College Football Sharp Report: How Pros Are Betting Saturday’s Bowl Games
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: B.J. Smith and Walter Pritchett
- Before placing your bets for Saturday's 4-game slate of college football bowl games, you might want to know how sharps are betting these games.
- Sharps are bettors with long track records of consistent success.
- Their favorite plays on Saturday include bets on Wake Forest-Memphis (12 p.m. ET, ESPN) and Buffalo-Troy (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).
The second Saturday of bowl season is upon us, and while four games isn’t quite what we’ve become accustomed to on Saturdays over the past few months, there should still be action aplenty throughout the day.
For experienced gamblers, one advantage is the rush of casual bettors who will come out of the woodwork to bet on college football.
And while that tends to create value in betting against the public this time of year, a couple of Saturday’s sharpest spots look to be in agreement with the masses.
Let’s take a look.
Birmingham Bowl: Wake Forest @ Memphis
12 p.m. ET | ESPN | Birmingham, AL
Sharp angle: Under (moved from 75 to 73)
If you were to view this game through The Action Network’s app or Sports Insights’ Live Odds page, you’d notice that the opening and current total are the same — 73. But that doesn’t quite tell the whole story of how this line has moved over the past couple weeks.
Until about midweek, the line movement on this total had been trending upward. After opening at 73, it was up to 75.5 at a few books behind almost 90% of bets. But as game day approached, sportsbooks began to up their limits, allowing sharps to reveal their opinion on the game.
Since Tuesday, this total has fallen back to its opening number as wiseguys have been all over the under.
Per Sports Insights’ Bet Signals, they’ve hit the under four times over the past four days. So while the over is still the more popular play — getting 65% of bets — oddsmakers have had no choice but to follow what their sharper customers are telling them.
Much of the reason for that is because sharps tend to bet more than squares. In this case, the 35% of bets on the under have accounted for 52% of actual money.
Dollar General Bowl: Buffalo vs. Troy
7 p.m. ET | ESPN | Mobile, AL
Sharp angles: Troy (moved from +3 to +1), Under (moved from 53.5 to 49.5)
In a heavily bet game — such as a bowl game — it’s often the case that sharps land on the opposite side of the public. This one, however, is example of when that wouldn’t quite be true.
Although the majority isn’t extremely heavy, Troy is still getting 57% of the bets in this game. And while that makes the Trojans the public bettors’ side, sharps seem to be along for the ride as well.
The 57% of bettors behind Troy have made up for 81% of money wagered, meaning bigger, probably sharper bettors are among that majority.
Troy has also triggered four Sports Insights Bet Signals.
Speaking of signals, the under in this game has drawn five of its own. Combined with 74% of dollars on 49% of bets, the sharp backing of the under has forced oddsmakers to drop this total four points from its opening number.
Hawaii Bowl: Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii
9:30 p.m. ET | ESPN | Honolulu, HI
Sharp angle: Over (moved from 57.5 to 61)
Two public and sharp agreements in one day? What a treat.
Seventy-two percent of bets on the total in this game have hit the over, but they’ve accounted for 77% of bets. Though the line has moved up 3.5 points, such a small percentage discrepancy wouldn’t be enough to confirm sharp action on its own.
Thankfully, Sports Insights’ Bet Signals lit up three times on this over, at totals of 58.5, 59 and 60.