by Mike Norris at Sports Insights
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the NCAA Football Marketwatch.The team at Sports Insights gives sports fans unprecedented insightinto the NCAA Football point-spread market. If you ever wanted to knowwhat was really happening on the sportsbook side, you now have anall-access pass with Sports Marketplace!
Every week we speakdirectly with the line managers at some of the sports betting industry’slargest sportsbooks about which games the public is chasing and theSharps are pounding. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for this weekin College Football.
Sports Marketplace – NCAA Week 6
Recapping Week 5
This is our first year providing the NCAA Football Marketwatch,and we bounced back with a winning week after a pair of disappointingefforts. Saturday’s noon games got us off to a 2-0 start with Syracuseholding on late to finish within 15 points of Pittsburgh and NorthCarolina winning outright over Miami. Things were looking good beforeGeorgia was absolutely dominated by Alabama in Athens. We definitelydidn’t see that one coming. The winning record puts us back above .500,and we’re looking to extend that a bit further this week.
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Overall = 8-7 = 53.3%
NCAA WEEK 6
Wehave a trio of top-25 match ups this week. No. 9 USC gets a home boutagainst No.23 Oregon to recover from last week’s upset loss at OregonState. No. 18 Wisconsin also comes off an upset loss on the road, andthe Badgers will play host to No. 14 Ohio State as they look to bounceback. Another week and another top-25 face-off in the SEC, but this onewasn’t expected coming into the season. No. 19 Vanderbilt is a surpriseat 4-0, and they look to prove they’re for real with a home game againstNo. 13 Auburn.
Warning to all new readers of the NCAA Football Sports Marketwatchcolumn: in order to follow our selections, you’ll need ice runningthrough your veins. Be prepared to take up meditation or acupuncture tocalm the nerves. The goal of this weekly column is to highlight gamesthat offer true “line value.” Often, if a line looks too go to be true,there is a reason. The underlining theme every week is line value.You’ll consistently need the worst teams on the board to come through.We typically buy on bad news and sell on good.
We’re expectingheavy action on the top-25 match ups. Other games that should draw lotsof action include No. 24 UConn at North Carolina, No. 4 Missouri atNebraska, and Kentucky at No. 2 Alabama. Visit SportsInsights.comto view wagering statistics on NCAA games from multiple onlinesportsbooks. Here is a trio of line value games we are keying on.
NCAA Sports MarketWatch Week 6 – Games to Watch
Texas Tech vs Kansas State (10/4 3:30P)
Cominginto the season, everyone knew about Texas Tech’s high-powered offenseled by Senior QB Graham Harrell and Sophomore WR Michael Crabtree. TheRed Raiders haven’t disappointed by putting up over 45 points and 570yards a game while climbing to No. 7 in the rankings with a 4-0 record.Texas Tech improved their running game behind a pair of talented backs,Baron Batch and Shannon Woods, that each average over 6 yards per carryand are receiving threats out of the backfield. The Red Raiders arebacking up all that offense with an improved defense that is giving upan average of 16 points per game.
Kansas State also knows how to put up a lot of points, as theyaverage 47 points a contest. The Wildcats are led by Junoir QB JoshFreeman, who broke KSU’s career record for passing yards last week andneeds only two passing TDs to tie the school mark. KSU finally found arunning game during their last contest as converted WR Lamark Brownrushed for 137 yards and a TD to give the offense a balance.
We’re expecting there to be plenty of points with these two offensesfacing off. Texas Tech opened as -6 favorites at Pinnacle before theline quickly moved to -7 with the Red Raiders receiving the majority ofthe public’s wagers. The line fluctuated and triggered multiple SmartMoney Plays on KSU before dropping down to Texas Tech -7.5. We like tofollow the Smart Money and home teams getting more than a TD. We’rebacking the Wildcats in Manhattan.
Kansas State +7.5 (SIA)
Ohio State vs Wisconsin (10/4 8P)
OhioState heads into Wisconsin coming off a pair of home wins to wash thebitter taste of the USC game out of their mouth. The Buckeyes haven’tlooked dominating since their opening win against Youngstown State, asthey’ve been dealing with a nagging injury to starting tailback BeanieWells and inconsistent play at quarterback. Wells finally returned andlooked healthy last week against Minnesota as he rushed for 106 yards on14 carries. Freshman QB Terrelle Pryor finally brought some playmakingability to the QB spot while splitting time with Todd Boeckman. Pryorwas steady throwing the ball while rushing for 97 yards and two scoreson eight carries. The Buckeyes’ defense also looked better last week asthey allowed only two field goals before Minnesota scored two late TDswhen the game was out of reach.
Wisconsin will look to bounce back from last week’s devastatingsecond half against Michigan. The Badgers led 19-0 at halftime butallowed the Wolverines to score 27 points in the final 18 minutes topull the upset. A big part of that loss was the four turnovers committedby Senior QB Allan Evridge. The Badgers defense allows only 17 pointsper game and has forced 11 turnovers. Wisconsin historically plays wellat home, and they have won 27 of their previous 28 games at Camp RandallStadium.
This will be the Buckeyes first test since USC, and playing atWisconsin is a tall task with a freshman QB. Wisconsin may have blown itlast week, but they have already defeated a top-25 team this season,and they know their season could be on the line with No. 6 Penn Statevisiting next week. Ohio State opened as -2.5 favorites at Pinnacle, butthe line has dropped to Ohio State -1 despite the Buckeyes receiving72% of public wagers. This has triggered multiple Smart Money plays onWisconsin, so we’ll take the Badgers at home with a point or so.
Wisconsin +1.5 (SIA)
Missouri vs Nebraska (10/4 9PM)
Missouri has lookedexcellent so far this season behind Heisman hopeful QB Chase Daniel.The Tigers offense is ranked second nationally in scoring and totalyards as they’ve racked up four non-conference wins to open the season.The only close contest was in their opening game against then-No. 20Illinois, which they won 52-42. Daniel has completed over 75% of hispasses while throwing for 12 touchdowns against one interception. Theoffense is balanced with RB Derrick Washington, who averages 6.8 yards acarry and has scored 8 TDs on the ground.
Nebraska is coming off a tough 35-30 home loss to Virginia Tech,and has to face one of the nation’s most powerful offenses. First-yearCornhuskers coach Bo Pelini has his team off to a good start, but knowsthe Huskers have a tough task this week. Nebraska has put up 37.5 pointsper game, and they will look to take advantage of a porous Missouripass defense with Senior QB Joe Ganz.
This will be Missouri’s first road contest as they open their Big12 schedule. They opened as -10 favorites at Pinnacle and the line hasmoved up and down between 10 and 11 across the marketplace throughoutthe week. With the Tigers receiving 77% of the public’s backing,Nebraska is receiving a plethora of Smart Money plays, mostly from bookswith positive records, due to the betting percentage and linefluctuation. We’ll follow the Smart Money and take the Huskers with thepoints.
So, here’s a wrap-up of SportsInsights.com analysis for this week’s Games to Watch for NCAA Football Week 4.
Games to Watch (8-7)
Kansas State +7.5 (SIA)
Wisconsin +1.5 (SIA)
It should be another exciting week for NCAA Football. Keep Sports Marketplace Games to Watch picks handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.com for the latest real-time updates, using our exclusive Sports Investing tools. Also check out our new feature Campus Reports for NCAA Football information you won’t find anywhere else. We’ll be back next Friday with the new edition of the NCAA Football Sports Marketwatch.
Enjoy the games!
Mike Norris at Sports Insights