by The Team at SportsInsights.com
Welcome to the 2009-10 edition of NCAA Football Marketwatch. The team at Sports Insights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the NCAA Football point-spread market. If you ever wanted to know what was really happening on the sportsbook side, you now have an all-access pass with Sports Marketwatch!
Every week we speak directly with the line managers at some of the sports betting industry’s largest sportsbooks about which games the public is chasing and the Sharps are pounding. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for this week in College Football.
Sports Marketplace – NCAA Week 3
Recapping Week 2
For the second straight week, Marketwatch hit two of three games, pushing our overall record to 4-2. We took underdogs Michigan and UCLA, who each won their game straight up. Our only loss came at the hands of West Virginia, who covered the spread against East Carolina.
Overall Record = 4-2 (66.7%)
Warning to all new readers of the NCAA Football Sports Marketwatch column: in order to follow our selections, you’ll need ice running through your veins. Be prepared to take up meditation or acupuncture to calm the nerves. The goal of this weekly column is to highlight games that 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.
NCAA Sports MarketWatch Week 3 – Games to Watch
Georgia Tech vs. Miami (FL) (9/17 – 7:45 p.m. EST)
Georgia Tech exploded out of the gates Thursday, jumping on Clemson 24-0 early in the second quarter. But the Tigers rebounded quickly, scoring 27 unanswered points to grab a three-point fourth quarter lead. The Jackets responded by capping off two late drives with field goals, securing a hard-earned 30-27 victory. Miami is coming off a dramatic fourth quarter victory of their own, getting a three-yard touchdown run from Craig Cooper with less than two minutes to go to top in-state rival Florida State 38-34.
Miami opened as a 3-point home favorite at CRIS and currently sits as 4.5-point favorites. The betting percentages are pretty even in this game, with Georgia Tech garnering 53% of spread and parlay bets, while 52% of moneyline bets are behind Miami. Two Steam Moves have been triggered for this game, one on the Canes and the other on the Jackets. Both sportsbooks are +1.5 units on the season, which can make it difficult to decide on which side to bet. The most recent play was on Georgia Tech getting 4.5 points, so that is the move we’re going to follow, especially since there are a few books where we can still get Tech at +5. Remember, as a line changes, so does value. We like that value and will take the Jackets in this game.
Georgia Tech +5 (SIA)
Tennessee vs. Florida (9/19 - 3:30 p.m. EST)
Shortly after being hired by Tennessee, head coach Lane Kiffin said, “I’m really looking forward to embracing some of the great traditions at the University of Tennessee, for instance the Vol Walk, running through the T, singing Rocky Top all night long after we beat Florida next year, it will be a blast.” In most Marketwatch articles, we do a quick summary of how each team fared in its previous game. It’s one of the most overused cliches in sports, but in this game, you can throw the records out the window.
Florida opened as a 27-point favorite at Olympic, and the line has grown to -29.5, where it currently sits at most sportsbooks tracked by SportsInsights. Like our first game, the public is betting both sides of the spread pretty evenly, with 52% currently backing Florida. We like the value of any SEC team getting 29.5 points, especially one with as much defensive talent as Tennessee, even if they are facing a juggernaut like the Gators. As a result, give us the Vols and the points.
Middle Tennessee State vs. Maryland (9/19 – 3:30 p.m EST)
Maryland has struggled through the first two weeks of the season, getting pounded in Week 1 by California, 52-13, and needing overtime last weekend to shake off FCS opponent James Madison, 38-35. Middle Tennessee State got its first win of the season last weekend, piling up 436 yards of offense in a 31-14 victory over Memphis.
Maryland opened between a six-point and seven-point favorite at most of the sportsbooks tracked by SportsInsights and currently sit as six-point favorites across the board. The public is solidly behind the favorites, with 65% of spread bets and 71% of parlay bets backing the Terps. A Steam Move on Middle Tennessee State was triggered at Olympic (+1.2 units this season), giving us the confidence to take the Blue Raiders in our third and final game of the week.
Middle Tennessee State +6
So, here’s a wrap-up of SportsInsights’ analysis of this week’s Games to Watch for NCAA Football Week 3.
Games to Watch (4-2)
Georgia Tech +5 (SIA)
Middle Tennessee State +6
It should be another exciting week for NCAA Football. Keep Sports Marketwatch Games to Watch picks handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.com for the latest real-time updates, using our exclusive Sports Investing tools. We’ll be back next Friday with the new edition of the NCAA Football Sports Marketwatch.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at Sports Insights