Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Purdue Boilermakers running back Markell Jones (8) runs the ball up the field in the 2nd half at Ross-Ade Stadium.
- Before placing your Week 3 college football bets, you might want to know which bets sharps are making.
- Sharps are bettors with long track records of consistent success.
- Their favorite Week 3 plays include bets on LSU-Auburn and Missouri-Purdue.
If you’ve stopped by this sharp report before, you know the spiel by now. In case you haven’t, though, here’s the deal:
“Sharps” are bettors with long track records of consistent success. And when I say long, I’m talking several years — decades even.
When a sharp places a bet, books take notice and often adjust their lines as a result.
By tracking those line moves, we can determine which bets sharps are making, assuming we have a few more bits of information — which we do.
We also track the percentage of tickets being placed on each side of a bet, as well as the percentage of actual dollars.
Comparing those figures to the line movement is one of the easiest and most effective ways to locate sharp action.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the Week 3 games drawing the most action from wiseguys.
>> All odds as of Friday at 1 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time college football odds and track your bets.
All games Saturday Sept. 15. All line moves from Pinnacle.
Hawaii @ Army
12 p.m. ET
Sharp angle: Army (moved from -5.5 to -7)
After opening at -5.5, the boys from West Point are now full touchdown favorites over Hawaii on Saturday. It’s not because they’ve been the more popular bet, however.
Army has drawn only 39% of bet tickets, but those tickets have accounted for 59% of dollars wagered at the time of writing (see live data here).
Translation: The bigger bets are behind Army. Since professional bettors are more likely to be betting greater amounts than your average Joe, we can use that as an indication that sharps are on the home team.
We’ve also tracked three steam moves on Army, meaning that on three separate occasions, wagers from sharp bettors caused the entire market to adjust this line.
It’s important to note, however, that all three moves came before the line reached the key number of 7.
LSU @ Auburn
3:30 p.m. ET
Sharp angle: Auburn (moved from -9.5 to -10.5)
For some time, Auburn was listed as low as -9.5 in this year’s edition of the Tiger Bowl, but sharps have brought this line back into the double digits, passing through the key number of 10.
Like in the case above, this line has moved away from the popular side. Sixty-seven percent of bets have come in on LSU throughout the week, but those account for just 49% of dollars wagered.
In other words, like Army, Auburn is attracting the bigger — probably sharper — bettors.
Auburn did also generate one reverse line move at -9.5, which helped propel this line back to its current number.
North Texas @ Arkansas
4 p.m. ET
Sharp angle: Under (moved from 70 to 68.5)
Despite 67% of bettors taking the over in this game, the total has fallen, thanks to sharp action on the under.
In fact, the one-third of bets that have landed on the under have accounted for 77% of dollars at the time of writing, forcing books to reset this line (see live data here).
Four steam moves have also been triggered on this under: two at 70, one at 69.5 and another at 69.
Missouri @ Purdue
7:30 p.m. ET
Sharp angle: Purdue (moved from +7.5 to +6)
While no 1.5-point line move should be ignored, this one is especially significant because it passed through the key number of 7.
It’s also important because, like in the other games listed, Missouri is actually the more popular bet — which shouldn’t come as much surprise considering Purdue’s 0-2 start.
The Tigers have drawn 64% of bettors, but 53% of the money wagered on this game is behind Purdue, and by now you know what that means.
The Boilermakers have also been on the receiving end of seven steam moves, one of which came at +6.5 — inside the key touchdown number.
New Mexico @ New Mexico State
8 p.m. ET
Sharp angle: New Mexico State (moved from +6 to +3.5)
This probably isn’t the game you’ve been itching for all week, but of all the matchups on Saturday’s slate, this one might have drawn the most sharp action.
New Mexico State has attracted nine steam moves as sharp bettors have brought this line down 2.5 points from its opening number. That movement comes despite 77% of bettors taking the other side.
As with the other sharp plays on this list, those 23% of bets on New Mexico State have accounted for a higher percentage of money wagered — 34% in this case — which is yet another indication that wiseguys are behind the Aggies.