A new football season means a whole new crop of “Football Lines That Make You Go Hmmm…”.
Week 1 of the college football slate begins this Thursday and there are more than a few odds out there making bettors scratch their heads. Here’s a look at three games which lines are making us go “Hmmm” this week:Navy Midshipmen vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-16.5, 57)
This line has baffled many football bettors ever since Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees was suspended. Most markets opened the Irish around -17 and have since dropped the spread to 16.5. However, with the recent news that Notre Dame starting RB Cierre Wood was suspended for the first two games, you would expect another line move for the Irish.
That hasn’t been the case.
While the total has reflected those missing players, going from 58.5 to 57, the spread is staying put at 16.5 – a testament to the public appeal of Notre Dame.Minnesota Golden Gophers at UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (+8.5, 50)
The Runnin’ Rebels were putrid last season, going a nauseating 3-8-1 ATS. While Bobby Hauck has some experience returning on offense, UNLV managed the fourth fewest yards in the nation in 2011 and isn’t expected to do much more in 2012.
Minnesota isn’t the cream of the crop in the Big Ten but has plenty of returning talent and a game-breaker in QB MarQueis Gray, who can manufacture touchdowns all by himself.
This spread has bounced around this summer, going as low as 7 and as high as 9.5. A big stinky middle could be in the cards for books taking action against the Vegas kids.Iowa Hawkeyes at Northern Illinois Huskies (+10, 50)
Chandler Harnish was one of the best kept secrets in college football and carried NIU to 11 wins and a bowl victory before making the move to the pros. The Huskies, who averaged 476.1 yards (11th in the country) last season, return just three starters from that offense.
Iowa lost starting RB Marcus Coker to transfer but returns QB James Vandenberg, who was third in passing yards per game in the Big Ten and posted a 25-to-7 TD-to-INT count. New offensive coordinator Greg Davis has a few new wrinkles and the chops to soften the loss of the 1,375 yards and 12 TDs departed WR Marvin McNutt put up in 2011.
Early-bird action has walked this spread from 6.5 all the way to 10. Could game-day money push it past that the key number?