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.
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Sports Marketwatch – NCAA Week 7
Recapping Week 6
Marketwatch went a solid 2-for-3 last Saturday, adding a unit to our season total, minus that sorry juice. Auburn decided to relinquish all the public respect they had oh-so-recently earned, falling behind 27-3 to Arkansas in the first half alone. The Tigers offense woke up in the second half, but their defense never did. The Razorbacks took the win 44-23. In the next set of afternoon games, UCLA was up 3-0 on Oregon at the half, only to see the game decided by a 21-point flurry by the Ducks within the first four minutes of the second half. The Bruins lost 24-10. In our final game, the Connecticut Huskies eventually succumbed to the power of the Wann-stache, losing in spite of a 21-6 third-quarter lead over the Pittsburgh Panthers. The 24-21 final score still put them well within the 7-point spread, giving us our second cover of the day.
Overall Record = 10-8 (55.6%)
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 occasionally need the worst teams on the board to come through. We typically buy on bad news and sell on good.
NCAA Sports MarketWatch Week 7 – Games to Watch
Oklahoma vs. Texas (10/17 – 12:00 p.m. EST)
Texas enters the Red River Rivalry looking like a national title contender, with a 5-0 record and an average of 47.2 points per game. Their detractors are right to point out their lack of serious competition, as only Texas Tech has put up any sort of fight against the Longhorns, but Colt McCoy’s offense is nothing if not legit. Oklahoma has nearly dropped out of title contention after 1-point losses to both BYU and Miami, but with last year’s Heisman winner Sam Bradford back and healthy, they should still be considered among the nation’s elite. As always, this annual fixture will be played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
Undefeated Texas opened as 3-point favorites at Pinnacle, and, as college football’s highest-profile match-up this weekend, the game is getting a lot of early action. The public is strongly behind Texas, to the tune of 69% of spread, 57% of moneyline and 63% of parlay bets. Usually, this would be more than enough to convince bookmakers to increase the spread in order to encourage bets on the Sooners. Yet the line has taken on a stubborn air of stability and currently sits exactly where it began, at Oklahoma +3, at almost every sportsbook. If you’re curious as to why, look no further. Sports Insights Betting Systems have noticed sharp money all over Oklahoma, with Smart Money plays triggered at Sportbet (+2.09 Units), CRIS (+4.51), WagerWeb (+4.86) and Matchbook (+10.63). Look hard and you might find a line even juicier than the field goal the Sooners are already getting.
Oklahoma +3.5 (Bodog)
NC State vs. Boston College (10/17 – 3:30 p.m. EST)
Last Saturday, NC State fans rained down a chorus of boos on their team as Duke – yes, the Blue Devils DO have a football team! – seemed to be running up the score in the 4th quarter. Giving up 49 points to a team who hadn’t won a road conference game since 2003 is never a good sign, and we’re quite sure the betting public noticed. Boston College also received a public spanking last week, as Virginia Tech dropped 48 points on the Eagles at home.
Boston College opened as 4-point home favorites at CRIS and are receiving 74% of spread wagers and 87% of parlay bets. It’s the Wolfpack, however, who are losing points on the spread as gametime draws closer. The Eagles are down to -3 at CRIS, significant reverse line movement that screams sharp money. Indeed, we’ve seen a couple of Smart Money plays triggered by profitable sportsbooks on NC State, including one at CRIS. Bet Jamaica (+1.59) has also triggered a Steam Move on the Russell Wilson and the Pack, and coupled with the big line movement, we’re happy with the play. Three points are available at many sportsbooks.
NC State +3
Virgina vs. Maryland (10/17 – 4:00 p.m. EST)
Trying to make a pick in this game based on the teams’ wins and losses this season is only going to hurt your brain. Virginia opened the year with a home loss to lowly William & Mary, only to bounce back the last two weeks with emphatic wins at North Carolina and against Indiana. They outscored those two opponents 63-10. Maryland, who lost at home to Middle Tennessee State and got demolished at home by Rutgers, recently defeated CJ Spiller and the Clemson Tigers, a team whose only other losses had been to Top 15 teams. Umm…
To the lines then, shall we? The public seems to have noticed the Cavaliers’ recent play, backing them on the road with 64% of spread and 72% of parlay bets. Despite the public’s vote of confidence in Al Groh, however, the line has shrunk from an opener of Virginia -4 at CRIS and Pinnacle to -3.5 across the board. Our Betting Systems show the sharps hammering the Terps in this match-up, triggering four Smart Money plays from sportsbooks above +4 Units Won, as well as a Steam Move from Olympic (+2.85). Crabcakes and football, right? That’s what Maryland does.
So, here’s a wrap-up of SportsInsights’ analysis of this week’s Games to Watch for NCAA Football Week 7.
Games to Watch (10-8)
Oklahoma +3.5 (Bodog)
NC State +3
It should be another exciting week of 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