Can you believe it’s Week 12 of the college football schedule? It seems time is moving as fast as the lines for this weekend’s action.
There are plenty of odds adjustments on the board and we talk to veteran oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro, of William Hill sportsbooks in Nevada, about those moves:
Miami (Ohio) Redhawks at Central Michigan Chippewas – Open: -3, Move: -4.5
This isn’t a monster move by any means, but is has come off the key number with money on the home side. With wise guys flocking to the MAC each week, these adjustments are a reflection of how much the books respect that sharp money.
“About 80 percent of these types of moves stay there,” Vaccaro told Covers. “There isn’t a whole lot of buyback on MAC games and we don’t see a rush to bet the other side.”
Washington State Cougars at Arizona State Sun Devils – Open: -20, Move: -22.5
With another abuse investigation about to hit WSU coach Mike Leach, bettors are siding with Arizona State in this early Pac-12 matchup. Vaccaro says bettors liked Leach and Washington State earlier in the season but have since turned their back on the Cougars.
“People fell off the Mike Leach bandwagon,” he says. “Sometimes, bettors will run with the certain coach or player all season. But now I think it’s personal. That’s not a word you want to hear – personal – when you’re putting your money up.”Minnesota Golden Gophers at Nebraska Cornhuskers – Open: -18.5, Move: -20.5
The Cornhuskers needed some come-from-behind dramatics to have themselves in a spot to claim the Big Ten Legends title and a place in the conference championship. With a win over Minnesota, Nebraska can do just that.
“If we opened it at 19.5, it would be 21.5 right now. No matter where you opened it, you’d be getting Nebraska money right now,” says Vaccaro.
Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at South Alabama Jaguars – Open: +10, Move: +7
Much like the MAC, the Sun Belt is gaining popularity with sharp bettors this season. Vaccaro says while the moves are dramatic, the risk isn’t as high for these small-conference clashes.
“It’s kind of become the poor man’s MAC,” Vaccaro says of the Sun Belt. “These games are there, we’re going to book them. And you respect those moves. Even if it’s a 3-point move, you’re only looking to lose like $4,000 or $5,000 on these small games.”
Iowa State Cyclones at Kansas Jayhawks – Open: +6.5, Move: +4.5
Kansas, while still 1-9 SU, has shown some fight in recent games. The Jayhawks lost to Texas Tech in double-overtime last week, and have won over bettors heading home to play Iowa State Saturday.
“Kansas has shown up the past couple weeks and in a lot of people’s minds, Kansas is trying,” says Vaccaro. “Iowa State as a road favorite isn’t something you want to depend on to feed your kids and pay your rent.”
Utah State Aggies at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs – Open: 70.5, Move: 73.5
Early action doesn’t have much faith in the Aggies’ 12th-ranked defense against the high-flying Bulldogs. Total bettors have sided with the over, pumping up this number heading into the weekend. Vaccaro isn’t impressed with Utah State’s stop unit either and expects La Tech’s fast-paced attack to disrupt the Aggies' game plan.
“When you play these types of teams, it changes the way you play defense,” he says. “They make you play faster. The moment they put you on your heels, it makes you a different team.”