2016 College Football: Week 9 Opening Line Report

We saw a big upset in Week 8 as #2 Ohio State was beaten at Penn St 24-21. However, the Buckeyes’ title odds hardly changed as they can still run the table and win the Big Ten and advance to the NCAAF Playoff. Ohio State is 10-1 ATS after a SU loss since 2008, covering by an average of 14 ppg and they have Northwestern in Week 9 as -23 point favorites. Check out our Week 8 betting recap highlighting the biggest upsets, trends, nuggets and more.

As I’ve done all year, below shows summer lookahead lines from Golden Nugget as well as opening and current offshore odds. I’ve also done more in-depth write-ups on some of the bigger matchups and what is causing the early line movement:

Matchup Oct 24
(5Dimes Current)
Oct 23
(5Dimes Open)
July 8
(G Nugget)
Arizona St at Oregon Ore -7.5 Ore -7.5 Ore -12
Stanford at Arizona Stan -7 Stan -7 Stan -5.5
Cal at USC USC -14.5 USC -13.5 USC -14.5
WVU at Oklahoma St WVU -3 WVU -3 Okla St -10
Miami FL at Notre Dame ND -1 ND -1.5 ND -7.5
UGA vs. Florida (neutral site) Fla -7 Fla -7.5 UGA -3
Auburn at Ole Miss Aub -3 Aub -1 Miss -6
Michigan at Michigan St Mich -21.5 Mich -19.5 Mich -4
Clemson at FSU Clem -3.5 Clem -3 FSU -3.5

Michigan at Michigan St (12:00 pm ET Saturday)
Things have changed significantly since the offseason, that’s for sure. Over the summer Michigan was listed at -4 in what was supposed to be a huge Big Ten game towards the end of the season. Instead, Michigan State has gone just 2-5 this season while Michigan is an undefeated 7-0. 5Dimes opened this line at Michigan -19.5 on Sunday morning and that wasn’t high enough, as it was quickly bet over the key number of 21.

mich-mich-st

Just about 60% of tickets are taking the Wolverines so this initial line move wasn’t entirely public money. Sharps agree that Michigan is at least 3 TDs better than Sparty, but at -21.5 the value may be gone for now.

Florida vs. Georgia (3:30 pm ET Saturday)
This is a fascinating game showing how important it is to know which book opened the line, and when they opened the line. 5Dimes opened this game Sunday afternoon at Florida -7.5, then CRIS opened Florida -5.5, then Pinnacle at Florida -6.5. Right now the market is at Florida -6.5, so depending on which book you’re looking at, they’ve either dropped, stayed the same, or increased since the opener. The early majority of spread tickets is on Florida but the fact that they’ve remained below the key number of -7 has me believe that books are worried about sharper money on UGA +7. Over the summer UGA was listed -3 so there’s been a 10-point adjustment over the last 3 months. As a reminder, this game is played in Jacksonville on neutral turf and is not a home game for the Gators.

Auburn at Ole Miss (7:15 pm ET Saturday)
Ole Miss already has 4 losses so why am I including this game? Well, those losses are vs. FSU, Bama, at Arkansas, and at LSU so there’s no denying the schedule has been tough so far, like most SEC teams. Auburn is a surprising 5-2 this year after a blowout win over Arkansas, and they find themselves small favorites on the road in Oxford this week. Over the summer Ole Miss was -6, but now they’re +3 with early bettors all over Auburn. Before the season sharper bettors were high on Auburn and they’ve been paying off for them. I think this line of Auburn -3 is spot on so I’m not sure if there’s value either way.

Clemson at FSU (8:00 pm ET Saturday)
5Dimes opened Clemson -3 while CRIS opened Clemson -2.5 on Sunday afternoon, but that proved to be too short, as they’re now at -4 around the market. More than 70% of tickets are taking the Tigers on the road which may be encouraging for FSU backers as the public could continue to inflate this line. It’s rare for the Seminoles to be getting more than a FG on the spread at home, but they struggled at home over an inferior Wake Forest team 2 weeks ago. This should be a well-played game since both teams are coming off a Bye. I’ve been high on Clemson and Dashaun Watson throughout the year but wouldn’t feel great laying -4 on the road at FSU, so Clemson backers may have missed the boat when it was -2.5.

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Dan McGuire

Dan McGuire is the Operations Manager and soccer specialist at Sports Insights. He can be reached at dan.mcguire@sportsinsights.com.

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