Rovell’s Week 4 Vegas Report: “I Don’t Know Anybody Looking to Bet Notre Dame”

Rovell’s Week 4 Vegas Report: “I Don’t Know Anybody Looking to Bet Notre Dame” article feature image

Kirby Lee, USA Today Sports.

The two games that bettors will undoubtedly be keying in on are the noon kickoff between Michigan and Wisconsin (-3.5) and the primetime showdown between No. 3 Georgia and No. 7 Notre Dame in Athens.

People are certainly lining up to bet the two headliners, but we’ve also heard some interesting betting activity on a couple of off-the-wall games on the Week 4 slate.

As of Thursday afternoon, no game is close to Michigan-Wisconsin in terms of total bets, so let’s start in Big Ten Country.

Are Bettors on Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has scored a combined 110 points against USF and Central Michigan. It’s the Badgers highest two-game point total since 2010 when they beat Indiana and Michigan, scoring 131 points. Things haven’t been running so smoothly for Michigan, who needed overtime to beat Army as 22-point favorites at home in its last game.

Wisconsin comes into the game as a 3-to-3.5-point favorite over the Wolverines and the Badgers have a little history on their side as they’ve covered the number the last three times they’ve been favored over Michigan.

Eric Osterman of the Westgate SuperBook said they moved the line from 3.5 to 3 after “a guy that we respect played Michigan at +3.5.” That number came back to 3.5 at noon on Thursday when a bet came in for $5,000 on Wisconsin -3. A few hours later, the SuperBook took a $29,000 bet on Wisconsin -3.5. This is setting up to be a fun back and forth behind the counter.

college football week 4 spreads-odds-sharp money-betting-darren rovell-vegas
Jim Harbaugh and Michigan are underdogs in Madison this Saturday. Credit: Tim Fuller, USA Today Sports.

Other bookmakers are reporting that their action is fairly balanced. Michigan is usually a public team, but it seems recency bias is keeping bettors off the Wolverines. At DraftKings — where the line is -3 — 59% of the money is on the Wolverines. At PointsBet, where Michigan is getting 3.5 points, 60% of the money is on the Badgers.

Osterman said the SuperBook has seen some considerable action on the Over/Under in Madison.

“We’re seeing some over money come in,” Osterman said. “We opened at 43, up to 45. This game did have 51 points scored in it last year and I think Wisconsin is improved on offense so I can understand why the money has come in on the over.”

Come Again?

We asked the folks at DraftKings to give us their biggest college bets weekend and we came away with one big “Huh?”

There are two bets for $52,500…on Wyoming and Kansas (both bets would net $47,775).

Wyoming, who is on the road against Tulsa, seems more straight forward, relatively speaking. The Cowboys have impressively won their last seven games after winning just one of their previous seven dating back to last season.

Betting on Kansas, who is a 4.5-point home underdog against West Virginia, seems crazy since it’s hard to figure out who the Jayhawks are. They lost Week 1 to Coastal Carolina and then beat Boston College on the road last week by 24.

Rock Fight

The lowest total of the week is the 38.5 being offered for the Michigan State-Northwestern game.

At first glance, it seems too low, but consider this: In its eight Big Ten games last year, only once did Michigan State play in a game where at least 39 points were scored and, over the last five years, half of Northwestern’s games against Big Ten foes, have resulted in totals of 39 or fewer points.

The only game last year where Michigan State played in a conference came with a total of at least 39 points? Against Northwestern of course (48 points).

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Anyone want a Dame?

Since 1966, Notre Dame has scored 66 or more points once…last week against New Mexico.

It’s hard to imagine the Golden Domers even coming close to that type of performance against No. 3 Georgia in Athens.

This line has been one-way traffic since the Bulldogs opened as 12.5-point favorites. The line has moved up to 14.5. According to our consensus data, 63% of the bets are on Georgia as two-score favorites against one of the most public teams in the sport.

PointsBet says their handle is even more lopsided, with 80% of the tickets and 90% of the money on the Dawgs. “Currently this is our biggest decision on the Saturday card,” said the book’s Matt Chaprales.

It seems to be a similar story around Vegas.

“I don’t know anyone who is looking to bet Notre Dame here,” Osterman said.

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