Week 5 of the college football season is going to be awesome. If the bevy of big-name matchups wasn’t evidence enough, the furious amount of action coming in at sportsbooks is. We talk with oddsmakers about the biggest line adjustments heading into the weekend and where those odds will end up come kickoff Saturday:
Odds as of Saturday morning 9:30 a.m. ET.
Florida State Seminoles at Boston College Eagles – Open: +22.5, Move: +23, Move: +21.5
This line has bounced between 23 and 21.5 points, with some markets opening on the low end and moving up to Florida State -22. According to Michael Stewart of CarbonSports.ag, semi-sharp action took the home side, trimming the line a bit before a wave of public money stormed in on the Noles.
“Combine the public perception that Boston College stinks, with the fact that they've been blown out in this series the past two years by a combined 75 points, it's understandable that this line has moved a bunch, “Stewart tells Covers. “We're currently dealing FSU -24 (Friday afternoon) as 88 percent of all the early action is on the road favorite.”
Iowa Hawkeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers – Open: -1, Move: +2, Move: 2.5
The Golden Gophers 4-0 record isn’t fooling wiseguys. Minnesota is undefeated against the likes of UNLV, New Mexico State, FCS Western Illinois and San Jose State. Action has moved this game off the fence and towards the visitor.
“Sharp money likes Iowa and the early post of Minny as a small fave has flipped,” says Aron Black of Bet365.com. “Our action sees both sides backed, but we’re considering the sharps on Iowa.”
Arizona Wildcats at Washington Huskies – Open: -7, Move: -10
Early money showed up on the home side and moved this spread off one key number to another. According to Black, the probable status of Huskies RB Bishop Sankey is behind this move along with some key injuries to Arizona. That kept steady action coming in on Washington.
The total has come down from 63.5 to as low as 61.5 with rain in the forecast for CenturyLink Field Saturday.
USC Trojans at Arizona State Sun Devils – Open: -7, Move: -3.5, Move: 4.5
Sharp action on the Trojans in their first true road test of the year has trimmed as many as 3.5 points off this line at some books. According to Stewart, CarbonSports.ag is dealing ASU -5 and says that the rest of the market may have taken on too much sharp action and expects wiseguys to buy back the Sun Devils at the discount price.
“I might be completely misreading the markets here, but I can't see why anyone would support USC in this game,” he says. “That said, while we've seen sharp action that drove our price from -6.5 down to -5, we've since booked a bunch of recreational action on the favorite and we're currently dealing ASU -5.5.”
Mississippi Rebels at Alabama Crimson Tide – Open: -17, Move: -14
There’s a chink in the Crimson Tide’s armor and bettors no longer believe Alabama is invincible. Early action has taken this down from one key number to the next, with money on Ole Miss swaying the market place.
“Money is coming in on both sides, and although Alabama has done nothing wrong, the sharp money likes Ole Miss plus the points,” says Black, who points out that the Rebels are 6-3 ATS in their last nine meetings with the Crimson Tide. “Bettors seem to like Ole Miss to at least cover. but Bama is a banker for SU parlay action, which is nothing new.”
Texas A&M Aggies at Arkansas Razorbacks – Open: +14, Move: +16; Move: +14.5
Arkansas QB Brandon Allen is expected to miss Saturday’s showdown with the Aggies, which kept books from posting a line on this game most of the week. That injury as well as the overall popularity of Texas A&M and reigning Heisman winner Johnny Manziel has made this a very one-sided handle.
“We couldn't stop the bleeding and we decided right then, this is going to be a runaway game where our customers are all going to line up and bet the road favorite,” says Stewart. “Currently over 85 percent of the early action is on Texas A&M and I wouldn't be surprised if we closed this line as high as -17.”
Stewart does report that since making a direct jump from Aggies -14.5 to -16, some sharp money has come back to take the Razorbacks at the discounted spread.
Air Force Falcons at Nevada Wolf Pack – Open: -7, Move: -10, Move: -12
This MWC matchup leapt from one key number to the next with the suspension of Air Force QB Jaleel Awini moving the line as many as three points and two more points beyond that by Saturday morning. The Falcons are also missing WR Ty MacArthur due to a concussion. Nevada got good news pertaining to QB Cody Fajardo and RB Don Jackson, who are probable for Week 5.
“Action is quiet as it’s not a sexy matchup, but we are pretty split for what we have, and actually a bit more on Air Force,” says Black.