Sharp Action Moving Michigan vs. Penn State Point Spread

Sharp Action Moving Michigan vs. Penn State Point Spread article feature image

Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sean Clifford

  • After remaining stagnant for much of the week, there's been some late movement on tonight's Michigan-Penn State point spread.
  • The Action Network's tools reveal that sharps are at the root of the cause for the shift.

From the moment the line was released for Saturday’s Michigan-Penn State matchup, there’s been no question as to which side was going to be the popular one.

Coming into this game undefeated — and with a point differential of +203 — Penn State has drawn two-thirds of bets in what could end up being the most heavily bet game on the Saturday slate. Sportsbooks quickly raised their point spreads early in the week from -7.5 up to -8.5/9 as a result, and remained in that range for most of the week.

That changed this morning, however, thanks to some late sharp action.

Sports Insights’ Bet Signals triggered a steam move on the Wolverines at +8.5 around 10 a.m. ET, getting this line down to a juiced-up 7.5, and in some cases, a flat +7.

Steam refers to an overload of money hitting the same side of a bet over a very short period of time, often at multiple sportsbooks, and is one of the easiest ways to spot sharp action.

And it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to hear that wiseguys are the reason for a line move against a popular side to one of the most important numbers in football betting.

Michigan’s spot has been the historically profitable one as well, being a road underdog in a game with a low total. Per Bet Labs, road dogs in games with totals of 48 or less have won at a 55.5% clip since 2005.

That rate improves in conference games (57.2%) and contrarian spots (56.2%), and teams fitting both descriptions have won 58.2% of the time — which Michigan does.

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