Week 9 college football: Early action drives lines
For more on Week 9 of the 2017 college football season, check out Collin Wilson’s Sunday Morning Coffee column.
There has already been significant early action on a number of lines for Week 9 of the college football season. Sports Action examines some of the biggest moves.
Matchup to watch
• Iowa State +7 (5-1-1 ATS) took plenty of sharp action hosting TCU. The current number of +5.5 should be a popular sharp side factoring in the TCU overlook to Texas. The road to the Big 12 Championship game runs through Ames.
A look inside the numbers sheds more light on why Iowa State may pick up additional sharp money as kickoff draws closer. While TCU has generally done a good job of putting up points in 2017, the Horned Frogs have been only OK on the ground, checking in 38th nationally in rushing S&P+ and ranking in the middle of the Big 12 in yards per carry. And that’s despite the fact that their schedule to date (Oklahoma State, WVU, Arkansas, Kansas State) has included some of the worst rush defenses in the country.
Iowa State, meanwhile, is in the top 30 in rush S&P+/success defense and 21st in the country in defending rush explosiveness. (And that number figures to rise after the Cyclones limited Texas Tech to 129 rushing yards on 41 carries in an Iowa State victory on Saturday.) In other words, Iowa State’s defense could render TCU’s offense one-dimensional, forcing the Horned Frogs to rely primarily on the passing game.
Other Week 9 notes
• Bettors quickly took Boston College +8 (BetOnline) and +5.5 (Wynn) down to +3 against Florida State. The Eagles have covered their last five games, while Florida State has not covered this year ATS (0-5-1). With the James Blackman fumble on the Seminoles’ last drive of their loss to Louisville, it will be hard to find public or sharp support for Florida State.
• West Virginia took money to move the opener of +8 down to +6 at BetOnline. As the Wynn and other books opened Oklahoma State -6, that number was steamed back to -7. There may be plenty of value on the Cowboys after they survived an anemic performance against Texas in Austin. Oklahoma State is on back-to-back travel with overlook to Bedlam.
• After Game of the Year numbers had Ohio State -9.5 for many of the previous weeks, BetOnline opened the Buckeyes -7. With Penn State fresh off of a beatdown of Michigan, the Nittany Lions have taken all the early action to a current number of Penn State +5.5. Many sharps will be waiting for a buy in on the Buckeyes at the right price.
• Old Dominion finally covered a game in a losing effort against Western Kentucky. BetOnline opened Old Dominion +7 against North Texas, but the Monarchs’ cover didn’t stop bettors on Sunday from steaming the line to North Texas -10.5. This number may continue to climb, as most power rating services have this game as Mean Green -14.
• Mississippi State opened as a +2 dog at Texas A&M before taking the majority of the action to the current -1.5. The Aggies are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games at home. Texas A&M is also 1-9 ATS off a bye week since 2013.
• Texas Tech has not covered two straight, but they took the early action against Oklahoma. BetOnline opened the Sooners -21, which was higher than most power rating lines. Oklahoma’s recent issues with Kansas State and Texas may play a part in the steam to -18. With Bedlam on deck, expect Oklahoma-Texas Tech to hover around 17.
• Arizona State +7 was quickly hammered at BetOnline. Wynn opened the Sun Devils +4.5 a short time later that still saw action on the dog. The line has currently settled on USC -3. This line certainly provides value on the Trojans and should take sharp action through the week.
Photo credit: © Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
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