Rovell: Public Hammering Huge College Football Favorites, As Usual
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Trevor Lawrence
College football is back, and so are the unflappable public locks.
The most lopsided wagering of any we found was Texas Tech to cover a 38.5-point spread against Houston Baptist — 98% of the bets and 88% of the money at DraftKings think it’s going that way.
It’s not necessarily a slam dunk. While Houston Baptist is porous on defense, their QB Bailey Zappe threw for 450 yards last week against North Texas and Texas Tech was close to the worst in FBS last year against the pass (128th in yards per pass attempt allowed).
Other big spreads aren’t intimidating bettors across the nation.
Clemson has 88% of the money at FanDuel to cover as 33.5 point favorites against Wake Forest and Notre Dame has 86% of the money to cover 20.5 points — both against ACC opponents.
Recent history is on their side.
Clemson was one of the best in the land last year, covering 11 of their 15 games and, more relevant in this case, covered five of six games as favorites of more than 30 last season alone (with one push).
Notre Dame is generally overrated by the public, but their 9-4 record against the spread last year — including covering at home against New Mexico (-34) and Bowling Green (-45) — was their best ATS record in at least 17 years.
Big in-conference favorites is not a usual role for North Carolina. But the Tarheels find themselves as 23-point favorites against Syracuse. UNC hasn’t been three touchdown favorites in conference in eight years and only had the honor of being that large of a favorite twice since 2005.
Both times they didn’t cover.
As far as totals go, the most intriguing one might be Florida State-Georgia Tech, where an astounding 94% of the money at DraftKings is on the under of 52.5. The Yellow Jackets aren’t running the triple option anymore, but they do return 84% of their production.
Florida State is an unknown, having endured a horrific 6-7 season last year and will be playing its first game under new coach Mike Norvell.