College Football Sharp Report: Pros Betting Iowa-Penn State, 4 Other Week 9 Games

Oct 26, 2018 6:34 PM EDT
  • Before placing your Week 9 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 9 plays include bets on Iowa-Penn State and Cincinnati-SMU.

If you’ve read our weekly college football sharp report before, you know the spiel by now. But in case you haven’t, 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 these line moves, we can determine the bets sharps are making, assuming we have a few more bits of information — which we do.

The tools at The Action Network and Sports Insights allow us to track each time a wager comes in that changes the market price of a given bet (this is called a steam move).

We also track the number of tickets being placed on each side of a game, 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 9 games drawing the most action from wiseguys.


>> All odds as of 12 p.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time college football odds and track your bets.


All games Saturday, Oct. 27. Line moves from Pinnacle.

Cincinnati @ SMU

3:30 p.m. ET | CBSSN

Sharp angle: SMU (moved from +9.5 to +8.5)

To no one’s surprise, the 6-1 Cincinnati Bearcats have picked up the heavy majority of bets (79%) against the 3-4 SMU Mustangs as single-digit favorites.

Still, this line has moved away from the Bearcats, as Mustang backers have been placing the bigger bets — more likely to be the ones from sharps — illustrated by the 38% of dollars wagered on the Mustangs.

SMU has also been on the receiving end of seven Sports Insights’ Bet Signals throughout the week — each one an indication of sharp action at one book causing the entire market to adjust lines.

Iowa @ Penn State

3:30 p.m. | ESPN

Sharp angle: Penn State (moved from -4 to -6.5)

After opening at -4, the Penn State Nittany Lions are now just below a touchdown-favorite against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday. That movement certainly isn’t due to Penn State’s popularity among bettors, as Iowa has dominated the market, drawing 71% of bettors.

Instead, sharp bettors have been getting down on Penn State throughout the week.

While it’s a small discrepancy, the 29% of bets on PSU have accounted for 33% of dollars wagered, meaning that bigger wagers are more likely to be behind the Lions.

More telling, though, is the Bet Signal that was triggered on the Lions, which is an indication that one book’s sharp wager caused the entire market to bump this line up.


Tulane @ Tulsa

7 p.m. ET | ESPNU

Sharp angle: Under (moved from 50.5 to 48.5)

Only 24% of bettors are expecting this game to stay under its point total, but they’ve made up 53% of dollars wagered on the total, meaning the average bet on the under is more than three times bigger than the average over bet.

The under has also drawn three steam moves, causing this number to fall two points from its opener of 50.5.


Florida International @ Western Kentucky

7:30 p.m. ET | beIN Sports

Sharp angle: Western Kentucky (moved from +4.5 to +3.5)

Now for the game we’ve all been anticipating. All right, maybe not, but this game has perhaps been the clearest sharp play of any on Saturday’s slate.

Western Kentucky has drawn six Bet Signals to FIU’s zero, gradually moving this line through the key number of four. The Hilltoppers have also accounted for 62% of dollars wagered despite getting only 39% of total bets, meaning bigger — more likely sharper — bets are behind Western Kentucky.


Hawaii @ Fresno State

10:30 p.m. ET

Sharp angle: Over (moved from 56.5 to 60)

Fresno State has allowed only 12.6 points per game this season — fewer than any team in the nation. It makes sense, then, for 60% of bettors to feel that this game would go under its point total.

Despite that backing, however, the total has risen from 56.5 to 60, as sharp bettors have been in the 40% minority taking the over.

Those 40% of bettors have accounted for 84% of dollars wagered, and the over has triggered two Bet Signals, all of which has contributed to the line moving away from the popular side.

Credit:

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Penn State WR Mac Hippenhammer

Follow Danny Donahue on Twitter
@dannyjdonahue

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SCHEDULE
OPEN
CURR
# BETS
58.5
+8.5
58
+10.5
51.5
+15
51.5
+15
52
-18
52
-19.5
68
+13.5
68.5
+14
80
+2
81.5
+1.5
54
-3
53
-3
59
+3
58
+4
53.5
+3
53
+5.5
61
-17
59.5
-17
57
-7
57.5
-7
52
-24
53
-24
55.5
-14
54.5
-13.5
58.5
-18
58
-18
51
+17
51
+17.5
60.5
-25
59
-26
41
-14
40.5
-13.5
47.5
-2
48
-2.5
53.5
+8
54
+10.5
44
-13.5
44
-13.5
68
-3
67.5
-2.5