Wilson: How to Bet College Football Game Of The Year Lines, And Spots to Target for 2019

May 31, 2019 9:20 PM EDT
Credit:

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jake Fromm

  • Every summer, sportsbooks post look-ahead lines for games throughout the upcoming college football season.
  • Collin Wilson dives into his strategies for betting these Game of the Year lines.
  • He discusses his general philosophies and gives out some of the games he's looking at for 2019.

With College Football Game of the Year lines coming Thursday, the fall gambling season is almost underway.

The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas will once again be first to market with 100 games and their point spreads posted on Thursday, May 30.

Details have not been finalized, but in the past, the Golden Nugget allows a bettor $1,000 limits and a max of three wagers. They are then asked to move to the back of the line.

In my experience, the line has stretched to the blackjack tables when the Nugget has been first to market with Game of the Year lines.

So What Is a Game of the Year Line?

It’s a point spread posted on a game that will happen after Week 1. They’re usually rivalry games or other interesting matchups between quality teams that fans will want to bet on.

While the Nugget will be the first to post, some online sportsbooks and others in Vegas will release their own numbers throughout the summer.

Using the Action Network Power Ratings, we can create our own Game of the Year lines and develop an edge on openers. Each weekend in college football brings different variables, but power ratings are a great place to start.

The ultimate goal of a GOY ticket is to get ahead of the market on a number that will be offered the week of the game. You want to beat the closing line, and this is a great opportunity to do it. If done properly, bettors can work their way into middle windows for a chance to cash both sides on one game.

Should I Be Aware of Situational Spots?

The Golden Nugget will release 100 games, including the Red River Rivalry, Ohio State-Michigan and the Iron Bowl. There are plenty of strategies in play for a Game of the Year investment.

This article will look at the week-by-week schedule with a market focus on a number of different ways to attack the betting board.

  • Letdown: Everyone remembers Iowa dropping a piano on Ohio State in 2017 with a 55-24 victory in Kinnick Stadium. What Hawkeye fans want to forget are the two consecutive losses after — by 24 to Wisconsin and 9 to a 4-5 Purdue team. The key takeaway is to circle a teams biggest home game and look to stay away in the week after.

  • Rivalry overlook: Tin Horn weekend will be an Action Network yearly staple the Saturday before Thanksgiving, when seemingly the entire SEC plays FCS opponents. Egg Bowl, Iron Bowl, Civil War, Holy War, Civil Conflict…be aware of upcoming rivalry games and plan accordingly for the snoozers.
  • Back-to-back travel at home off a bye: 2019 will be an unusual one, with most teams having two bye weeks through a season that includes a regular season Week 0 and Week 15. Using our data at BetLabs, bye week trends will help you denote key situations. Kansas has covered off of a bye week just once since 2010.  Since 2013, Duke and David Cutcliffe are 11-1 against the spread following a bye week.
  • Revenge: Do not think for a minute that the mention of Ole Miss does not give Nick Saban heartburn. The Hugh Freeze-led Rebels beat Alabama in 2014 AND 2015, with an additional cover in the 5-point loss in 2016. Since the time Freeze has left Oxford, Alabama has bested Ole Miss the past two seasons by a combined score of 128-10.
  • Non-Conference Sandwich: Because Oklahoma-Army was $55 on pay-per-view last season, more than 32,000 people joined a Twitch stream of someone recording the game from their couch. In a classic sandwich spot, the Sooners came off a Week 2 conference road trip in Ames with Baylor in Week 4 in mind. Oklahoma did little to no prep for the Army triple option, surviving in overtime 28-21.

Here is a breakdown of some of the biggest games I’m looking for, a projected point spread along from our power ratings, plus notes on the situational spot for a team.

Week 2

Texas A&M at Clemson (-17.5)

Will Texas A&M have 2018 revenge on their mind for this trip against the national champions? Quarterback Kellen Mond looks to terrorize a Clemson defense that lost plenty of key elements to the NFL Draft.

As for the Tigers, their market price could not be any higher as there are no projected spreads under two touchdowns. Clemson will begin the 2019 season with ACC games against Georgia Tech in Week 1 and a primetime showdown with Syracuse in Week 3.

Jimbo Fisher and Dabo Swinney know each other quite well, and another close game shootout would not surprise me in this non-conference sandwich spot for Clemson.

Week 4

Oklahoma State at Texas (-1)

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