College Football Sharp Report: Pros Betting Ohio State-Maryland, 3 Other Games

College Football Sharp Report: Pros Betting Ohio State-Maryland, 3 Other Games article feature image

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dwayne Haskins

  • Before placing your Week 12 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 12 plays include bets on Iowa State-Texas and Ohio State-Maryland.

If you’ve read our weekly college football sharp report before, you know the deal by now. But in case you haven’t, here’s the lowdown:

“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 12 games drawing the most action from wiseguys.

All games Saturday, Nov. 17.

>> All odds as of Friday at 11 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time college football odds and track your bets.

Northwestern @ Minnesota

12 p.m. ET | BTN

Sharp angle: Minnesota (moved from +3.5 to -2)

In college football, line movement of this magnitude on a point spread is usually caused only by an unexpected injury to a Heisman-caliber player. In this case, however, it’s been the activity in the betting market that’s caused this line to jump the fence.

Minnesota has been the more popular pick, but 58% percent of bets is certainly not enough to result in a 5.5-point move on its own.

Instead, it has been action from respected bettors (sharps) that has oddsmakers rethinking this spread.

The Gophers have drawn six steam moves, indicating six occurrences of market-wide line movement resulting from sharp action.

They’ve also accounted for a significantly higher percentage of dollars (78%) than bets. That means bigger bettors — the ones more likely to be sharps — are behind them.

Ohio State @ Maryland

12 p.m. ET | ABC

Sharp angle: Maryland (moved from +17 to +14.5)

Using Sports Insights’ Bet Signals as a means of measurement, Maryland has drawn more activity from wiseguys than any other team on Saturday’s slate.

The Terps have triggered six steam moves and six reverse line moves — recorded whenever there’s line movement against the popular side, another sign that sharps are at work.

Like Minnesota, Maryland has also drawn a much higher percentage of dollars than bets.

While getting only 24% of bets, those have accounted for half of the money being bet, meaning the average Terps bet is about three times bigger than the average wager on Ohio State.

Iowa @ Illinois

3:30 p.m. ET | BTN

Sharp angle: Illinois (moved from +15.5 to +14.5)

The weekend of Big Ten home teams continues for sharp bettors with the third game on this list.

Opening as a 15.5-point favorite, Iowa has attracted 75% of bets to this point, yet this line is now -14.5 thanks to some sharp action on Illinois.

Thirty-seven percent of dollars have come on the Illini despite the measly quarter of bets, indicating once again that bigger bettors are backing the home dogs.

Four Bet Signals have also been triggered to further contribute to the line move.

Iowa State @ Texas

8 p.m. ET | Longhorn Network

Sharp angle: Under (moved from 51 to 47)

It may not have worked last week, but sharps are rolling with another Texas under on Saturday.

While 74% of bettors are loading up on the over — as they typically do in a Big 12 matchup — those bettors are making up only 47% of the actual money being wagered on this total.

And as you probably could’ve guessed, the under has also triggered two steam moves, indicating sudden market-wide movement caused by sharp action.

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