2016 College Football Week 6 Line Moves That Matter

Every week in this space we highlight the most interesting line moves at the market-setting offshore sportsbooks — typically Bookmaker and Pinnacle — which take the highest limits and therefore attract the sharpest bettors. By contrasting the opening and current lines with the public betting trends from our seven contributing offshore sportsbooks, we’re able to determine how public betting has affected the line.

We are also proud to announce that in addition to our public betting percentages, we now offer real money percentages, which reflect the percentage of total dollars wagered at one of the sharper offshore sportsbooks. This allows bettors to easily monitor all the factors influencing line movement.

Over the past two weeks, we have examined the concept of fading the trendy underdog and backing favorites that are being widely ignored by public bettors. This season, favorites receiving less than 50% of spread bets have gone 32-20 ATS (61.5%) with +10.56 units won. When we focus on the most heavily bet games, that record improves to 20-10 ATS (66.7%).

This week there are several contrarian favorites, but there’s been fairly limited line movement in those games. Using the data available to Sportsbook Insider subscribers, I have examined the latest trends in three of the most interesting Week 6 matchups.

Notre Dame at NC State (Saturday at 12:00 PM eastern)

In one of this weekend’s most heavily bet games, Notre Dame opened as 1-point road favorites at the market-setting Pinnacle sportsbook. The Fighting Irish have received 76% of spread tickets and 53% of total dollars wagered. Despite this one-sided public betting, Notre Dame has actually dropped from -1 to +2.5. That reverse line movement is an excellent indicator that early sharp money likes NC State.

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Notre Dame is consistently one of the nation’s most public teams, having received a majority of spread bets in nearly two-thirds of their games. Since the start of the 2005 season, the Fighting Irish have gone 25-16 ATS as an underdog and 38-53 ATS as a favorite, so it will be interesting to see where this line closes.

Michigan at Rutgers (Saturday at 7:00 PM eastern)

The fourth-ranked Michigan Wolverines opened as 26-point favorites at Pinnacle, and they have been the most popular bet this week. At the time of publication, Jim Harbaugh’s squad was receiving 91% of spread tickets and 97% of total dollars wagered. This one-sided public betting caused the line to move from Michigan -26 to -27.5.

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With the market steadily pounding Michigan all week, oddsmakers have been forced to adjust their number multiple times, eventually landing at the current line of Michigan -27.5. Multiples of “3” and “7” are considered key numbers, so it’s worth noting that several sportsbooks (both offshore and in Las Vegas) have already moved the line to Michigan -28.

Washington State at Stanford (Saturday at 10:30 PM eastern)

In arguably this weekend’s most compelling game, Stanford opened as 8.5-point favorites at Pinnacle. Although the Cardinal have received 65% of spread tickets, they have dropped from -8.5 to -7. This line movement can be easily explained by our money percentages, which show that Washington State is actually receiving 82% of total dollars wagered.

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Since 2005, ranked teams coming off a double-digit loss have gone just 97-134 ATS (42.0%) which indicates that bettors should be fading Stanford after last week’s blowout loss against Washington. However, Stanford coach David Shaw is 9-3 ATS following a loss.

As game time approaches, it will interesting to see whether Washington State continues receiving such a high percentage of the money. There still hasn’t been any sharp buyback on Stanford, so it will be curious to see whether the line crosses the key number of 7.

Interested in checking out our new money percentages and line charts for the entire slate of Week 6 games? Sign up now for a 4-day trial of Sportsbook Insider Pro.

In addition to the features shown in this post, subscribers also have access to our entire suite of live odds, public betting trends, steam moves, smart money alerts and our in-house Best Bet picks. We currently have five pending college football Best Bets including:

  • Florida State at Miami (FL)
  • Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh
  • TCU at Kansas

Have any questions for the staff at Sports Insights? Make sure to utilize our live chat or call us directly at 877-838-2853.

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David Solar

David Solar has been the Content Manager at Sports Insights for over four years. He specializes in sports betting analytics and has created several popular data-driven betting systems. He can be reached directly at david@sportsinsights.com or on twitter at @TheDavidSolar.

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