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Walking the Line - Week 9 of College Football

Photo by Matt Cashore, USA Today Sports

By Jeremy Dennis


It has been tough sledding for the line movers over the last few weeks. As a matter of fact, they have not seen a winning week for the games we have tracked that have moved at least 1.5 points since week 5. It has been especially dreadful the last three weeks as the gambling “influencers” have only won seven games out of 23. Here were the results of the big odds shifts from the weekend:

  1. Fresno State 56 - UNLV 27 Line moved 1.5 points to (-16) for Fresno State. Between the Bulldogs having a bye week and the apparent hangover that the Running Rebels had after the big upset at Vanderbilt, it was clear that this game was destined to be a blowout.--The Bettors chose wisely

  2. Cincinnati 24 - Tulsa 13 Line moved 1.5 points to (-17.5) for Cincinnati. The Bearcats were 4-0 against the spread over the last four games. Tulsa has been playing unevenly this year. However, it was clear that Cincy was ready for a bye week after an uninspired win versus the Golden Hurricane. --The Bettors chose unwisely.

  3. Texas 50 - Kansas 48 Line moved 1.5 points to (+21.5) for Kansas. As mentioned last week, this game was reeking of Back Door Cover after the Jayhawks covered in the second half against Oklahoma. Not only were the bettors right here, but Texas also needed a field goal at the end to not lose outright. --The Bettors chose wisely.

  4. Illinois 24 - Wisconsin 23 Line moved 3 points to (-32) for Wisconsin. Well, considering that this game turned out to be the upset of the year in College Football to this point...--The Bettors chose unwisely.

  5. Appalachian State 52 - Louisiana-Monroe 7 Line moved 2 points to (+15) for Louisiana-Monroe I am still trying to figure out what information that the folks that moved this line had. App. State had no real injuries and they are head and shoulders the best team in the Sun Belt. Glad it isn’t my money.--The Bettors chose unwisely.

  6. UTSA 31 - Rice 27 Line moved 1.5 points to (-4.5) for Rice. In the Underwhelming Conference USA Match-Up of the week, the underdog Roadrunners topped the Owls outright. In retrospect, why is the line going away from a 2-4 team playing at home against a favored away team that has yet to win a game?--The Bettors chose unwisely.

  7. Florida International 32 - UTEP 17 Line moved 2.5 points to (-24) for Florida International. I said when analyzing this game last week that FIU was 2-0 in the last two games against the spread and had averaged 40+ points on offense in those games. So if the Panthers would have scored 42, it would have been a cover. Well, they didn’t. --The Bettors chose unwisely.

  8. Penn State 28 - Michigan 21 Line moved 1.5 points to (-9) for Penn State. In the early going, the bettors were choosing wisely as Penn State blowing was up 21-0 in the second quarter. Credit Michigan for making its way back into the game and having a chance to tie it. Didn’t help the folks who bet the Nittany Lions though.--The Bettors chose unwisely.

Here is where the money is going this week:

  1. Purdue from (-7.5) to (-10) against Illinois: The majority of the betting public must think that Illinois’ win last week will cause a hangover this week. Purdue has been inconsistent this year, but they are playing at home. A 40-14 Boilermaker victory over Maryland recently may also be factoring inline changes.

  2. South Florida from (+1.5) to (-2) at East Carolina: This is a fascinating odds move just for the sole reason that both teams aren’t very good and the Bulls are 1-2 against the spread away from home. It is hard to tell how the Pirates will play as they have only one home game against a Power Five opponent (Temple) which they covered early in the month.

  3. Utah from (-18.5) to (-21) vs California: Do you want to know the quickest way to initiate number movement in the gambling world? Lose to Oregon State at home. That is precisely what Cal did in their previous battle. Utah’s defense has been as good as advertised this year. They only allowed 3 points to Arizona State the previous Saturday.

  4. Auburn from (+12) to (+10.5) at LSU: How fun it would be to get inside the heads of those who moved this line. LSU is arguably the best team in the country now. They beat the Florida Gators by 14 in Death Valley. The same Gators beat Auburn by 11 at the beginning of the month.

  5. Appalachian State from (-24.5) to (-26.5) at South Alabama: I am working off of a simple premise here: If the Mountaineers are the best team in the Sun Belt (and ranked for that matter) and the Jaguars are the worst, the influencers will move the line to the best team, right?

  6. Nebraska from (-1) to (-2.5) against Indiana: Nebraska is coming off a bye week. Their last contest was a 27-point loss to Minnesota. Indiana has covered its last four contests. It is intriguing to wonder what the betting public is thinking about this one.

  7. Texas from (0) to (-1.5) at TCU: Texas is coming off a squeaker against Kansas. TCU lost on the road to Kansas State. No real reason that the line has changed here. Maybe folks are wanting to bet on a Blue-Blood football team in the Longhorns?

  8. Notre Dame from (+1.5) to (-1) against Michigan: There are a couple of aspects going on here. The Fighting Irish are coming off a bye week. Michigan, in its last contest, did well to come back from 21-0 against Penn State but ultimately lost. Notre Dame is 4-1 against the number in their previous five contests including a trip to Georgia. Michigan has only covered in two games ATS this year.

For the boys who play on Sunday, the Vikings bettors have moved their contest with the Redskins from -15.5 to -17. Frankly, that is not a surprise to anyone since Minnesota has been playing quite well and Washington has been playing quite lousy. The only other game which features any decent odds movement is Jacksonville versus the Jets going from -5.5 to -6.5. One interesting non-mover has been the Browns-Patriots game. It has held steady at -13 for New England this week. Maybe that will change since the Browns’ Jarvis Landry decided to guarantee a victory against the Pats. Oh, boy...

Since we are in the meat of the football season, there is a bunch going on in college and NFL news. To stay updated, check out so you know how to wager for this week’s games. Enjoy the madness and go win some money!



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