Football betting lines fluctuate sharply and change often

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Frank, a real nice, polite, courteous ticket writer over at Palace Station actually yelled at me this past Thursday, wanting to know where I found the lines for my column last week. He was a little taken back that I had WVU +13 against Oklahoma as the line at that time was just +8 and UConn +3½ against South Florida.

I do this column around 5 a.m. on Monday and there are just a few lines out there. Wynn usually has lines on all the games along with CGTECH, so those are the lines I use. He failed to mention the times when I lay 14 on a game. By the time most sports books put the lines up it is -10 or I take +10 on a game and it goes to +14 by Thursday.

The main thing a bettor needs to do in order to make it through a long and grueling football season is just don’t take teams that have moved so much as you end up getting the worst of the number. I would not have given out WVA +7 ½ or UCONN +2, so take it all into consideration. Any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected] I will try to answer them.

My old boss at the Stardust penned a very interesting column this week about one of the best Damon Runyon-like characters in Vegas back in the 80’s, “Tiger” Paul. I just wanted to add one quick story to his.

We had this bettor come in the book every Monday during baseball season and he always had one of those plastic Albertsons bags. There were no groceries, just packs of $100 bills. Now this was before any CTRN money transaction reports had to be filled out and before getting any ID or SS numbers. He would just toss the bag on the counter and start betting the Monday night baseball game.

We named him “the mad plunger” as he would bet $5k on the game, which was our limit. We would move the number and he would keep betting. When he won, which was most of the time, he’d come in the next day and collect. He always gave the cashier $200 and me $200 and said, “Give this to Tiger on the board.”

Tiger was his paper boy back in Pittsburgh and the plunger said he was the best paper boy he ever had. For some reason after Tiger left, the plunger never came around again. We never did find out who he was as Tiger Paul never saw him and didn’t know. Those were the days.

A very large shout out to my good friend Paul Brynksy back in Niagara Falls, who is recovering from back surgery. Paul calls me every week to give me his plays so I can get down for him. He gave me 6 games in college, 6 in the NFL and went a perfect 12-0. I usually bet the parlay but for some reason I didn’t.

And so it goes. But, what a great job of handicapping.

College

Thursday

Texas Tech +14 at Okla St.: The Cowboys just missed beating Florida State with the wacko QB Jameis Winston in their opener. They now begin Big 12 play against the Red Raiders who have gone 0-12 when getting 17 or less points when seeking revenge. Cowboys won last year, 52-34. More of the same. OKLA ST.

UCLA -3.5 at Ariz St.: The loaded Bruins have just been going through the motions against non-conference teams, just getting past Virginia by 8, Memphis by 7 and Texas by 3. UCLA is 5-0 ATS in its last five weekday games. UCLA.

Saturday

Minnesota +8 at Michigan: What has happened to the Wolverines? They were shut out by Notre Dame and a no show at home against Utah scoring only 10 points. The Golden Gophers have some big time revenge on their minds and this is a year they could possible hang in there in what should be a low scoring game. MINNESOTA/UNDER.

Temple -4 at UConn: As Sam Brown would say. “My Rabbi told me Temple is a good bet on Saturday,” and we agree. The Owls have revenge on their minds as they lost to the Huskies last year at home, 28-21, as a 6 point favorite. TEMPLE.

Tulane +11 at Rutgers: Second of back-to-back road games for the Green Wave, who were crushed at Duke last week. The Scarlet Knights seem right at home in their first season in Big Ten, having won at Navy and playing Penn State to a stalemate losing late, 13-10. RUTGERS.

Colorado +10.5 at Cal: We are only interested in the total as the Golden Bears are averaging 43.6 PPG while giving up 41.6. OVER.

Arkansas +9 at Texas A&M: The Razorbacks can put points on the board and look to match TD for TD against the Aggies who beat them last year, 45-33. We see another high scoring affair but much closer. ARKANSAS/OVER.

Stanford -6 at Washington: The Huskies only lost by a field goal last year against the Cardinal when +9 at Stanford. We see another close game. WASHINGTON.

Memphis +21 at Ole Miss: Just love Ole Miss, but the much improved Tigers look to catch the Rebels a little flat, especially with their biggest game of the year coming next week with the Tide coming to Oxford. Rebs just want a win and no injuries. MEMPHIS.

Last Week: 4-2 Season: 13-13

NFL

Falcons -3 at Vikings: The Vikes lost their QB but Bridgewater came in and looked like he will be good, especially with a game under his belt. The first number was Vikes -1.5 so with that in mind we will be taking the points. VIKINGS.

Last Week: 1-1 Season: 4-2

Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper.  Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].

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