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Walking the Line - Week 8 of College Football

Photo by Jay Biggerstaff, USA Today Sports

By Jeremy Dennis


The big money that is moving college football lines in the previous weeks have really been struggling. In a two week span, the “odds influencers” have gone a miserable 3-12. One would have thought that with more statistical data comes more winning on the bets, but I guess not. Here is what happened last week:

  1. Michigan 42 - Illinois 25 Line moved 3 points to (-23) for Michigan. You know what? I take the blame for this one. In previous Degenerate Menace (-411) pieces, I swore up and down that I would not bet Michigan again this year. Then came this game. Michigan trending up, Illinois trending down. I took it. FAIL!--The Bettors chose unwisely

  2. Purdue 40 - Maryland 14 Line moved 1.5 points to (+3.5) for Purdue. People are starting to listen. I have used this platform to rail on Maryland for doing poorly after the first two games of the season. Take away the Rutgers game, which is basically a glorified scrimmage nowadays, and I have been right --The Bettors chose wisely.

  3. Arizona State 38 - Washington State 34 Line moved 1.5 points to (+1.5) for Washington State. This wild moving line actually had Washington State as favorites at one point last week at -1. Cooler heads prevailed as they moved the line back to -1.5 for the Sun Devils. Much like the line, the game was also back and forth. Unfortunately for the Cougar money, it didn’t go their way.. --The Bettors chose unwisely.

  4. UAB 33 - UTSA 14 Line moved 2 points to (-12) for UAB. Folks are now starting to hitch their wagons to the Blazers. Including this game, UAB is now 4-1 against the spread. It will be interesting to see what they do against the meat of the Conference USA schedule--The Bettors chose wisely.

  5. Georgia State 31 - Coastal Carolina 21 Line moved 2.5 points to (+4.5) for Georgia State. The gambling community had to figure out which Georgia State road team would show up: The upset-minded ones who defeated Tennessee or the lackluster ones that laid an egg against Texas State. They chose the former and were rewarded handsomely.--The Bettors chose wisely.

  6. Central Michigan 42 - New Mexico State 28 Line moved 2 points to (+10) for New Mexico State. The assumption that Central Michigan playing a back-up QB was going to give New Mexico State a chance to cover was a poor one. The Aggies never cover (unless they play Alabama)--The Bettors chose unwisely.

  7. Kent State 26 - Akron 3 Line moved 2 points to (-14.5) for Kent State. Let’s face it, the gamblers should pick against Akron for the rest of the year until they prove otherwise. THEY LOST TO UMASS FOR GOODNESS SAKES!!!.--The Bettors chose wisely.

  8. Temple 30 - Memphis 28 Line moved 2 points to (-5.5) for Memphis. I don’t know what it is about Temple at home. When they are underdogs in Philly, they have won all of their games outright. Get them away from the City of Brotherly Love and they couldn’t cover a jelly bean with a bed sheet.--The Bettors chose unwisely.

Here is where the money is going this week:

  1. Fresno State from (-14.5) to (-16) against UNLV: Looks like the gambling community is ignoring the upset UNLV pulled on Vanderbilt and the beating the Bulldogs received at the hands of Air Force last week. It will be interesting to see which way this game goes on Saturday.

  2. Cincinnati from (-16) to (-17.5) against Tulsa: The Bearcats got the boost they needed after a big upset against incumbents UCF in their previous game. Tulsa has been up and down this year from a gambling perspective. However, they are trending down after Navy ran them into the ground.

  3. Kansas from (+23) to (+21.5) at Texas: The money believes that this has Back Door Cover written all over it. Kansas had no problem covering against Oklahoma and Texas has got significant injury situations on both sides of the ball.

  4. Wisconsin from (-29) to (-32) at Illinois: Outside of a tough performance against Northwestern, Wisconsin has covered every number with relative ease. The money is licking its chops with a matchup against an Illini team that has lost its last four games. In that span, the defense has given up an average of 40 points per contest.

  5. Louisiana-Monroe from (+17) to (+15) at Appalachian State: This is a fascinating line movement. App. State is 3-1 against the spread and undefeated on the season. They have no major injuries except for a running back out for the year. ULM is only 3-3 against the spread this year. The line just might be too big for the gambling sensibilities.

  6. Rice from (-3) to (-4.5) at UTSA: Neither team has been doing well from a gambling point of view. The influencers must be thinking that the Owls are the lesser of two evils in this relatively uninteresting Conference USA matchup.

  7. Florida International from (-21.5) to (-24) against UTEP: UTEP is a miserable football team. There are no two ways about it. The Miners are 1-3 against the spread this year. The Panthers, on the other hand, are a team on the come. They have won their last two games against the number while averaging 46 points per contest on offense. The bettors believe more of the same will happen here.

  8. Penn State from (-7.5) to (-9) against Michigan: Two forces are at work here: The Nittany Lions are 7-0-1 against the spread at night since James Franklin has been the coach. Michigan is 2-4 against the spread and 0-2 away from home. I am sure the money has been watching how the Wolverines have been playing and aren’t very confident about it.

On the NFL ledger, there are a few notable lines: The Texans-Colts tilt went from an even wager to Colts -1, the Vikings gained a point against the home team Lions at -2 and I don’t think anyone can recall a time when they saw Buffalo Bills and -17 in the same sentence. Yet, here we are.

It is clear that the folks moving the lines are still having trouble. With last week’s tally, the line influencers are still a disappointing 23-28 on the season. Hopefully, improvement is in the offing. For some more insight on the gambling side, check out to see if you agree, disagree or want to compare picks.

Enjoy your football weekend! Now go pick some winners!



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