Books being careful with early odds on top teams
Taking candy from a baby may be easy but it leaves you with a tainted conscience and tooth decay.
Taking money from the sportsbooks, now that’s a task just about everyone enjoys. And everyone did through the first four weeks of the 2011 college football season.
Books took a bath during the opening stretch of the NCAAF campaign last fall as the top five teams in the rankings – LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma, Stanford and Boise State – posted a combined 13-4 ATS record through the first four weeks of play.
It’s a dark time that bookmakers don’t like to remember but one they’ll never forget. And it’s on their minds with the 2012 college football season kicking off this week.
“It’s a different season, but you do look back at those results,” says Jimmy Vaccaro, a veteran oddsmaker for William Hill in Las Vegas. “Each year has its trademark and that was it. We’re going to be moving a little quicker this year, be more vigilant with the adjustments. Who knows, you could be paying a premium for top teams by Week 3.”
Oddsmakers haven’t made it easy on bettors, piling up the points for top teams like Southern Cal, LSU and Oregon. Among Week 1 games involving Top 25 teams (with odds currently available), eight have spreads of 25 points or more. Marshall at West Virginia is sitting at WVU -24.5.
Not exactly shooting fish in a barrel. More like trying to get Lindsay Lohan to pay her $47,000 hotel bill – a pain in the ass but not impossible.
According to Vaccaro, USC -42 hosting Hawaii is the most popular bet among recreational players looking to lay a big fave. There is a lot of parlay action tied into the Trojans heading into Saturday's slate, moving Southern Cal from its opener of -38 to its current stand.
Here's a quick look at the Top 5 teams, according to the rankings, and their odds for Week 1:
No. 1 LSU Tigers -42.5 vs. North Texas
No. 2 Alabama Crimson -14 vs. Michigan
No. 3 USC Trojans -42 vs. Hawaii
No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners -31 at UTEP
No. 5 Oregon Ducks -37 vs. Arkansas State