While Everybody Else Is Betting Ohio State-Penn State, Duffel Bag Boy Is Pounding Indiana
Marc Lebryk, USA Today Sports.
- Ohio State is a small favorite against Penn State and Notre Dame is -5.5 against Stanford in Week 5's biggest games.
- While those two games will likely attract the most bets, another game has bookmakers concerned.
- That's because Duffel Bag Boy is placing huge bets on Indiana (-17) against Rutgers.
While most people are paying attention two key games in college football this week (Ohio State at Penn State and Stanford at Notre Dame), there’s another game — one nobody saw coming — that could be the key decision for sportsbooks this weekend thanks to 2018’s most infamous bettor — Duffel Bag Boy.
According to William Hill’s stats (released on Thursday), their biggest handle so far is Indiana (-17) at Rutgers, which accounted for a staggering 23% of the total money wagered at William Hill for College Football this weekend.
While I could not get confirmation from William Hill that Duffel Bag Boy made a stop at one of their windows, his fingerprints are all over it.
John Murray, a director at the Westgate SuperBook, told me that Duffel Bag Boy stopped by their shop to play $25,000 on Indiana.
“He’s usually more of a parlay player. He loves to fade Rutgers,” Murray said.
It was rumored he cashed big last week taking Buffalo over Rutgers and that game was also one of his key parlay wagers in other numerous bets.
At the time of writing William Hill’s line for this game was Indiana -17 while most other books were still at -16.5, so it seems that the big bettor has a lot riding on this game at that house.
At CG Technologies (which includes such locations at The Venetian, Cosmopolitan and Tropicana), director Jason Simbal says CG’s biggest game this Saturday could be Michigan (-14.5) at Northwestern.
“There is always that one game where the sharps and the public are willing to lay the favorite and that’s right here,” Simbal said. “Sharps went with the public and bet Michigan at -13.5 and then even at -14 which has pushed the number to -14.5 and it’s a hugely lopsided ticket count on Michigan. This will likely be one of our bigger decisions on the day. Michigan is also in a ton of parlays, too.”
Westgate’s Murray said much the same.
“We had a sharp group lay -13.5 on the Wolverines and push it up to -14. Northwestern lost their start running back to a spinal injury and Michigan has looked awesome the last few weeks.”
William Hill is currently seeing 95% of the overall money wagered on Michigan, as well.
Prior to Duffel Bag Boy making the rounds, Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading at William Hill, was sure that Penn State would be the book’s biggest need.
“There are lots of great games this Saturday and we’re really looking forward to this game,” Bogdanovich said. “Thus far we’re seeing big action on Ohio State so we expect as the week progresses we’re going to need Penn State here.”
Things are different over at the Westgate, where the sharps are siding with the home underdog.
“We had one sharp group take +4 with Penn State and then another guy came in this afternoon and took +3.5 for $30,000,” Murray said. “The public will be all over the Buckeyes and this should be the most-bet college football game of the week. Looks like the makings of very good two-way action.”
Simbal says they are seeing a lot of Nittany Lion money at their properties.
“This looks like it will be the most-bet game this week and could even be for the season for us at the rate it’s going,” he explained. “Players are betting the total (70) heavy and Penn State moneyline. We were as high as Ohio State -4 but that didn’t last long. It came down to -3.5 and action is still on Penn State so we have Ohio State at -3.5 -105 currently. Earlier today I’d have told you this won’t go to -3 but we’ve taken a lot of Penn State action.”
William Hill’s numbers say things are still fairly even, with the Buckeyes taking 55% of the money bet so far.
The other marquee game, Notre Dame (-5.5) vs. Stanford, seems to be attracting two-way action up and down the strip.
“We tend to attract a lot of Stanford money here,” Bogdanovich said. “It’s definitely going to be a monster handle game but I’m not sure we’re going to have any preference on the outcome.”
Murray stated that they may not have a preference at the Westgate, either.
“We just moved with market from 4.5 to 5.5 on the Irish. Not much action yet. Notre Dame can really position itself for a run to the College Football Playoff with a win here,” he noted.
Things are different for the CG Technologies sportsbooks.
“We’re definitely going to need Stanford here. I was a little surprised how eagerly the bettors took the Irish,” Simbal explained. “I thought the number would open at -4 and settle in at maybe -4.5 but the Notre Dame bettors laid -4.5 and even -5. So it’s now at -5.5.”
The William Hill stats show a split in terms of ticket count, with 52% of the tickets on Notre Dame. However 65% of the total money wagered is on the Irish, meaning the bigger bets are coming in on Notre Dame.
As for Friday night’s tilt between UCLA and Colorado (-9.5), money has poured in on the Bruins.
“This is a fun game to discuss,” Simbal said. “We opened with Colorado as an 11-point favorite but we took two bets at our limit at +11 and +10.5 on UCLA from two of our sharper players. The line dropped to -10 here and is surprisingly dropping further at other properties. Some people seem to be thinking that UCLA coach Chip Kelly, with two weeks to prepare for this game, could give UCLA an edge. But from what I’ve seen on the field this year, I don’t know how you can bet [the Bruins].”
William Hill is seeing 51% of the money going on UCLA.