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Florida vs. Miami Spread Attracting Two-Way Sharp Action

Florida vs. Miami Spread Attracting Two-Way Sharp Action article feature image

Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Feleipe Franks

  • Since it opened back in June, Saturday's Miami vs. Florida (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) college football spread has gone on a ride thanks to sharp action.
  • Sports Insights' Bet Signals help explain how sharps have approached this game.

Sharps bet numbers, not teams. Maybe that’s a phrase you’ve heard before, maybe not. But it’s crucial in understanding how pros are betting a given game, especially if you’re someone (like me) who is interested in tailing sharp action.

Saturday’s Florida vs. Miami game is a perfect introduction to that concept.

The earliest books opened Florida as an 8- or 8.5-point favorite back in June. As you can imagine, two and a half months of availability has led to a good deal of line movement since then, and according to Sports Insights’ Bet Signals, much of it has come as a result of sharp action.

Within a couple days, the Gators were down to -7.5, which was probably a result of professional money as I don’t imagine public bettors were jumping out of their seats to bet Miami +8.5 during Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

From there, the sharp money continued to flow in on Miami, as SI Bet Signals triggered five moves on the Canes at +7.5 and +7 to get them within less than a touchdown (+6.5 by early August).

For some wiseguys, however, that move was too far.

Between the second and third weeks of August, it was Florida lighting up the Bet Signals page, triggering six moves at -6.5 and -7.

Once again, we were at a line of Florida -7.5, and once again (on Thursday afternoon) oddsmakers had taken enough action from pros — who triggered a Miami +7.5 signal — to move this line back to an even touchdown.

All of this is to say that sharps are taking the number into account when playing this (and every) game. They don’t bet Florida because they “like Florida,” they bet Florida -6.5 because their power ratings say the Gators should win by at least a touchdown. For all we know, the same wiseguy may be on both Florida -6.5 and Miami +7.5.

This even, two-way sharp action is not always the case, and it certainly doesn’t help that this line is centered around the key number of 7. There’s a good chance that sharps who like a team at +16.5, for example, are probably still going to like it at +16.

The half-point move off 7, though, is obviously worth quite a bit more.

For the sharp-action tailers, that puts us in a tough spot as both sides have seen some smart money at +/-7, hence why we’re staring at that line on our odds page.

If you insist on siding with the pros, I’d recommend waiting this out. As of Friday morning, I doubt that we’ve seen even half of the total bets that this game will ultimately track, and the 2+ months of line history tell us that any move off 7 is likely to result in buyback.

Sharp angles: Florida -6.5, Miami +7.5

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