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Football lines that make you go hmmm...

I’m not sure what the slogan is for the Mid-American Conference or if it even has one. But among the betting community, the MAC is known as the place where the sharps hang out.

Every Sunday night, sportsbooks open the lines for college football’s upcoming slate and each week there are a handful of MAC games with odds jumping all over the board. If you ask someone in the know, they’ll tell you there are only three or four wagers on those games, but all of them were limit plays from well-respected handicappers.

Sharps are drawn to the mystery of the MAC. While BCS conferences get constant media coverage and the most care from the oddsmakers, smaller conferences – like the MAC – have softer lines and team news is a little harder to come by. If you’re willing to put in the work, there is value to be had in betting the MAC.

One of the MAC lines already on the move this week is the spread for Miami (Ohio) at Buffalo. The Redhawks (4-4 SU, 2-6 ATS), coming off a huge upset over then-undefeated Ohio, are as big as 4-point road underdogs visiting the Bulls, who have just one win this season.

At first glance, this spread seems to be on the wrong side, with Buffalo picking up its only win against an FCS program. However, a closer look at the Bulls’ opponents may clear up the confusion.

Buffalo has faced an uphill climb all season, with its seven FBS opponents posting a combined record of 44-14 SU and featuring five one-loss teams - the only exceptions being Big East programs Pitt and UConn. Buffalo has also been an underdog in all but one of those FBS contests, giving 3-points to Kent State in Week 4.

The Bulls also returned star RB Bo Oliver – arguably the most explosive player in the MAC - in a 25-20 loss to Toledo last weekend. He rushed for 101 yards in his first game since suffering a knee sprain in that loss to the Golden Flashes in mid September.

Sharp MAC money has already moved this week's spread off the key number of -3 at post and took it as high as -4.5 before some buyback came in on Miami (Ohio).

Here are some other spreads making football bettors go “hmmm…” as we head into the weekend:

NCAAF

Texas Longhorns at Texas Tech Red Raiders (-6.5, 67)

It’s been a while since the Red Raiders were handing the points to their hated rivals, the Longhorns. In fact, the last time Texas Tech was a favorite versus Texas was in 2004. Remember 2004? This is what 2004 looked like…ugh



The Horns hooked the Red Raiders for a 51-21 thrashing as 2.5-point road underdogs in that game, led by dynamic QB Vince Young and stud RB Cedric Benson. This year's version of Texas football doesn’t have the horses like the 2004 squad, but is still a dangerous team (averaging 41.5 points – eighth in the land).

NFL

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Oakland Raiders (-1, 45.5)


The Bucs have been one of the best bets of the NFL season and finally managed to win and cover by exposing the Minnesota Vikings on national TV last Thursday, winning 36-17 as 5.5-point road underdogs.

Tampa Bay has been oh-so close in plenty of games this year, taking the fight to New York, Dallas Washington and New Orleans, and is much better than its 3-4 SU record suggests. But, books are expecting a letdown from the Buccaneers when they travel cross country to face the Raiders in Week 9.

Oakland is coming off back-to-back wins over Jacksonville and Kansas City, which means about as much as a Lindsay Lohan stint in rehab. Someone had to win those games. The Silver and Black have been faves three times this year and have failed to cover in all three.

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (+3.5, 42.5)

Cleveland is playing better – we’ll be the first to admit that. But considering how bad the Browns have been there was nowhere to go but up.

They shocked the NFL with a 7-6 win over the San Diego Chargers and a hat tip goes out to the weather in Ohio which shackled Philip Rivers and the Bolts' attack. If the teams weren’t playing in the middle of a mud hole, the outcome would have definitely been different.

The Browns better hope for more wind, rain and slop when the rival Ravens come to town Sunday. Baltimore (5-2 SU, 2-5 ATS) had a bye week to lick its wounds after a nasty loss to Houston and tries to get back on track, with its sights set at the AFC’s top seed.

The Ravens failed to cover as 11.5-point home faves versus the Browns in Week 4 but have come away with the cash in their last four trips to Cleveland.

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Posted by Croato
2 years ago

Well if you are ever in Toronto just come by the bar on the weekend and the pints are on me
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Posted by J_Logan
2 years ago

Sweet, I may take you up on that. I'm in Toronto quite often. Good luck this weekend.
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Posted by Croato
2 years ago

With your help and some of my own I have won 3 weeks Average weekly winnings are between $950-$1200 Next time you are in Toronto, Ontario cone see me at 6th Street Bar and Grill Come on by and have some real beer not that piss you guys have down south! Lol
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Posted by J_Logan
2 years ago

Dude, I'm Canadian. No piss beer here.
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Posted by Croato
2 years ago

Well that SUCKS!! With Jasons picks I have been winning my bar pool picks
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Posted by J_Logan
2 years ago

I expect a cut of that action if you win.
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Posted by bears4ever
2 years ago

Oops. I meant was I like your post good for some insight into games. Keep it going and F--- the haters
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Posted by bears4ever
2 years ago

Hey Jason don't stop ignore the haters. I like your
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Posted by Croato
2 years ago

Whats going on with the Staff Picks? They have been blank for 2 weeks running now
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Posted by Rizzo
2 years ago

Staff pick have been discontinued Croato!
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Posted by Reality_King
2 years ago

Jason lines that make you go hmmm....is getting old. Come up with a new one degen
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Posted by J_Logan
2 years ago

That Nickelback joke touched a nerve with you, didn't it?
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Posted by Reality_King
2 years ago

No...I actually like Nickelback. Its just your same one liner every week and for the most part the lines don't make me go hummmm. Its people who don't have a clue or edge would seem to feel this way, so that speaks alot about your uncertainty and could be the reason why you try to appeal to this level...get a grip pal its 2012.
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Top Response

Posted by Croato
2 years ago

"Well that SUCKS!! With Jasons picks I have been winning my bar pool picks"