NCAAF action report: Bettors backing Buckeyes

Ashton Grewal - Covers Associate Editor
The Golden Nugget didn’t get the $200,000 Day 1 handle it was seeking on its college football Games of the Year spreads, but that might not be a bad thing.

Sharp bettors didn’t attack the Golden Nugget’s lines on opening day like they had done in years past, according to sportsbook oddsmaker Aaron Kessler.

“We’ve moved lines 5 or 6 points on the first day in years past,” Kessler said in a phone interview with Covers Monday night. “We didn’t move a line more than 3.5 points this year.”

The Golden Nugget released spreads on 111 college football games yesterday, the sportsbook’s sixth consecutive year being the first to post NCAAF lines in Vegas. Of those 111 spreads, only 18 moved more than a point and 56 stayed put after the first day of betting.

“In years past we used to have guys come in a bet on LSU every game or bet against Tennessee on every game,” Kessler said. “We actually got a lot more two-way action this time around.”

That’s not to say the wise guys didn’t have some opinions.

Ohio State was bet and bet heavily. The Nugget posted spreads on five Buckeye games and all five moved in their favor. Ohio State went from +4.5 to +2.5 at Michigan State, -2 to -4 at home against Nebraska, +7 to +6 at Wisconsin, -3 to -5.5 at Penn State and +3 to Pick at home against Michigan.

“Lot of love for the Buckeyes,” Kessler said. “Urban Meyer (OSU’s new head coach) is a great coach but he’s not the guy who can turn it around in one year.”

The first limit bet ($1,000) the Golden Nugget received was on Michigan +12 vs. Alabama. The Week 1 non-conference battle was bet down to -10 by the end of the day.

The biggest move on the day was Texas A&M going from a 1-point home favorite to a 2.5-point underdog against Florida. That’s the Aggies first SEC conference game.

There was a 3-point move on a game that could potentially decide the ACC. Florida State closed Monday night as a 2-point chalk after opening as a 1-point underdog at Virginia Tech.

Here’s a look at all the openers and the current spreads for the Golden Nugget’s NCAAF Games of the Year:

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