Big College Movers Do Well


This past Saturday started with a big college move from sharps (professional wagerers) that went down the tubes when Georgia Tech lost outright at Kansas. The line had moved six points in their favor because of strong support. If it had moved six points in the other direction, Tech still wouldn't have covered!

But, that was the exception rather than the rule on a day where most of the big line moves won. Here's a quick review in rotation order:

*Georgia Tech moved from -7 to -13 at Kansas, and LOST OUTRIGHT 28-25. Tech never looked like they should have been a prohibitive favorite. Kansas played much better this week than in their loss to North Dakota State thanks to a change at quarterback.

*Wake Forest moved from -3 to -5.5 vs. Duke, and won 54-48. Looks like Duke will be playing a lot of high scoring games this year.

*California moved from -4 to -10 vs. Colorado and won 52-7. The opener was horrible, as oddsmakers overreacted to Colorado's victory over Colorado State. One could argue the closing line was bad based on the final score.

*Florida State moved from +10 down to +7 and even +6.5 at Oklahoma and lost 47-17. Support for the Seminoles just kept coming in until kickoff...but the sharps knew they were in trouble from the opening minutes. Not every game goes as well for them as California/Colorado did.

*Michigan moved from +6 down to +3 at Notre Dame and WON OUTRIGHT 28-24. Good read here from the sharps on Michigan's improved play in 2010 thanks to their star quarterback.

*Eastern Michigan moved from +18.5 down to +14 at Miami of Ohio and covered in a 28-21 loss. In some seasons, the MAC moves are pure gold. That was true here, but not in a later kickoff you'll see in a moment.

*Air Force moved from +2.5 to -1.5 at home against BYU, and won 35-14. BYU opened as a false favorite. The market corrected that, but didn't correct enough based on the final score. A big surprise that BYU was so uncompetitive against a conference rival.

*Tennessee dropped from +13 down to +10.5, but got slaughtered by Oregon 48-13. A bad miss here from the sharps, who had too much respect for the SEC home dog.

*Washington moved from -10 to -13 vs. Syracuse and won 41-20. Funny that Washington and BYU reversed their results from last week's meeting. Sharps properly read the bounce back for the Huskies.

*Ohio moved from -6.5 to -10 vs. Toledo, but LOST OUTRIGHT 20-13. I know a lot of sharps who liked this one. I agreed with them. You're going to suffer some losses on your winning days.

*Alabama moved from -9.5 to -14 vs. Penn State and won 24-3. The whole world was on Alabama it seemed Saturday Night. Sharps moved the line early in the week. Squares kept betting'Bama at the higher number. There wasn't much buyback on the Nittany Lions at +14. Sportsbooks would have been very happy if Jo Pa would have covered this one.

*NC State moved from +6.5 down to +3 at Central Florida and WON OUTRIGHT 28-21. Another very good read from the sharps here. The public paid no attention to this game. Oddsmakers had a misread on the CUSA favorite vs. the ACC dog.

*San Diego State moved from -10.5 to -14 at New Mexico State and won 41-21. Sharps like the “game in hand” edge early in the season. It doesn't happen much any more. But, this was the season opener for New Mexico State. They weren't as sharp, and it showed in the final score.

*Nevada moved from -21 to -24 vs. Colorado State and won 51-6. Sharps got this part of the Colorado/CSU game right. Colorado State may be horrible this year.

*USC moved from -17.5 to -20.5 vs. Virginia, but almost lost outright in a 17-14 victory. So, we start and finish with incorrect moves from the sharps, but most of the games in between were big winners.

You'll often hear insiders say that there's not value betting a game after a big line move. That's usually very good advice. I often give it myself! Early in the college season, the scores are so volatile that it's much less of a concern. You'll note that only Duke/Wake Forest landed close to the number. If you were riding the steam, you did well this week. If you were waiting until the apex and fading it, that didn't work out so well except in a few games.

As typically happens early in a college season, oddsmakers are behind the sharps.

Keep that in mind as September continues. Even if I don't have a chance to write up a report for you every week, I'll certainly be monitoring developments in this area. You should be doing the same as you take notes each day in your schedule.

by Las Vegas linesmaker Nick Bogdanovich


Today’s Hot Plays