by The Team at SportsInsights.com
Welcome to the 2009-10 edition of NCAA Football Marketwatch. The team at Sports Insights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the NCAA Football point-spread market. If you ever wanted to know what was really happening on the sportsbook side, you now have an all-access pass with Sports Marketwatch!
Every week we speak directly with the line managers at some of the sports betting industry’s largest sportsbooks about which games the public is chasing and the Sharps are pounding. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for this week in College Football.
Sports Marketwatch – NCAA Week 5
Recapping Week 4
In Week 4’s marquee game, Bud Foster’s defense held trendy Heisman Trophy candidate Jacory Harris to 150 yards passing and zero touchdowns, with one interception, in Virginia Tech’s 31-7 destruction of Miami. Stanford gave us our second win of the week, covering the spread against Washington behind Toby Gerhart’s 200 yards rushing. Markewatch would also like to personally thank Riley Skinner for fumbling on 1st and goal from the four-yard line in overtime, keeping us from our first undefeated week of the season.
Overall Record = 8-4 (66.7%)
Warning to all new readers of the NCAA Football Sports Marketwatch column: in order to follow our selections, you’ll need ice running through your veins. Be prepared to take up meditation or acupuncture to calm the nerves. The goal of this weekly column is to highlight games that offer true “line value.” Often, if a line looks too go to be true, there is a reason. The underlining theme every week is line value. You’ll consistently need the worst teams on the board to come through. We typically buy on bad news and sell on good.
NCAA Sports MarketWatch Week 5 – Games to Watch
Washington vs. Notre Dame (10/3 – 3:30 p.m. EST)
After upsetting USC two weeks ago, Washington got manhandled in the trenches, giving up 321 yards rushing in a 34-14 loss to Stanford. Notre Dame played its third straight nail biter, topping Purdue 34-31 on a two-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Clausen to Kyle Rudolph with 25 seconds left in the game.
Notre Dame opened as a 13.5-point home favorite at Pinnacle and the line has dropped to -12.5. The Golden Domers are a very popular team, which usually translates into a public betting favorite. However, this week 72% of spread bets are on Washington, causing the line to drop. The public could still have the image of Washington beating USC fresh in their minds, rather than the pounding they took against Stanford last week. 5Dimes (+14.9 units this season) triggered a Steam Move on Notre Dame at -13.5, and many sportsbooks tracked by SportsInsights are offering even better value with the Irish -12.
Notre Dame -12 (Grande)
LSU vs. Georgia (10/3 – 3:30 p.m. EST)
Georgia’s Blair Walsh connected on a 37-yard field goal with no time remaining to give the Bulldogs a three-point victory over Arizona State last week. LSU needed a goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter to keep Mississippi State out of the end zone, preserving a 30-26 victory for the Tigers.
Georgia opened as a 1-point favorite at CRIS and currently sits at -3.5. The public is slightly behind LSU, who is garnering 51% of spread bets, 77% of moneyline bets and 61% of parlay bets. Although the public money is backing the Tigers, the line has grown at many sportbooks tracked by SportsInsights, suggesting there is some sharp money backing the Bulldogs. Perhaps LSU’s #4 ranking has convinced the public to go in their direction, but Marketwatch has grown very wary of backing top five teams who have yet to prove themselves this season (see Ole Miss, California and Penn State). As a result, we’ll follow the sharp money, give the points and take the Dawgs at home.
Auburn vs. Tennessee (10/3 – 7:30 p.m EST)
Auburn racked up 560 yards of total offense last week, outscoring Ball State 54-30 and pushing their record to 4-0 on the season. After losing to Florida, Tennessee came out flat Saturday, allowing Ohio to hang with them for most of the game before a late field goal sealed a 34-23 victory for the Vols.
Tennessee opened as a 1.5-point favorite at CRIS and the line has grown to -3. The public likes Auburn, who is garnering 65% of spread wagers, 82% of moneyline wagers and 64% of parlay wagers. Tennessee showed against Florida that their defense can stop anybody and, this week, the Vols get the Tigers in Knoxville. In our third and final game of the week, we’re once again going against a heavy public favorite and like Tennessee, giving 2.5 points.
So, here’s a wrap-up of SportsInsights’ analysis of this week’s Games to Watch for NCAA Football Week 4.
Games to Watch (8-4)
Notre Dame -12 (Grande)
It should be another exciting week of NCAA Football. Keep Sports Marketwatch Games to Watch picks handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.com for the latest real-time updates, using our exclusive Sports Investing tools. We’ll be back next Friday with the new edition of the NCAA Football Sports Marketwatch.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at Sports Insights