Week 7 College Football Line Moves that Matter

Week 7 College Football Line Moves that Matter

Line movement has become a very popular topic in both mainstream and social media as bettors attempt to identify which teams professionals are playing. However, blindly betting a game simply because a line moves can be detrimental to your bankroll, especially if you don’t know why it moved.

Looking ahead to College Football Week 7, I pinpointed three games with significant line movement and explain why these moves should matter to bettors.

Indiana at Iowa

Pinnacle opened this game at Iowa -7 and big bets early in the week helped drive the line down to the current number of Hawkeyes -3. Interestingly, 60% of spread bets have taken Iowa, a sign that the 4-point line move is the result of sharp money pounding the underdog.

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Why does this matter?

Our Bet Signals alerted us that Steam Moves at CRIS, Pinnacle and YouWager hit this game at +7, +6 and +4, respectively, triggering the line movement we’ve seen so far. While it’s pretty clear that sharp money is on Indiana, this game started at the key number of 7, passed through 6 and 4 and now sits at 3.

If you played this game early in the week, congratulations on getting a great number. However, betting it now means buying the bad end of sharp money moves, minimizing and potentially eliminating the previously existing line value.

TCU at Baylor

In one of the most heavily bet games of the day, Baylor opened as an 11-point favorite and money has pushed this line down to -8 at CRIS. A quick look at the chart below shows an early drop from an opener of -11 to -9.5. Our Bet Signals then triggered a Steam Move on Tuesday at TCU +9.5, pushing the line down to -8 and eventually -7.5 by the end of the day.


Why does this matter?

Similar to our Indiana/Iowa analysis, I’m comfortable projecting that sharp money is responsible for the line movement, but playing TCU as an 8-point underdog simply because it’s the “sharp side” would be buying one of the worst numbers the betting market has offered so far this week.

[Want our official College Football Picks? Click here to see our Week 7 Best Bet Picks]


Air Force at Utah State

Unlike the first two examples above, this game’s line movement can be attributed more to one-sided betting than sharp money hitting the market. At the time of publication, 65% of spread bets have taken Air Force and, combined with the lack of Bet Signal triggers (Steam and Smart Money), indicates the movement is likely a reaction to tickets loading up on the underdog.


Why does this matter?

Both the Indiana/Iowa and TCU/Baylor games illustrate how to identify sharp money and, more importantly, how blindly following it can seduce bettors into taking bad numbers. However, Air Force being bet down from +9 to +7 appears to be the result of lopsided betting, as opposed to sharp action.

Therefore, anyone interested in playing Utah State can now comfortably get down at the key number of -7 without being overly concerned about buying back the wrong side of a sharp move.

NOTE: This article was published Friday at 9:35 a.m. ET. For updated lines and real-time betting data, please visit our Free College Football Odds page.

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  • Asa Alexander
    10/12/2014 at 2:13 am

    Hello I am a premium odds and betlabs member and I am curious how to search for all the different types of moves and use the bet signals portion of the package for me to see what the sharp money is on?

      • Asa Alexander
        10/14/2014 at 7:44 pm

        Okay thank you for all your help!! How exactly do I access the line charts inside the game dashboard? I am subscribed to everything but only use the BetLabs software since I like using Donbest for premium odds better so I am not familiar with anything.

        • David Solar
          10/15/2014 at 9:02 am

          You can view the line graph for any game by clicking the information tab (i) for each game. You can also change the view from “combined” to “spread %” which will show you the public betting breakdown from our seven contributing sportsbooks for every game along with a line graph for that game. For moneyline sports like MLB or NHL you can utilize the “Moneyline %” view instead.

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