As the 2015 College Football season winds down, discussions (arguments) are heating up among fans and analysts as to which four teams should be included in the College Football Playoff. Tuesday night, the committee released its newest rankings with Iowa jumping into the fourth position behind Clemson, Alabama and Oklahoma.
Perhaps the most divisive team in playoff contention is Iowa, who remains undefeated but gets knocked because of a weak non-conference schedule. Interestingly, line movement for Friday’s matchup against Nebraska provides fascinating insight regarding their perception among sharp sports bettors.
Iowa at Nebraska (Friday at 3:30 pm ET)
Iowa opened as a 2.5-point favorite at Pinnacle and has received 72% of spread bets, at the time of publication.
The screenshot below, available to our Sportsbook Insider Pro members, illustrates how this game has been bet at our seven contributing sportsbooks:
However, the line has already dropped to a pick ’em at Pinnacle, moving directly against the public betting percentages. With the public loading up on the road favorite, this reverse-line movement indicates that sharp money has actually come down on Nebraska.
While the playoff committee and casual bettors are buying the Hawkeyes, sharp bettors seem to have put Iowa on “upset alert” against the Cornhuskers.
Florida State at Florida (Saturday at 7:30 pm ET)
Pinnacle opened this game at Florida -3 and has taken nothing but Florida State action, pushing the line 5.5 points to the current number of Seminoles -2.5. The screenshot below charts the movement in more detail, focusing specifically on betting action at Pinnacle on Sunday.
There’s still plenty of time for additional money to hit the market before kickoff, but the movement so far has been driven by the combination of sharp and public bettors taking Florida State.
For those monitoring this game, it’ll be interesting to see if the line reaches Florida State -3 and, if so, will Florida money finally enter the market and buyback the Gators at the key number of +3.
North Carolina at NC State (Saturday at 3:30 pm ET)
It’s not the sexiest matchup on the schedule, but there are still members of the mainstream sports media (we’re looking at you Mike Greenberg) drumming up support for North Carolina should they run the table and knock off #1 Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. However, before we put the cart before the horse, UNC faces rival NC State in a potential letdown spot Saturday afternoon.
UNC opened as a 7-point road favorite at CRIS and has received a steady stream of public action. While recreational bettors are loading up on North Carolina, sharp bettors have hammered NC State, dropping this line off the key number of 7, through 6.5 and 6, and down to 5.5 across the market. In fact, our Bet Signals triggered one Steam Move and two Reverse-Line Moves on North Carolina, explaining the movement we’ve seen so far.
The line chart below summarizes the steady drop from 7 to 5.5 at CRIS:
So far, public bettors have been confident laying the points while sharp money expects UNC to be looking ahead to Clemson, creating value with the Wolfpack.
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