Rovell: Why Troy Covering vs. Akron Meant Disaster for Vegas Books
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Troy Trojans fans
- Darren Rovell is working the phones with bookmakers across the country to find out which games are attracting big bets, sharp action and public love.
Week 3 may have lacked headline-grabbing matchups, but that’s not the case this Saturday as Georgia (-14) hosts Notre Dame, Michigan visits Wisconsin (-3.5) and Texas A&M (-4) takes on Auburn.
With games like that leading the card, you better believe bettors are lining up to get some action on a huge Saturday of the college football season.
We’ll track all of the action throughout the day here, with the most recent nuggets at the top.
- 9:15 p.m. ET: Believe it or not, sportsbooks will take a bit of a blow if Old Dominion covers against Virginia as a 27-point underdog. Eighty-five percent of the money at William Hill was on the Monarchs to stay inside the number. The largest moneyline bet they took on ODU was $100 to win $2,500. Old Dominion leads Virginia, 17-14, halfway through the third quarter.
- 5:45 p.m. ET: Troy is proving to be one bookmaker’s wort nightmare today. With some big bets on the Trojans coming in at 17, 17.5 and 18, including a $55,000 bet at CG, some books really needed Akron today. With 10 minutes to go, the Trojans have the ball and are up 28 points.
- 5:30 p.m. ET: Is Joe Burrow your new leader in the clubhouse for the Heisman? Today, he threw for 398 yards and an LSU record six touchdowns against Vandy. At most places, Burrow was 200-1 to win the Heisman in the preseason, though FanDuel had it as long as 300-1. Including Saturday’s performance, he has passed for 1,520 yards with 17 touchdowns and 2 interceptions and you’d be lucky to find him at 3-1 on Monday morning!
- 4:20 p.m. ET: Florida easily covered as a 13-point favorite over Tennessee, winning by 31, 34-3. The Gators have now covered in nine of their last 13 games as a favorite, including their home opener against another Tennessee team, UT-Martin. A 44.5 point favorite, the Gators won by 45.
- 4:15 p.m. ET: LSU and Vanderbilt scored 104 points in a 66-38 game on Saturday. The 104 points is 41.5 points higher than the closing consensus total of 62.5. That would make it the second-highest margin above a total in an SEC conference game since LSU-Texas A&M played in a 74-72 game and went 101 points above the total of 45.
- 2:20 p.m. ET: More money coming in on Troy versus Akron. CG just took a $55,000 bet on Troy (-17.5) to win $50,000. Plenty of sportsbooks need Akron bad today.
- 11:57 a.m. ET: FanDuel has moved the total on Northwestern-Michigan State down to 34! The next closest total? Cal at Ole Miss at 42.5.
- 11:40 a.m. ET: The most lopsided money at the more than 100 William Hill sportsbooks include two of the largest spreads of the day. The favorites in these games have 94% of the money:
- Ohio State (-39) vs. Miami Ohio
- Miami (-31) vs. Central Michigan
- Troy (-18) vs. Akron
- 11:30 a.m. ET: The most lopsided money coming in at DraftKings is LSU -24 vs. Vanderbilt, with 86% of the money on the Tigers to cover. Next up is Northwestern (+7.5) vs. Michigan State, with 81% of the money on the Wildcats.
- 11:05 a.m. ET: Georgia-Notre Dame is a big game, but it’s not going to be a big decision for every book. One book that does say it needs a side is PointsBet — 80% of the money is on Georgia (-14.5). Out of the last 25 games the Fighting Irish have played, they have been an underdog only twice. When they played USC on the road to end the 2016 season, they were 17.5-point dogs. They lost by 18.
- 11 a.m. ET: There’s always a game, when we look at the numbers, that pops out. For today, that’s Old Dominion vs. Virginia. It has the most lopsided betting money in our app, with 91% of the money on the Monarchs to cover the 28-point spread. It’s not like Old Dominion is that bad: The Monarchs beat the Hokies in front of their home crowd last year. Circa’s Lindeman said our percentages match the bets he’s taken: Old Dominion 31, Virginia 3.
- 10:45 a.m. ET: One of the biggest spread moves this week has been on the Nebraska-Illinois game. It opened at Nebraska -7 and is now up to -13.5 in some places. It’s funny to see Illinois as the betting world’s laughingstock: There was huge money on the Illini for the first two weeks of the season, including four high-profile $55,000 bets in their favor. “When you lose at home against Eastern Michigan, you’re not going to get the benefit of the doubt,” said Lindeman.
- 10:30 a.m. ET: The biggest decision of the day for Circa sportsbook in Vegas, believe it or not, is on Troy vs. Akron thanks to a “mid five-figures” bet on Troy -17. Another need is for Wisconsin and Michigan to put up some points: “We opened this game at 51.5, and it was bet down to 44,” said Circa’s Matt Lindeman. “The question is how real is Wisconsin’s offense with the South Florida and Central Michigan blowouts.” Also note there should be some interesting weather in this game.
- 10:25 a.m. ET: Tennessee-Florida opened at Florida -12.5 but was bet up to -14. That’s a big number in this rivalry: Only five times in the last 25 years has this game been decided by more than 14 points.
- 9:20 a.m. ET: Didn’t think we would start with this game on this glorious college football morning. We have the lowest total in a Big Ten game since at least 2005 with today’s Michigan State vs. Northwestern affair. The previous low in the last 15 years was 37: Michigan vs. Northwestern in 2015, Iowa vs. Michigan State in 2013 and Wisconsin vs. Penn State in 2006. The 2006 game was the only game that didn’t hit the over, finishing with 16 points. “I thought there was no way we were going to have a game at 36, so we opened at 40,” said Circa’s Matt Lindeman. “Now we’re at 36.” According to The Action Network FREE app, 79% of the money is on the under.