College Football Sharp Report: Pros Betting Memphis-Missouri, 4 Other Games

Oct 20, 2018 9:25 AM EDT
  • Before placing your Week 8 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 8 plays include bets on Memphis-Missouri (4 p.m. ET on SEC Network) and Minnesota-Nebraska (3:30 p.m. on BTN).

If you’ve stopped by and read our college football sharp report before, you know the spiel by now. 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 8 games drawing the most action from wiseguys, who went 3-2 on last week’s plays.


>> All odds as of 10:30 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time college football odds and track your bets.


All games Saturday, Oct. 20.

Coastal Carolina @ Massachusetts

  • Sharp angle: Under (moved from 73.5 to 71.5)
  • Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: Eleven Sports

Only three FBS teams allow more points per game than UMass, whose opponents have averaged 44.9 ppg so far this season. Coastal Carolina’s defense hasn’t been much better either, allowing 35.3 ppg, hence the high total.

But while these defenses are bad, sharp bettors don’t think they’re quite that bad.

Even though the over has been the more popular bet, drawing 69% of bettors, the total has fallen two points from its opening number thanks to sharp action.

Five steam moves have been triggered on the under — and none on the over — indicating five instances of market-wide line movement caused by a sportsbook taking a sharp wager.


Minnesota @ Nebraska

  • Sharp angle: Under (moved from 56 to 54)
  • Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: BTN

The total has fallen in this Big Ten matchup despite the majority of bets landing on the over. In fact, 73% of bettors are expecting this game to finish with more than 54 points.

Sharps aren’t among that 73%, however. They’ve been the cause of this line falling, as evidenced by three steam moves on the under.

It’s worth noting — if you’re looking to follow the sharps on this one — that the last steam move came at a total of 55.5.


Memphis @ Missouri

  • Sharp angle: Under (moved from 74 to 73)
  • Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: SEC Network

In a spot nearly identical to the Coastal Carolina-UMass game, Memphis and Missouri are attracting sharps to another under on a high total. The two teams combine to score 78.4 points per game, but wiseguys don’t see that happening on Saturday.

The over is again the more popular bet, drawing 59% of tickets, but this total has fallen by one point as the under has drawn three steam moves.

One potential reason for sharps to love the under?

As is the case in many of Saturday’s games, winds are expected to be blowing between 15 and 20 mph in Columbia, which should make it harder to move the ball while keeping the clock moving as the teams might have to rely on the run game.


Central Florida @ East Carolina

  • Sharp angle: East Carolina (moved from +24 to +21.5)
  • Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ESPN2

Drawing 81% of bettors, UCF is one of the most popular college football teams of the entire weekend. The Knights briefly opened at -24, but were quickly bet down to -21.

They’ve since inched up to -21.5, but it seems that sharps are still finding value on the underdog at those numbers.

East Carolina has been on the receiving end of eight steam moves this week, six of which have come at either +21 or +21.5.


Fresno State @ New Mexico

  • Sharp angle: New Mexico (moved from +16.5 to +13.5)
  • Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ESPNU

Of all the games on Saturday’s slate, this looks to be the one that has drawn the most one-sided sharp action throughout the week.

New Mexico has drawn 12 steam moves, causing this line to fall a full field goal from its opening number. Perhaps more impressive is that the line movement comes despite 77% of bets landing on Fresno State.

New Mexico’s 23% of bets, however, have accounted for 38% of dollars wagered, meaning that bigger bets — more likely to be the ones placed by sharps — are behind the Lobos.

Credit:

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Missouri quarterback Drew Lock

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