We’ve reached the midway point of what has been a fantastic college football season - except for my bankroll. It’s time for some halftime adjustments.
While I figure those out, here is a midseason report from around the betting world.
The book’s biggest losses of first halfPenn State at Alabama, Sept. 11
Alabama opened as a 12-point favorite, but was laying more than 14 by kickoff. The Crimson Tide quickly exposed Penn State and rolled to a 24-3 win.
“That was no good, ugly,” said Jay Rood, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas. Arkansas vs. Texas A&M, Oct. 9
The Razorbacks opened up as high as 8.5-point favorites. Rood said early sharp money came in on Texas A&M, which caused the line to drop to below a touchdown.
“We respect sharp money too much sometimes, to our detriment,” Rood lamented.
The public scooped up the Razorbacks late at -6 and gave the books a rare public beating with a 24-17 win.
“It was our biggest loss of the season by quite a wide margin,” Richard Gardner, Bodog
sportsbook manager, said.
Other big public wins: Alabama -23.5 vs. Duke and Notre Dame -3 over Boston College.The book’s biggest wins of first half
Surprise, surprise - the books made a killing last weekend. South Carolina’s upset of Alabama was a big winner for the Mirage and Bodog, but not as big as … LSU at Florida, Oct. 9
Les Miles was a hero in Baton Rouge and behind the counter at Las Vegas sportsbooks last week.
“LSU was huge for us, biggest of the season,” said Rood.
Florida opened as a -7.5-point favorite, but it dropped to -6.5 by midweek. Of course, a lot of public action and even a little sharp money poured in on the Gators late. So, when Miles’ underdog Tigers pulled off a stunning fake field goal and beat Florida, life was good on the books’ side.
The books also zapped the public with Arizona -1 vs. Iowa and Arkansas +7 vs. Alabama.Best and worst bets of first half
- Utah (4-0-1 ATS): The Utes are the only team without an ATS blemish. Last season, Idaho ran off seven straight ATS wins to start the season. Ohio State, Florida State, North Carolina State and Hawaii all have five ATS wins.
“Watch these teams for value in going against them in spots the rest of this season,” said Covers Expert Scott Rickenbach
, who is 9-1 on college football totals this season. “I say that because you know these types of ATS numbers have a way of leveling off as a season goes on.”
- Overs: The over has hit a remarkable 59.24 percent (218-150) this season.
- Oklahoma State and Oregon State over: The two orange OSUs are the only two teams to have eclipsed the total in each of their games.
- The under in BYU games is a perfect 6-0.
- New Mexico State and Boston College are both 0-5 ATS. New Mexico, Penn State and Wisconsin are 1-5 ATS.Notable stats of the first half
- Texas A&M leads the nation in offensive plays per game at 86.5.
- TCU is allowing opponents only 46 offensive plays per game. No other team is allowing less than 55. The Horn Frogs also boast the top third-down defense in the nation. Opponents are converting on third down only 22.67 percent of the time.
- Eastern Michigan cannot stop anyone. The Eagles’ opponents have penetrated the red zone 31 times. That’s the most in the nation. And, when they get there, they’re not settling for field goals. EMU has allowed 25 red-zone touchdowns, the most in the nation.
- Nebraska leads the nation in pass-efficiency defense. Ohio State is third. The last five national champions were ranked in the Top 5 in pass-efficiency defense.
- New Mexico may be the worst team ever. Out 120 teams, the Lobos rank 118th or worse in seven major statistical categories.Hot Covers Forum cappersBoom_Boom: 53-41WahooS: 34-19-2TRAIN69: 67-49Payneful Picks (Season: 6-13-2. Last week: 1-2)
Texas at Nebraska
Pick: Texas +10
Boise State at San Jose State
Pick: Boise State -39.5