Rovell’s Week 10 Betting Blog: Big Bet Hits Florida-Georgia

Rovell’s Week 10 Betting Blog: Big Bet Hits Florida-Georgia article feature image

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jacob Tilghman (49), punter Tommy Townsend (43) and defensive back Trey Dean III (21)

Saturday Quick-Hitters

12:47 p.m. ET: John Murray from the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook said it was a “very, very slow morning” at the book, thanks to a noon ET slate that left a lot to be desired.

Westgate, like other books, is seeing a lot of underdog support in the Georgia-Florida game — 67% of the tickets are on the Gators, which Murray called “unusual.”

12:41 p.m. ET: Just got word of a big bet that hit Florida vs. Georgia. CG Technology took a $16,500 wager on Florida +6. The bet will profit $15K if the Gators cover.

10:30 a.m. ET: Florida State vs. Miami may have lost some of its luster over the past few years, but sportsbooks will be paying very close attention to the ACC rivalry game on Saturday.

Circa Sports opened this game at Florida State -6.5 on Sunday and since then its been one-way traffic for Miami. The line has come down to Florida State -3

“Barring a big bet, Miami vs. Florida State will be our biggest decision,” Circa’s Matt Lindeman said. “We need the Seminoles.”

The folks at William Hill will be rooting on Florida State, as well. They report that 65% of the tickets and 81% of the money has come in on Miami. That’s pretty consistent with our market-wide data, which has 57% of the tickets and 77% of the money on the Hurricanes.

Sharps, Squares Disagree on Florida-Georgia Line

The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party will take center stage on Saturday.

Florida and Georgia each come into the game with one loss and still have College Football Playoff aspirations. Only one of them will take those dreams with them out of Jacksonville.

The Bulldogs are expected to be that team, as they are 6.5-point favorites at most shops. The betting public isn’t sold, though.

In what will almost certainly be the most-bet game of the day, we’ve already tracked 11,000 bets on this game as of 9 a.m. ET, casual punters seem to have Georgia’s loss to South Carolina at the front of their mind because the majority of the tickets are on the Gators across the betting market.

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According to our data, 64% of the tickets are on Florida, but the Gators have attracted just 51% of the money, signaling that sharp bettors are on Georgia. And despite the public being all over the Gators, Lindeman said that they are going to need Florida to beat all the sharp money that has come in on the Bulldogs.

“The sharps have taken a clear position on Georgia, pushing the opener of -3.5 to -6.5,” Matt Chaprales of PointsBet said. “The ticket count actually favors the Gators at a 2-to-1 ratio, but nearly 80% of the money is on the Bulldogs, which has driven the adjustment.”

One thing to keep an eye on is that this number is stubbornly sitting at Georgia -6.5. If it touches the key number of 7, you can expect some sharp money to come flying in on the Gators.

When Service Academies Meet

There’s a host of fascinating trends to consider when two Services Academies face off. The most well-known of these trends is the “Service Academy Under.”

Since 2005, the Under is 33-9-1 (78.6%) in games between two Service Academies.

Army, Navy and Air Force are all triple-option teams, which means the clock is moving all game long. And while most teams are not familiar with this unusual offense, these three teams all know it too well, which means the defense has a built-in advantage.

That brings us to this week’s Army-Air Force game, which has gone under the total in each of the last five meetings.

“For Air Force-Navy, I opened it at 52 and it got bet down right away to the mid 40s,” said Lindeman. Lindeman won that bet as 59 points were scored, but ultimately didn’t want to have that type of exposure.

“This time, my numbers said I should open the game at 48 and I didn’t want to deal with it anymore, so I just opened it at 45. And the number hasn’t moved, which means there’s not much value left.”

The average Over/Under in the last five Service Academy Games is 43.5. The 23 games before that featured an average closing total of 52.8.

The Over/Under for Army at Air Force currently sits at 45.5.

All Is Forgiven in Ann Arbor

Funny what one win will do in the betting market.

When Michigan played Penn State, casual bettors wouldn’t go near the Wolverines with a ten-foot pole. After a win over Notre Dame? They’re back on board. Sure, the Wolverines are taking on Maryland, but this is a big spread for Michigan — who needed overtime to beat Army at home — to cover on the road.

At the time of writing, 78% of the bets are on Michigan, moving them from -17 to -21, making them the third-most popular side of the slate as of Saturday morning. The Wolverines are getting 89% of the money at FanDuel and 83% of the money at DraftKings.

Maryland started the season hot as a pistol before capitulating in October and that has thrown bettors and power ratings off.

“We still don’t know how bad Maryland is,” Lindeman said.

But does it even matter how bad the Terps are? I only say that because Jim Harbaugh has not been great as a big favorite since coming to Michigan in 2015. Under Harbaugh the Wolverines are 7-14 Against the Spread when they are favored by at least 20 points. That is the second-worst mark in the country, behind only Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio who is 0-8 ATS in this spot.

Here are the top-five most popular teams, in terms of bet percentage, for Saturday’s action (current as of 3:45 p.m. ET, Friday):

  1. Arkansas State (-2, 86% of bets) at UL-Monroe
  2. Michigan (-21, 83% of bets) at Maryland
  3. Illinois (-20, 80% of bets) vs. Rutgers
  4. UNLV (+7, 79% of bets) at Colorado State
  5. Marshall (-11.5, 77% of bets) at Rice

Trend Watch

Do you dare take Clemson and their 45-point spread against Wofford today? Well, consider this: Clemson is 7-7 ATS as 35+ point favorites under coach Dabo Swinney, but they are 3-0 ATS this year and 6-1 since 2017, covering by more than an touchdown (8.6 points).

So much for all the hype surrounding Nebraska. The Cornhuskers are one of the worst teams ATS this season at 1-7. Only Akron has a worst record at 0-8. It’s quite a turnaround for the Huskers as they covered their final six games in 2018 and looked like a contender in the Big Ten coming into August. Nebraska is a 3.5-point favorite on the road against Purdue today, and will get quarterback Adrian Martinez back today.

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