Rovell’s College Football Week 7 Betting Notebook: Red River Rivalry Crushes Vegas, Duffel Bag Boy Wins
Marc Lebryk, USA Today Sports.
It was a good Saturday for one of Vegas’ most infamous sports bettors. The man they call “Duffel Bag Boy” ran all over town to get as much money as he possibly could down on Indiana as huge favorites over Rutgers.
Since “Duffel Bag Boy” is from New Jersey and can’t legally bet on Rutgers games in his home state, he comes to Vegas to fade the Scarlet Knights.
This week, he bet $120,000 at Circa on Indiana -27.5 and -28. Those bets cashed for a net of $100,000 thanks to the Hoosiers’ 35-0 win. He also bet $55,000 on Indiana (-27.5) bet, we believe, at CG Technology. That nets $50,000.
A parlay of Indiana (-27.5) and Michigan (-22) looked good in the early going, as the Wolverines raced out to a 28-0 lead, but Jim Harbaugh’s team squandered the lead and ruined the bet.
Either way, it was a good day for the deep-pocketed bettor — he netted $113,000 — but a bad day for Vegas, as 95% of the money was on Indiana at William Hill.
Money on Fire
There were some crushing defeats for chalk-eaters today. William Hill took two massive bets on the Georgia moneyline against South Carolina. On Monday, they took a $35,000-to-net-$1,458 wager on the Dawgs. This morning, they took a $45,000 bet on Georgia to win outright. South Carolina won the game in overtime, 20-17.
And how about this one? Caesar’s took a $1,000 bet on the Toledo moneyline against Bowling Green. If the Rockets won, the wager would have paid out $25. They lost.
Red River Disaster
Prior to the Red River Rivalry, we spoke with John Murray of the Westgate SuperBook about the flood of Texas (+10.5) money that they took. According to Murray, 60% of the bets and 76% of the money came in on Hook ’em.
“The disaster for us would be Oklahoma winning by a touchdown,” Murray said before the game started.
Well, wouldn’t you know that’s exactly what happened. The Sooners defeated the Longhorns, 34-27, cashing all the Texas spread bets and keeping all the Oklahoma parlays alive.
11:20 a.m. ET: According to our data, Texas-Oklahoma is the most bet game of the day and it isn’t even close. We’ve tracked over 23,000 bets on the Red River Rivalry, which is over 10,00 more bets than Penn State at Iowa, the next closest game.
According to John Murray of the Westgate SuperBook, public bettors are all over the Longhorns.
“We are loaded on Texas, 60 percent of the tickets and 76 percent of the money [is on Texas],” Murray said. “The disaster for us would be Oklahoma winning by a touchdown.”
Why? Because if Texas covers and Oklahoma wins, all the Longhorns money cashes and all the parlays with Oklahoma in them will stay alive.
PointsBet’s Matt Chaprales says they’re seeing a lot of casual action on Texas but the bigger bets have come in on Oklahoma.
Tony DiTomasso at CG Technology said their biggest bet earlier this morning was a $15,000 bet on Texas at +10.5, followed by $10,000 on Nebraska +7.5 at Minnesota and two $7,000 bets on South Carolina +23.5 and +23 against Georgia.
As for other liabilities, Murray said they are going to need an outright upset in one of today’s marquee games. “I can just see here how much money is being put on LSU and Notre Dame,” Murray explained. We’re going to need one of those teams or Wisconsin or Oklahoma to lose outright.”
6:40 p.m. ET: Action had been eerily quiet on one of tomorrow’s biggest games — Texas-Oklahoma — until Friday evening, when I got work from SuperBook executive director John Murray that the book had just taken its biggest college football bet of the week: A house player put $32,000 on Texas +10.5.
There are some serious games on the slate this weekend.
Texas and Oklahoma will meet in The Red River Rivalry. Florida travels to LSU in a battle of undefeated teams. And Alabama will get its first significant test with a trip to College Station to take on Texas A&M.
But the biggest decision at the Circa sportsbook in Vegas is…
Rutgers at Indiana.
According to Circa’s Matt Lindeman, one the of the sportsbook’s regular players — who likes to take the favorite in games with huge spreads — put down a total of $100,000 total on the Hoosiers as 27.5 and 28-point favorites over the Scarlet Knights, who have scored just 23 points in its last four games combined.
If this bet sounds familiar, that’s because it is.
Last year, a heavy-hitter who was given the moniker, “Duffel Bag Boy,” by VSiN’s Pauly Howard because he would carry his cash into and out of the sportsbook in, you guessed it, a duffel bag, began making waves during the college football season.
Duffel Bag Boy was betting big. And one of his favorite bets was the Rutgers fade.
We think the Duffle Bag also made its way to CG Technology. There, Tony DiTomasso told us that the same bettor placed a $55,000 bet on Indiana at -27.5 (would net $50,000) and a $37,000 parlay on Indiana -27.5 and Michigan -22 (that would win $97,000).
If it’s all from the “Duffle Bag,” as we believe it is, that’s $192,000 total on Indiana (gulp). While we can’t confirm this is the case, it sure fits the bill:
“[Duffel Bag Boy] loves betting the Big Ten and usually against Rutgers. He likes a lot of points and he also loves to bet Michigan or Ohio State,” Tim Fitzgerald at the South Point told The Action Network last season.
Interestingly, Duffel Bag Boy took a bath in this matchup last season. He bet Indiana as 17-point favorites over Rutgers. The Hoosiers won by 7.
Will Indiana beat the number this time around? And how can we even know how good the Hoosiers are?
They got blown away by Ohio State, though they mustered up 10 points against the Buckeyes which is more than Cincinnati and Nebraska can say, and held their own in a surprising shootout against Michigan State. Other than that, Indiana has blown out UConn and Eastern Illinois and it got by Ball State, 34-24.
Not only are they a tough team to read, but this is also uncharted territory for the Hoosiers. Since at least 1995, which is as far back as Action Network researcher (and Indiana alumnus) Evan Abrams could go, Indiana has never been favored by this many points against a Big Ten team.
And that covers the years when Indiana had its best players. Alex Smith. Antwaan Randle El. Adewale Ogunleye. James Hardy. Tevin Coleman. To name a few.
The largest favorite Indiana has been against a Big Ten team in the last 24 years? Against Purdue in 2016 (-21.5). They won by two points.
In fact, the Hoosiers are the least-profitable Big Ten team in conference play since 2005 (46-64-7). Maybe it’s time to shatter history? This bettor hopes so.
Time for Notre Dame-USzzZzzZ
Over the last 15 years, Notre Dame-USC has been as uncompetitive as it has ever been, with an average margin of victory of 18 points.
Margin of Victory — Notre Dame vs. USC
- 1941-1958: 14.7 PPG*
- 1959-1973: 15.0 PPG
- 1974-1988: 14.5 PPG
- 1989-2003: 11.8 PPG
- 2004-2018: 18.0 PPG
*Didn’t play during WWII (1943-1945)
Betting this game has made it pretty interesting, though. Since 2005, Notre Dame and USC have each covered seven games in this series.
Last year’s Notre Dame-USC game featured one of the biggest swings of the season. USC was a 14-point underdog against the playoff-bound Irish and scored a touchdown with 48 seconds left to get in the backdoor.
One important note. This season’s Notre Dame has been great Against the Spread. The Irish are 4-1 ATS and that includes a couple of covers as big favorites. The Irish beat a 45.5-point spread against Bowling Green and a 34.5-point number against New Mexico.
Pros vs. Joes
Confusion hit gambling twitter earlier this week when the line for the Cavaliers at Hurricanes matchup came out. Miami as a 1-point favorite?
Virginia is 2-0 in the ACC, Miami is 0-2. Virginia is coming off a bye and before that, they hung around against Notre Dame. Miami just lost to Virginia Tech as a 14-point favorite.
This doesn’t smell right, at least to the public. According to our data, 69% of the tickets are on Virginia. The sharps are going the other way, though, and have moved the line moved to -2.5.
“Virginia really hasn’t played anybody and I think a lot of people are reacting to the most recent game they saw, which was the Hokies game,” said Lindeman, who has seen the public side with Virginia at a 3-to-1 rate.
“In the preseason, Miami would have been six or seven point favorite in this game.”
Florida State is a 27-point underdog to Clemson this weekend. We checked back as far as our data goes (2005), and the Seminoles have never been that big of an underdog against anyone.
The last time they came close? They were a 25.5-point ‘dog against Tim Tebow and the Gators in Tebow’s Swamp Swan Song. The Gators won by 27.
It’s unclear whether or not Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez will play against Minnesota and there’s some weather in the forecast, so the Over/Under for that game has dipped to 50 after opening at 56.5 at Circa.
Tired of blowouts?
Lindeman says there is bettor fatigue on both Clemson and Alabama, partly because the games themselves haven’t been interesting for the most part (let’s take out the Tigers game against UNC), but also because bettors don’t want to have to worry about about replacements when the two powerhouses build big leads.
I expect bettors will be interested in betting the Alabama game this weekend. The Crimson Tide are still 17-point favorites against Texas A&M but this should be their first real test.
This is the first time under Nick Saban, who took over in 2007, that Alabama was favored by at least 25 points in its first five games.
Who is up, who is down?
Louisiana-Lafayette failed to cover in a loss to Appalachian State on Wednesday night, meaning no team in the country is undefeated ATS.
The Ragin’ Cajuns join Ohio State, Auburn, SMU and Oklahoma State at 5-1.
There are still three teams without a cover this season: Vanderbilt, Akron and Georgia Tech.
Bet of the Week
A bettor at FanDuel turned $400 into $132,000 thanks to a 9-team parlay in Week 6:
- Wisconsin -36.5
- Penn State -24
- LSU -24
- Notre Dame -45
- Missouri -25.5
- FIU -27
- UAB -10
- Georgia -24.5
- Minnesota -14
That’s a total of 230.5 points that he or she needed to cover. Well done.