The sharp vs. square debate rages on in Las Vegas and offshore. Sterling Ross, a Las Vegas oddsmaker, is keeping score between the betting public and the wiseguys as he takes action throughout the week.
Ross is keeping records of the five biggest moves each week and how the pros and joes fare for an entire football season.Florida State Seminoles at Clemson TigersOpened: Clemson +3, Closed: Clemson -2
This was as much injury steam as it was a bad number that crashed this pointspread. With Florida State QB EJ Manuel rumored to be out, wiseguys flocked to the Tigers as a home dog in this flat spot for FSU with the likelihood of a backup QB making his first start on the conference highway.
The price continued to plummet throughout the week as more and more Noles appeared on the injury report. Late money came in on FSU from folks looking to middle the game which never really had a shot. However, late FSU money doesn’t take away from the big move that helped wiseguys cash Clemson +3 tickets rather easily. Winner:
SharpsNevada Wolf Pack at Texas Tech Red RaidersOpened: Texas Tech -21, Closed: Texas Tech -15
The biggest line move of the week dropped six full points from the opening to closing price. Usually, wiseguys stop hammering a number after it moves 2-3 points across key numbers (21, 17, etc). But this scenario was much different as they bet the game consistently from start to finish.
We continued to take wiseguy bets no matter how much the price moved and apparently for good reason. Texas Tech never led by more than seven and the Wolf Pack got to the window for sharp gamblers with relative ease even having a chance to win the game outright as huge underdogs. Winner:
SharpsNebraska Cornhuskers at Wyoming CowboysOpened: Nebraska -24, Closed: Nebraska -20.5
From a situational standpoint, wiseguys saw value in Wyoming catching a little over three scores versus Nebraska at home. The Cornhuskers defense was porous in its previous two games, so sharp money latched onto the +24 and drove it down over a field goal.
This contest was a perfect example of why it’s imperative for professionals to get the best of the number. If you didn’t grab the 24 and insure yourself at least a push, you ended up a few points short because of a missed Wyoming field goal.
Every sharp will tell you that if you can’t get the best of the number, a game isn’t worth playing. Given what unfolded in Wyoming, the best-case scenario for Cowboys backers was a push with even those gamblers grabbing 23.5 late taking it on the chin. Winner:
SquaresMissouri Tigers at Oklahoma Sooners Opened: OU -21.5, Closed: OU -19.5
This game showed very interesting line movement throughout the week. It wasn’t until kickoff Saturday evening that the casual gambler was better able to understand the move. Oklahoma climbed as high as -22.5 before the bottom fell out when sharp money knew OU’s second receiving threat, Kenny Stills, was going to miss the game with a head injury (price started to dip Thursday).
The general public and sports information services never knew about his status prior to kickoff, proving another example of why the wiseguys betting opinion is always respected. The general public rarely wants to fade the elite teams and it was sharp money that latched onto an undervalued Missouri side. The nearly three-TD dog never found itself outside the number all night. Winner:
SharpsNew York Jets at Oakland RaidersOpened: New York -3.5, Closed: New York -2.5
Any time a line moves from 3.5 to 3 in the NFL, it’s worth paying attention too. Oakland took that one step further, opening at +3.5 and closing at +2.5, with a full point move across a key number. For a NFL price to move that much, it takes deep pockets and the sharp money clearly knew what it was doing. The Raiders looked like the better team right from the start and, after watching for 60 minutes, made a compelling case for being the favorite.
Keep in mind, anytime you see a spread move across a key number without any buyback, it’s a line move that you won’t find much success fading. If you’re in the market of tailing steam, however, don’t be the guy grabbing 2.5 only to watch the game fall at three.Winner:
SharpsScore: Sharps 4, Squares 1