USA Today Sports

College football line watch: Jump on Boise State now

Each week during the college football season, renowned Las Vegas wiseguy and Covers Expert Bruce Marshall looks at the NCAAF odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later, and which total to watch as the week plays out.

Spread to bet now

Boise State Broncos (+4) at Washington Huskies

This number has been moving in U-Dub’s direction ever since it was first posted in early June. Lots of hype for the Huskies, with an overreaction to their returning starter count, the re-christening of Husky Stadium, and the revenge angle versus Boise State from the Las Vegas Bowl last December. Not to mention being a chic pick to emerge in the Pac-12 from many preseason publications.

All of these are very superficial arguments ignoring the fact that Washington might have hit a plateau for head coach Steve Sarkisian, who is feeling a bit of heat to get his team above the six or seven-win level. Shrewd investors are taking a more cautious wait-and-see attitude with the Huskies. Now that the spread has crashed through an expected resistance point at -3, grab the Broncos before the sharps jump in and trigger an expected buy-back on Boise State to drop the price before kickoff. The wagering public will soon remember that BSU is 84-8 SU for head coach Chris Petersen.

Spread to wait on

Washington State Cougars (+16) at Auburn Tigers

This price has moved in Auburn’s direction with no resistance shown at -14, as the Tigers have been bet up to 15 and 16 at many Las Vegas outlets. New Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn is being given plenty of respect in the marketplace as he returns to the Plains. Some sharp SEC observers are on record as saying the Tigers could make a big jump from last year’s 3-9 disaster, which is contributing to the “buy” pressure and growing sentiment in the marketplace that Auburn is a team to watch.

Meanwhile, Wazzu is flying well beneath the radar and is certainly no team du jour in the mind of the pundits after a disappointing effort a year ago for then-new head coach Mike Leach. But the public is forgetting that the Cougars weren’t much worse than Auburn a year ago. There is more run left in this Tiger price move. Expect this number to climb some more and reach another key number at -17 later in the week, which is when some Cougar money will finally be tempted to jump into the fray.

Total to watch

Wyoming Cowboys at Nebraska Cornhuskers (65.5)

College totals often make dramatic late-week moves and this matchup at Lincoln is an early candidate to adjust sharply. A handful of Las Vegas wagering outlets have posted a 65 on this game early in the week, but we expect the total to soar several points higher as the realization that both teams (especially Wyoming) have defensive questions and each returns a prolific QB, Brett Smith for the Cowboys and Taylor Martinez for the Huskers. There’s nobody we know in Las Vegas who is thinking about an under in any game involving these two until further notice, so we advise a quick over purchase before the total climbs near (or above) 70.

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Posted by mjm1012
3 years ago


Posted by rLp
3 years ago

How is home field advantage, returning starters and revenge factor considered an "overreaction?" Those are solid facts to lead somebody for betting a game. Hell, if you take those factors away, you may as well take all factors out of ALL games and just call everything an "overreaction". The home field is HUGE in this game. The returning/experience for Udub is HUGE in this game. And the revenge factor is HUGE in this game. Go ahead & take Boise plus the points. But this is not a Kellen Moore team, with two NFL wideouts and an NFL Running back.

Posted by JohnnyJet0023
3 years ago

Playing on ranked road underdogs versus unranked home favorites scares me a bit. The line makers know allot more then the pollsters, and a close look at Boise shows some troubling statistical declines recently. Boise used to get USC and Oregon recruit left overs....those are going to UCLA and Oregon State now as the PAC 12 has raised it's recruiting profile in recent years. I may be in the minority, but I think Boise State is a program that has peaked and is now on the other side of the mountain. I have Washington -3, but also playing Fresno State to win the MWC as a play against Boise's overall season. Fresno could be the new Boise....get on that train now while the price is still right.
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Top Response

Posted by rLp
3 years ago

"How is home field advantage, returning starters and revenge factor considered an "overreaction?" Those are solid facts to lead somebody for betting a game. Hell, if you take those factors away, you may as well take all factors out of ALL games and ..."