Well, it's time my betting friends. The first full week of College football is less than24 hours away and the action is heating up. In preparation for week 1 of the college football season I decided to analyze the line movements for all of week 1's action according to BetNow. I like Bet Now because they usually have the most amount of active games on the board and you can really find some hidden gems.Your sports book of choice may have slightly different lines, so always check before you bet.
Why Line Moves are Important
Lines can move for a variety of reasons but most often, sports-books want to encourage equal betting action on both sides of a wager. When betting action is imbalanced, sports-books will engage in line movement to either encourage, or discourage, bettors from placing wagers on different sides.
Knowing where the majority of “smart” money is going on a certain game has been known to influence sportsbooks lines. Sportsbooks engage in line movement in order to discourage more bets on the same side as the “sharps,” who often exhibit a higher than average winning percentage. Other reasons for line movements could be for external reasons such as injuries, suspensions, coaching decisions etc. Whatever the reason, following line movements can give you an insight into how the "sharps" are betting. Often times, the big swings are due to the professional gamblers betting big money on their team of choice.
Biggest Line Movements So Far
You can see from the chart below that there are 18 games that have seen the line move by 3 points or more so far with the max being 9. I happen to be one of the lucky ones that jumped on Central Michigan at -6.0 last week before it jumped to 9. Thats a big move which is common with some FCS opponents, as I don't think Vegas has a great handle on some of the lesser known FCS schools. Seems like the smart money knew what I knew by jumping all over Central Michigan & taking the all the way up to spread to -15. The other teams seeming to be getting a bulk of the action are Rutgers, Purdue, Air Force, Michigan, Clemson & Nebraska as each have seen their lines jump by 4 points or more. Virginia is the one team on this list that went from an underdog to a favorite, going from +1 to -2.5, seems like a lot smart money went to the Cavs to move that line the other way.
Line Movement between 1 & 2.5
The next group shown below have seen line changes since open move between 1 & 2.5. As you can see from the table below, UCF is expected to win big & some smart money seems to be flowing into Oregon State & La Lafayette as underdogs. Both have seen movement in their favor by 2.5 so the smart money seems to think that they will keep it close. I also think Oregon State will give OK State all they can handle in Corvallis. Illinois is also making some moves as reports came out today that multiple bettors put $55,000 on the Illini to cover. The spread is now up to 18.
Never Just Take the Top Movers
Big line movements are not always a sign to jump on that team. Keep an eye on the lines as it continues to shift up until kickoff. Don't put it past the smart money to drive up the spread than come in late and take the other side. If lines are moving up outside of your comfort zone, either lay off it or go the other way. Good luck to all this weekend!
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