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.
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Sports Marketwatch – NCAA Week 8
Recapping Week 7
Last Saturday was a tough one for Marketwatch, sweating out one victory and taking the brunt of two losses in ACC contests. It was the Red River Rivalry that went our way. Despite losing Sam Bradford to injury on their second offensive possession – and ultimately for the season – the Sooners played tough football and lost a sloppy game 16-13. NC State will clearly need more than a week to solve its defensive problems, as they fell at Boston College 52-20. Maryland had every imaginable chance to cover against Virginia; however, missing two field goals, failing to convert on a 4th down from your own 2-yard-line and throwing an interception returned for a touchdown (ALL in the last 17 minutes!) is simply not a recipe for success.
Overall Record = 11-10 (52.4%)
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 occasionally need the worst teams on the board to come through. We typically buy on bad news and sell on good.
NCAA Sports MarketWatch Week 8 – Games to Watch
Miami Ohio vs. Northern Illinois (10/24 – 1:00 p.m. EST)
On paper, Miami Ohio doesn’t look like the type of team you want to bet on. They are 0-7. They’ve been shutout twice. They are the Redhawks. Have you ever known a successful team called the Redhawks? Nevertheless, a closer look at their schedule suggests that they are probably a better team than their record reflects. All three of their in-conference games thus far have been played on the road. Their other four opponents, emphatically not members of the Mid-American Conference, are as follows: Kentucky of the SEC, WAC-leading Boise State, Big East-leading Cincinnati and Northwestern of the Big Ten. By contrast, the best opponent that 3-3 Northern Illinois has played is Wisconsin.
The Northern Illinois Huskies opened as 13-point favorites at market-setting sportsbook CRIS. The public is clearly in their corner, backing them with an astounding 82% of spread bets. This huge discrepancy has done nothing to sway the sportsbooks, though, as the line has dropped to Northern Illinois -11 across the board. Explaining this significant reverse line movement is a Steam Move from 5Dimes (+23 Units Won), our highest performing Steam this season. We also don’t mind a strong negative play coming on Northern Illinois. It was triggered at CRIS, whose Steam moves are down -7 Units Won this season. We’ll take the Redhawks to keep it close.
Miami Ohio +11
Miami (FL) vs. Clemson (10/24 – 3:30 p.m. EST)
Clemson and star tailback CJ Spiller will try to ride the momentum of their 38-3 rout over Wake Forest into a big night at rejuvenated Miami. Miami has looked strong this season behind mobile quarterback Jacory Harris, with impressive victories over Georgia Tech and Oklahoma. Clemson has only a 3-3 record to show for six weeks of good football, but their three losses have come by a combined 10 points.
“The U” opened up as full touchdown favorites over the visiting Tigers, and the public continued their pounding of favorites with 78% of spread bets and 89% of parlay wagers. Instead of growing, however, the line has dropped a massive 2.5 points across the sports marketplace, where Miami is sitting still at -4.5. Sports Insights Betting Systems reveal the sharps’ opinion; Smart Money plays on Clemson have been triggered by Bet365 (+3.41 Units) as well as Matchbook (+14.29 Units). There is also a trusty 5Dimes Steam Move (+23 Units) on the boys from Death Valley. A little bit of line shopping shows some serious value to be had by taking Clemson and the points at Bodog, where you can find them getting +5.5.
Clemson +5.5 (Bodog)
Kentucky vs. UL Monroe (10/24 – 7:00 p.m. EST)
Kentucky has dealt with quite the schedule thus far this season, following home games against the Top 2 BCS teams – Florida and Alabama – with conference battles at South Carolina and Auburn. A respectable 2-point loss to the Gamecocks and a victory over the Tigers have them heading back to the Bluegrass State with momentum. The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks, leaders of the Sun Belt Conference, have also tested themselves with road games at Texas and Arizona State. Both teams will be playing without their first-string quarterback due to injuries. Kentucky will look to true freshman Morgan Newton because their second-stringer, junior Will Fidler, has been experiencing shoulder soreness.
Despite not being one of the heavier bet games on Saturday’s slate, this seemingly lackluster match-up has seen significant reverse line movement. Kentucky opened at -17 at CRIS, but despite receiving 64% of spread and 81% of parlay bets, the Wildcats’ line at CRIS has dropped to -14. Smart Money has come down on the Warhawks at CRIS (+3.6 Units) and Matchbook (+14.29 Units). There is also some good market momentum on their side, as 5Dimes triggered Steam Moves on UL Monroe at +16 and then again at +14.5. You can still find UL Monroe getting a half-point more than the key football number of 14 at many sportsbooks.
UL Monroe +14.5
So, here’s a wrap-up of SportsInsights’ analysis of this week’s Games to Watch for NCAA Football Week 8.
Games to Watch (11-10)
Miami Ohio +11
Clemson +5.5 (Bodog)
UL Monroe +14.5
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
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