Welcome to the 2011-12 edition of College Football Marketwatch, where the team at Sports Insights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the College Football point-spread market.
Every week we analyze the sports betting marketplace to pinpoint which games the public is chasing and which the sharps are pounding.
Overall Record = 0-0
The goal of this weekly column is to highlight games that offer true “line value.” Often, if a line looks too good to be true, there is a reason. You’ll occasionally need the worst teams on the board to come through. We typically buy on bad news and sell on good.
Western Michigan vs. Michigan (9/3 – 3:30 p.m. ET)
After finishing the 2010 season with three straight victories, Western Michigan looks to carry the momentum into 2011 and improve on last year’s 6-6 record. The Broncos return quarterback Alex Carder, who broke out last year as a sophomore, throwing for 3,334 yards and 30 touchdowns, compared to only 12 interceptions.
After getting off to a promising 5-0 start in 2010, Michigan stumbled down the stretch, losing six of its final eight games, including an embarrassing 52-14 blowout loss to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.
Head coach Rich Rodriguez was fired shortly after the season ended and replaced with Brady Hoke, an assistant under Lloyd Carr and a “Michigan Man.” Hoke comes to Ann Arbor after a successful run as head coach of San Diego State, leading the Aztecs to a 9-4 record in 2010, the school’s first nine-win season since 1971.
The cupboard isn’t completely bare for Hoke, who can lean on playmaking quarterback Denard Robinson. The dynamic signal caller threw for 2,570 yards and 18 touchdowns last season and was just as dangerous with his legs, rushing for 1,702 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Michigan opened as a 14.5-pt. favorite at CRIS and is currently a huge public favorite. According to Sports Insights’ College Football Betting Trends data, 76% of spread wagers are laying the points and taking the Wolverines.
The public betting chart below, which is available on our Live Odds 3.0 page, shows a breakdown of spread wagering action on this game from our six contributing sportsbooks:
Even though the public money is all over Michigan, the line has dropped to -13.5 at CRIS. This reverse-line movement is a clear indicator that sharp money is taking Western Michigan.
Sports Insights’ College Football Betting Systems have also found value on the underdog, triggering 13 Smart Money Plays on the Broncos, including one at WSEX, which, according to our 2011 College Football Betting Systems Preview, finished 2010 as our #1-ranked Smart Money sportsbook at +14.42 units.
After analyzing the betting trends data, this game is also a candidate for one of our College Football Square Plays, a betting system that has won positive units in each of the past eight seasons, including a record of 42-24 (63.6%), +14.81 units, in 2010.
The line history graph below, which is available to all Premium and Premium Pro members, shows how the spread betting percentages have affected line movement for this game at Pinnacle.
The dollar signs ($) represent Smart Money triggers and how the line has moved in the opposite direction of the betting percentages. As you can see, the public immediately jumped on Michigan and has stayed on them since the line opened.
In our first game of the season, we’re going to fade a significant public favorite, follow the sharp money and take Western Michigan to stay within two touchdowns.
The sports marketplace is split between 13.5 and 14 for this game, so make sure to shop for the best line and grab the Broncos plus the full 14 points before making your play.
Game to Watch (0-0)
Western Michigan +14
It should be another exciting week of NCAA Football. Keep Sports Marketwatch 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 NCAA Football Sports Marketwatch.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at Sports Insights