Rovell’s Saturday Betting Blog: Texas A&M Backdoor Cover Against Clemson Crushes Vegas
Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16).
- Darren Rovell is working the phones with bookmakers across the country to find out what games are attracting big bets, sharp action and public love.
- Are bettors backing Clemson as big favorites over Texas A&M? What about Texas getting 6.5 points at home vs. LSU?
It’s a pretty easy pick for the biggest game of Week 2, as LSU travels to Texas as a 6.5-point road favorite, but that isn’t the only game generating serious betting buzz on Saturday.
There are dozens of other games attracting interesting action from coast-to-coast. Earlier in the week I touched on how Illinois attracted another $55,000 bet, this one against UConn, and that one big bettor in New Jersey is a believer in Central Michigan against Wisconsin (+35).
If the early week action is any indicator, this morning should be an interesting one for people on both sides of the counter.
We’ll track all of the action throughout the day here, with the most recent nuggets at the top.
- 7 p.m. ET: The Clemson vs. Texas A&M game may have seemed pretty straightforward to casual fans, but to the betting world it was something else entirely. Most sportsbooks needed the No. 1 team in the country to cover 16.5 points and they were in good shape until the last minute. Usually, a backdoor cover by a large underdog against the best team in the nation would be a boon for the books, not this time. “Jimbo calls timeout and sends in his best goal-line play to cover the spread. Smart,” joked John Murray of the Westgate SuperBook. “Very bad for us at the book. Wanted Clemson there. Ugly day for us.” Murray said the backdoor cover by the Aggies cost them in the high five figures. Texas A&M’s cover along with Maryland’s blow-out win over Syracuse has led to a rough day for the house.
- 11:57 a.m. ET: Cantor Gaming gets some Syracuse money by moving them to a 2-point dog against Maryland. Just took a $7,000 bet on the Orange, according to Cantor’s Tony DiTomasso.
- 11:45 a.m. ET: Money is still pouring in on Maryland. “We just took another $18,000 on the Terps,” the SuperBook’s Murray said. “Syracuse is now our biggest need of the morning.”
- 11:30 a.m. ET: Matt Lindeman at Circa Sports says Vegas needs Iowa after smart money came in on Rutgers all of a sudden. “The game opened Iowa -20 and hung around there until Wednesday. It started creeping down to 19 and then we got hit on +19 late last night. Market is now at 17.5. Iowa has Iowa State on deck, so it’s a tough spot for the Hawkeyes.”
- 11:25 a.m. ET: As mentioned earlier, books seem to need Clemson to cover as the public is high on Texas A&M (+16.5/17). “A&M looks like the dog bettors are hitching their wagon to this week,” said John Murray of the Westgate SuperBook.
- 11:21 a.m. ET: Murray says his book needs Syracuse early. “We got a lot of Maryland money.”
- 11:18 a.m. ET: Despite being hours from kick, the LSU-Texas game is generating the most action at William Hill. That game makes up 8% of the total bets for the day, with Texas A&M vs. Clemson right behind at 7%.
- 10:43 a.m. ET: The strangest story of the college football betting season continues this morning. Last week, three $55,000 bets came in on Illinois to cover as 17-and-18-point favorites against Akron. They won by 39. This week, another $55,000 bet came in on the Illini to cover as a 20.5-point favorite against UConn. The confidence is a little strange for a school that hasn’t won much recently, but what’s even stranger is that it’s not just an anomaly involving one or two bettors. Illinois is receiving 97% of the money to cover 21.5 points at William Hill, which has more than 100 sportsbooks across the country, making it the most lopsided game on their card.
- 10:30 a.m. ET: After a five-touchdown performance in Week 1, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is now firmly in the Heisman race, moving to 25-1 at FanDuel. That puts him on level pegging with Georgia QB Jake Fromm and Michigan QB Shea Patterson. Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa still lead the way at +250. Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is the only non-QB near the top of the board at 16-1.
- 10:20 a.m. ET: Money is always going to lopsided on Penn State for the sportsbooks in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the two most active mobile markets outside of Nevada. So it’s no surprise that FanDuel reports this morning that the Nittany Lions are getting 93% of the money as 30.5-point favorites against Buffalo. That number has ticked up across all markets all week and bettors still can’t get enough of Penn State. The Over (56) is also seeing a lot of support, attracting 84% of the tickets at FanDuel.
- 9:55 a.m. ET: Texas is a 6.5-point home ‘dog against LSU and bettors at DraftKings are taking the points. The Longhorns are getting 71% of the tickets but just 53% of the money against the Tigers.
- 9:50 a.m. ET: Coming off a 79-0 win over Howard, Maryland is seeing a lot of support as 1-point favorites against Syracuse. The Terps are receiving 67% of the tickets, per DraftKings.
- 9:45 a.m. ET: We reported earlier in the week that bookmakers will be rooting hard for Clemson — something they rarely do — against Texas A&M. Per DraftKings, 76% of the tickets and 81% of the money at their shop is on the Aggies to cover as 17-point underdogs.