2016 College Football Week 7 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.

Recently, I have dedicated significant time to discussing the value of contrarian favorites — i.e. fading underdogs who are receiving the majority of public support. This season college football favorites have gone just 190-197 ATS (49.1%), but that record improves to 36-25 ATS (59.0%) when they are receiving less than 50% of spread tickets and 8-3 ATS (72.3%) when they are receiving less than 40% of spread tickets.

This week there are several contrarian favorites, but I would prefer to explain how bettors can utilize our money percentages to find value. This season teams receiving less than 50% of total dollars wagered have gone 199-182 ATS (52.2%), teams receiving less than 40% of total dollars wagered have gone 136-121 ATS (52.9%). teams receiving less than 29% of total dollars wagered have gone 81-65 ATS (55.5%) and teams receiving less than 20% of total dollars wagered have gone 40-25 ATS (61.5%).

Although it’s important to understand which side is receiving the majority of tickets, it’s far more important to understand which side is receiving a majority of the money since that’s what’s responsible for major line moves. By waiting until public money has artificially inflated the line, shrewd contrarian bettors are able to capitalize on public perception and find additional line value.

Using the data available to Sportsbook Insider subscribers, I have examined three Week 7 matchups involving very one-sided money percentages.

NC State at Clemson (Saturday at 12:00 PM eastern)

In this showdown between ACC rivals, Clemson opened as 17-point favorites at the market-setting Pinnacle sportsbook and early action has been all over the home chalk. At the time of publication, Clemson was receiving 83% of spread tickets and 83% of total dollars wagered which caused them to move from -17 to -17.5.

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It’s interesting to note that although Clemson is receiving overwhelming public support, the Tigers actually dropped from -17 to -16.5 briefly after opening. That number was only available for 24 minutes before moving a full point from Clemson -16.5 to -17.5. This will likely be one of the weekend’s most heavily bet games, so it will be fascinating to see whether public money continues to inflate this line.

Kansas State at Oklahoma (Saturday at 12:00 PM eastern)

In one of this weekend’s most exciting games, Kansas State opened as 11.5-point underdogs at Bookmaker — another market-setting sportsbook. Although the Wildcats have received just 39% of spread tickets, they have moved from +11.5 to +10.5. This line movement can be easily explained by our money percentages, which show that Kansas State is actually receiving 72% of total dollars wagered.

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As you can see, the Kansas State line plummeted from +11.5 to +9.5 within minutes of opening on Sunday evening. Just looking at the money percentages it would be easy to speculate that public money caused this massive line move, but the timing of this move disproves that notion.

Now that the line has seemingly settled at Oklahoma -10.5, it will be curious to see where the line moves next. If the current levels of public betting persist and a majority of the money continues taking Kansas State, I would expect that sportsbooks will adjust the line from 10.5 to 10 to encourage more action on the Sooners.

Arizona State at Colorado (Saturday at 8:00 PM eastern)

With first place in the Pac-12 South on the line, Colorado (4-2) opened as 9-point favorites against Arizona State (5-1) at Bookmaker. Although the Sun Devils actually boast the superior record, public bettors have been hammering the home favorite. At the time of publication, Colorado was receiving 69% of spread tickets and 84% of total dollars wagered. This one-sided public betting has already caused a massive four-point line move!

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With the market steadily pounding Colorado all week, oddsmakers have been forced to adjust their number multiple times, eventually landing at the current line of Colorado -13. You can also see from the line chart that there was a steam move triggered on Colorado -11 on Monday morning.

It’s also worth noting that despite 66% of tickets and 82% of total dollars wagered taking the over, the total has already dropped from 66 to 60 at Bookmaker. That’s an excellent indicator that sharp bettors have been pounding the under.

Interested in checking out our new money percentages and line charts for the entire slate of Week 7 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. This week we have six pending college football Best Bets including:

  • Nebraska at Indiana
  • Memphis at Tulane
  • Central Michigan at Northern Illinois

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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