College football sprints past the halfway mark of the schedule in Week 8. Bettors have a good idea which programs are for real and which ones aren’t, keeping this Saturday’s odds on the move.
We talk to sportsbooks about the biggest adjustments to the NCAAF lines and where they could end up come kickoff Saturday.
UCLA Bruins at Stanford Cardinal – Open: -5.5, Move: -7, Move: -4.5
This line has been on a ride since post, climbing as high as Stanford at a touchdown before action bought back the Bruins as low as +4.5 at some markets.
“Tuesday got sharp bet on the favorite, so moved to -6. Then we took a sharp bet on underdog, so moved to current number of 5.5,” Mike Perry of Sportsbook.com tells Covers. “So far, 60 percent of the money is on the Cardinal.”
Texas Tech Red Raiders at West Virginia Mountaineers – Open: +8, Move: +5
This Big 12 battle has jumped from one dead number to the next at some books, coming down as many as three points with action on the home side.
According to Aron Black of Bet365.com, this line move has everything to do with the unsettled QB options for both TTU and WVU heading into Saturday. Red Raiders QB Baker Mayfield is questionable with a knee injury and Mountaineers QB Ford Childress is out with a torn pectoral muscle.
“The line going to WVU looks more to do with them having more QB options, with TTU QB Baker Mayfield questionable,” Black tells Covers. “Action has been fairly split, but early action liked WVU +7, and they’re now coming back with some TTU -5.5.”
Florida Gators at Missouri Tigers – Open: +3, Move: +3.5
This spread was made with Tigers QB James Franklin out of action, but wasn’t discounting Missouri too much after last week’s upset over Georgia. This isn’t the biggest move on the board but sharp money has been loud and clear about its choice in this SEC showdown.
“On Tuesday, we got a wiseguy bet on Gators, so moved to Florida -3.5,” says Perry. “Sixty-five percent of the cash is on the Gators.”
Navy Midshipmen at Toledo Rockets – Open: -6.5, Move: -10
The Middies limp into Week 8 with a long list of injuries, including QB Keenan Reynolds, who is dealing with an illness heading into Saturday. Money on the home team has moved this past a TD and to another key number of 10.
“Not the biggest game obviously but a full field-goal move is rather large,” says Black. “All down to injuries with Navy, with numerous questionables and doubtfuls on both sides of the ball for them. Action has been all on Toledo with the moves.”
Florida State Seminoles at Clemson Tigers – Open: +3.5, Move: +2.5
Some books have cut a full point off the line for this ACC war, with both the sharps and public pounding the Tigers at home. Perry says about 70 percent of the action is on Clemson heading into the weekend.
“Wiseguys seem to like the dog here,” he says. “Tuesday night, we got sharp play on the Tigers +3.5.”
LSU Tigers at Mississippi Rebels – Open: +7.5, Move: +10
This spread reached Ole Miss +10.5 before money showed up on the home team. The Rebels will likely be without RB Jeff Scott and numerous members of the defense while LSU is expected to start QB Zach Mettenberger, who is nursing a shin injury.
“LSU needs to run the table from here on out,” says Black. “Although they started as worthy favorites at Ole Miss, the injury news has been favorable for the Tigers and not so much for the Rebels, forcing the line to go much further to LSU than the opener. Action has been liking LSU since release at about a 3/1 clip.”
USC Trojans at Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Open: -3, Move: -3.5
It seems weird to have this yearly rivalry take place between two unranked programs. But even though USC and Notre Dame aren’t among the nation’s elite, action is still fast and furious on this game. According to Perry, both sharp and public money are siding with the Irish in South Bend.
“We got a sharp play on the Irish Wednesday, so moved to -3.5,” he says. “About 75 percent of the cash is backing Notre Dame.”
Georgia Bulldogs at Vanderbilt Commodores – Open: +9, Move: +7
A laundry list of injuries for UGA has taken this spread down as many as two points at some markets. Running back Todd Gurley headlines the Bulldog’s walking wounded, as does fellow RB Keith Marshall and numerous defensive players.
“Vandy is nothing special, but coming off a bye week will have given them good practice time and recovery for guys carrying slight injuries,” says Black. “A TD line may look like good value on the Dogs, but this is possibly a real banana skin for them. Action has been light, but most of what we have is sticking with Bulldogs to cover.”