USC opened as favorites to win the College Football BCS Championship at MGM Resorts, but their odds have actually risen from the opening number of 5-to-1 up to 11-2 (+550) because of liability accumulated elsewhere among the 50 options listed on their future board.
The same goes for Alabama, who opened as co-favorites with USC in February, but are now 6-1.
The new favorite is LSU, who opened at 7-1 as the fourth favored team in February, but are now 5-1. Oklahoma was the third choice at 7-1, but has been raised to 8-1.
The movement in odds is in no way an indication of who MGM Resorts thinks will win the title, or that they have shifted an opinion. It‘s more about what the public is thinking and betting as a whole.
While William Hill and the LVH Super Book may have a better theoretic hold on all futures, no book offers a better barometer in Nevada of what the public is thinking than MGM Resorts.
Their mega resorts across the strip with 3,000 to 4,000 rooms at each – full of churning visitors from all over the world every weekend – offers a better glimpse at what the masses think than any other sports book. Their massive stretch of properties includes every type of Vegas vacation budget from the Bellagio, Aria, MGM, Mirage and Mandalay Bay to Circus Circus, Luxor, Excalibur, Monte Carlo and New York-New York.
So when it’s stated that the bulk of MGM Resorts action through six months of action – that has driven the price up on the favorites – has come on Georgia, Oregon, Texas and Michigan, it should be noted that it‘s a massive accumulation of large and small money from everywhere that no else around sees.
The future wagers at the MGM Resort properties could essentially carry them for an entire season in all sports, which is an amenity that every other book is envious. Other books have seen action on those teams as well, but not in the type of volume they do.
Georgia and Oregon both opened up 25-1 and have been bet all the way down to 6-1, a big enough move to suggest if either of those two teams win, it will be their worst decision on the board. Georgia was initially the tenth choice to win and Oregon eleventh.
Texas dropped from 35-1 down to 15-1 and Michigan went from an opener of 35-1 down to 12-1.
Another Big-10 team that has seen some action has been Wisconsin, who dropped from 50-1 down to 20-1.
Saturday line moves
Most sports books have had these lines posted since early August.
• The Urban Meyer era gets underway in Columbus and bettors are buying in. Ohio State opened as a 22½-point home favorite against Miami-Ohio and has been bet up to -24½ in the last two days.
• Nebraska saw some action two weeks ago for its home opener with Southern Miss and still has been bet rapidly. The Huskers opened 17-point favorites and are now -20.
• Miami-Florida saw some heavy sharp action on Monday and Tuesday for a road contest at Boston College. BC opened as a short 1-point favorite, but the action has turned Miami-Florida to the 2½-point chalk.
• Iowa has seen a couple of bursts the last two weeks pushing the line quite a bit for the contest against Northern Illinois at Soldier Field. Iowa opened as 6½-point favorites and is now -10.
• Colorado opened as 5-point favorites against Colorado State for the annual match in Denver and is now -6½.
• Texas has recently been bet up from 29-point home favorites against Wyoming to -31½.
The public loved USC laying 38-points at home against Hawaii when the line first came out and have betting them steady the entire way through Wednesday up to -41 ½.
Alabama got a surge of action Monday pushing their line against Michigan from -12 up to -14 for their game at Cowboys Stadium.
Rutgers has moved from a 17½-point road favorite at Tulane to -20. The bulk of that action came two weeks ago.
And of course we have Oregon, another large ranked favorite, seeing action going from -35 to -37 at home against Arkansas State.
The trend from last season that sports books hated was that almost every top-10 ranked team covered the spread for the first six weeks. The public had a field day with parlays.