alabama QB Bryce Young (+190), then Walker, and then Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud (+450). I think those three are the guys and I think Walker and Stroud have more opportunities to win the Heisman in big games over the next four weeks.
The next tier of public popularity teams are Wake Forest (-2.5 vs. NC State), Oklahoma (-5.5 at Baylor), Coastal Carolina (-10.5 vs. Georgia State), and Purdue (+21.5 at Ohio State).
Yes, something looks very odd among the above four sides. When the public comes in on an underdog getting +21.5 and that team is playing Ohio State, it’s a sign that something isn’t right in the universe. You could almost say any public wager on an underdog would be a shocker, but they know betting against Ohio State is never a good idea yet they’ve been so enthralled and enamored with Purdue shocking Top-5 teams this season. First, it was a 24-7 win at Iowa last month and then last week it was a 40-29 win against Michigan State. Next up on the Boilermaker takedown is Ohio State, in their minds, who beat the Buckeyes 49-20 the last time they played in 2018 with QB David Blough hooking up with WR Ronadale Moore often. The last time Purdue has beaten Ohio State two in a row was in 1967.
Part of the other reason so many are siding with the Boilermakers in their parlays is because they’ve been scorned by the Buckeyes the last two weeks in struggles at Nebraska (26-17) and at home against Penn State (33-24). However smaller groups of people have bet Ohio State with enough cash to move the number at Circa Sports from -19 to -21.5.
Sharp money around Las Vegas rarely takes the teams that need to win but they find angles against a light spread compared to their own numbers. They find games that often aren’t televised by network TV in prime slots.
The best example of that is Hawaii being steamed up in their visit to Las Vegas to play UNLV who come off their first win of the season last week at New Mexico. SuperBook manager Randy Blum said Hawaii money laid -1.5 to -3.5 and it wasn't tourists from Hawaii spending their money the way Filipinos always did when Manny Pacquaio would fight in town during his prime.
Blum also said respected money pushed San Diego State from pick’ em to -3 against No. 22 Nevada. The winner of this game will likely represent the MWC West division in the conference title game. The Aztecs have the No. 8 defense allowing only 300 ypg. The Aztecs also have the worst home-field edge in the nation as they play home games at Carson, a mere 113 miles north up Interstate-5. The same respected money hit BetMGM books on the Aztecs as well.
Other sharp plays across the state include Minnesota (+5 at Iowa), Oregon State (-12.5 vs. Stanford) , TCU (+13 at Oklahoma State), and Colorado State (+2.5 vs. Air Force).
Here’s a look at Circa Sports largest opening moves on Sunday when they open the full slate of college football games at 11 am PT:
Georgia Tech +2 to -2 vs. Boston College
UTSA -29 to -33.5 vs Southern Miss
Clemson -38 to -41 vs Connecticut
Houston -22 to -25 at Temple
East Carolina +8 to +5.5 at Memphis
Kentucky -19 to -21.5 at Vanderbilt