College football bettors are in the home stretch of the schedule, keeping the Week 11 odds on the move throughout the week. We talk to Jay Rood, sportsbook director at the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, about the biggest adjustments heading into Saturday’s action.
Miami Hurricanes at Virginia Cavaliers – Open: +2.5, Move: -1
The Cavaliers opened as 2.5-point home dogs at some online markets and were quickly bet up to 1-point favorites following their upset win over North Carolina State last week. Rood opened Virginia at -1 but has taken nothing but Miami money since. The Hurricanes have improved each week and took down Virginia Tech as 1-point underdogs last week – they’re fifth ATS victory in the past six games.
“It looks like this one could close at a pick or even Miami -1,” Rood told Covers.
Wisconsin Badgers at Indiana Hoosiers – Open: +5.5, Move: +7.5
Money on the Badgers has pushed this spread past the key number at most books. MGM opened at a touchdown and took instant action on Wisconsin, moving the spread to 7.5 before settling back at the original stand. The Hoosiers are in the thick of the Big Ten race but need wins in their final three games to shock the conference, starting with a home victory over the Badgers.
“Indiana has been better lately but they seem to get throttled in games in which they should get throttled,” says Rood. “That said, Wisconsin hasn’t really been itself and Indiana could be better at home.”
Colorado Buffaloes at Arizona Wildcats – Open: -31, Move: -28.5
A few sharp plays were enough to move this Pac-12 spread off its opener. However, Rood sees Arizona money on the way and expects the line to go back up closer to the 1:30 p.m. ET start time, which is 11 a.m. MT. Arizona starting QB Matt Scott was ruled doubtful by the team Friday due to a concussion and junior B.J. Denker is expected to start in his place.
“I don’t think anyone really has faith in Colorado,” says Rood. “I think the sharps are taking what they saw as an overinflated power rating. We’ll see Arizona money come game day.”
Penn State Nittany Lions at Nebraska Cornhuskers – Open: -6.5, Move: -9
This Big Ten battle has moved past a touchdown and is sitting as high as -9 at some online books. Rood says this line move wasn’t forced by one or two big sharp plays but rather the accumulation of money on the Huskers.
“If we go as high as -9, I expect some buyback,” he says. “Penn State has been backed well this season despite what happened there.”
Rood also points out that a lot of wagers are coming in on the under for this game, driving the number down from as high as 54 to 51 points. The forecast in Lincoln is calling for strong winds, blowing south at 22 mph and temperatures in the low 20s.
Mississippi State Bulldogs at LSU Tigers - Open: -14, Move: -16
After such a crushing loss to Alabama last week, bettors are keeping their space when it comes to LSU this Saturday. Rood says there has been very little action on this SEC clash, outside of a bit of parlay money on the Tigers.
“No one’s really tipping their hand for this one,” Rood says of the betting patterns. “Chances are we’ll need Mississippi State come Saturday.”
Utah Utes at Washington Huskies – Open: -1, Move: +1.5
This Pac-12 spread has hopped the fence after opening with Washington as a slight home fave at some markets. The MGM Mirage is dealing Utah -1 and sharps have been happy to give the one point.
With this 10:30 p.m. ET kickoff standing as one of the last games on the Week 11 board, Rood says a lot more action will come in on this game later Saturday.
“This one is going to be an issue for us as far as the parlay cards are concerned,” he says. “A lot of late tickets will be running into this game.”