What Sharps Think About This Week's Bowls

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


We only have four bowls this week, so I'm going to run through early sharp action (betting preferences from professional wagerers) for the whole card in this one report. NEXT week will get crazy because of a very heavy bowl schedule. I'll do my best to keep you updated on sharp action in a timely manner for Bowl Week. Like the rest of us, many sharps are waiting to see what other shoes will drop in terms of coaching headlines and player suspensions.

Here's what sharps think about the four games set for this week:


Louisville opened at -3, but got bet down to -2.5. That's very strong support for Southern Miss because it takes a lot of money to move off a critical number like three...and then no money came back on Louisville below a field goal. It may not turn out to be right for this game. But, historically, a widely available stabilized number of 2.5 in a game is a hint that the"right" line is closer to pick-em, or that the wrong team is favored.

Now, Southern Miss if from Conference USA, and the only CUSA team to play so far has been UTEP. That might encourage some anti-CUSA money to come in on Louisville before kickoff. The market reads and reacts to conference strengths as they become clearer. For now, the market is pointing at the short dog.

Nothing's happened on the total yet. An opener of 57 has stood pat.

LAS VEGAS BOWL (Wednesday)

Oddsmakers opened Boise State at -17.5 hoping to discourage action on the favorite. I can tell you from discussions with other oddsmakers that there's a consensus that Boise State is close to being one of the best Power Ratings teams in the sport, even after their loss to Nevada. This is a team that runs up the score on lesser foes. The last thing sportsbooks wanted was to get overloaded with Boise State money at a lower number.

Sharps took the bait, and bet the line down to -17 with support for Utah. That's where it sits now.

We've had some weather issues in past games, particularly with high winds. If that's the case in any way this year, we may see some Dog and Under money come in on game day. And, if the public hits the favorite, sharps will take back whatever they can get with the dog. Definitely one where you expect squares and sharps to be lined up on different sides.

The total thus far is down a half a point from 61 to 60.5.


Remember that this is a home game for San Diego State, but Navy will be well represented in the crowd because San Diego has a strong naval presence. Oddsmakers have allotted three points for home field. This threw off some bettors at first who were getting bigger gradings than they expected!

The opener of SDSU -6 has come down to -5. Part of that many sharps don't think San Diego State deserved full value for home field. Also, Navy gets respect as an underdog because of their option attack and disciplined play. You'll recall Navy crushed Missouri last year as an underdog of this size down in Houston.

Nothing yet on the total, sitting on its opener of 60.5.


Another home game, with Hawaii hosting its own bowl. Sharps jumped all over Tulsa here, driving an opener of +13.5 down to +10.5. This surprised many oddsmakers because Hawaii's been money in the bank this year as a general rule. In fact, the islanders are 11-2 ATSW this season!

Tulsa's a very solid 8-4 ATS themselves, and professional wagerers thought the early numbers were giving Hawaii too much credit.

Big move on the total too...with an opener of 69 shooting all the way up to 73. Sharps think Tulsa's going to make this a game, and they're going to do it with offense. You've already seen high scoring games in early bowl action (landing on 76, 57, and 69 points without any defensive or special teams scores). Sharps are expecting an even faster tempo in Hawaii.

That's it for this week. There won't be another bowl game until Sunday Night's Little Caesar's Bowl. Then things will get VERY busy with more than 20 bowls between Christmas and New Year's.

Of course, we'll have plenty of NFL to talk about this weekend. Look for my regular report on what the sharps are thinking in pro football in a few days.

We may not have a heavy schedule this week. But, there's still money to be made each and every night in college bowl action or on the basketball hardwood. You can purchase my BEST BETS online a few hours before the games start (beginning with Monday Night's Chicago-Minnesota game in the NFL and BONUS basketball!). If you'd like more information on my entire bowl package, call the office at 1-877-822-2276 and one of my handicapping assistants will be able to help you out.

News is breaking on a daily basis in college football...and that news is influencing lines all over the board. It's really going to pay this week and next to have a friend behind the line...because the best information always comes DIRECT FROM NEVADA!  

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