I began this week having breakfast on Monday with a dozen guys who love college football. It just so happened to be that most of them are sportsbook bosses.
We got on the subject of lines and line movement. It seems that last week and this week there was less major movement on games. As you know, the lines come out over the weekend for the following week’s games.
In the opening weeks of the season we saw major movement in a ton of games. In Weeks four and five, by Monday morning, there were fewer lines changing significantly. That means the oddsmakers are getting sharper and sharper with each passing week.
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So, if you have intentions of hitting a game, be ready and act fast.
There was some major news in college football this week. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill to allow college athletes to hire agents and make money from endorsements. The measure, the first of its kind, threatens the business model of college sports.
This is a big deal. But don’t think that Jalen Hurts is going to be on TV endorsing a sports drink or running shoe anytime soon. Obviously, the NCAA will fight this and it will end up in court.
Here are this week’s Best Bets (Lines are as of Tuesday and can change. If a line is around a Hot Number or moves against us, be smart):
Temple -11.5 at East Carolina: Temple has won and covered all five meetings in this series since 2014, including last year’s 49-6 thumping. Not much has changed to think this year’s matchup would have any different of an outcome.
The Owls own a top-25 passing game and a top-10 defense against the pass. Overall, they account for 30.5 PPG and only allow 17.2 PPG. They are also one of the healthiest squads in the nation.
The Pirates pose very little threat offensively, averaging just 21.4 PPG. Quarterback Holton Ahlers makes some very bad decisions, which is evident in his 4/5 TD/INT ratio and 54.1 percent completion rate.
Temple is 22-6 ATS the last 28 vs. conference opponents and 15-7 ATS the last 22 vs. teams with a winning record. TEMPLE
Central Florida -5 at Cincinnati: In what is going to be a huge AAC showdown, I just don’t see Cincinnati keeping pace with Central Florida.
Desmond Riddler (815 yards passing, 8 TDs, 3 INTs) is good. However, the Bearcats’ QB will be outperformed by his counterpart, Dillon Gabriel (1,338 yards passing, 14 TDs, 2 INTs).
But the biggest difference here will be the superiority of the Knights’ rushing attack (232.6 yards per game on the ground). They will keep the Bearcats defense on the field and gasping for air come the second half.
UCF has won and covered the last three meetings in this series, with the average margin of victory coming by 24.6 PPG. Cincinnati folds like a cheap suit when facing solid opposition, going 5-16 ATS the last 21 games vs. teams with a winning record. CENTRAL FLORIDA
Iowa +5 at Michigan: Jim Harbaugh was supposed to start a dynasty when he took the head coaching job at Michigan in 2015. He won the Citrus Bowl in his first year. Since then, the team has lost three consecutive Bowl games. His reputation as a big game coach is finished.
Last week’s victory over Rutgers was the team’s first cover since the first week of November last year. Now they face an undefeated Iowa team (4-0) that has taken five of the last six meetings in this series SU.
The Hawkeyes have a few things they haven’t had in recent seasons, a big-time quarterback and a potent offense. Nate Stanley (965 yards passing, 8/0) is a real gunslinger. He also has the luxury of three 200+ yards rushers.
The Wolverines’ defense is good, but does have problems with strong rushing attacks. On the flipside, the mediocre Michigan offense is going to be in for a long day against the nation’s No. 3 stop unit (8.5 PPG allowed).
The underdog is 11-3 ATS the last 14 meetings in this series. IOWA
Auburn -3 at Florida: We see two of the SEC’s five undefeated teams square off here. This is the first meeting since 2011. However, the Tigers covered all five matchups between 2001 and 2011, going 4-1 SU.
Auburn counters Florida’s stout defense with one of the nation’s top rushing units. Despite owning the No. 5 defense in college football, the Gators are going to have a very tough time in the trenches on both sides of the ball. The Tigers possess NFL caliber offensive and defensive lines.
Florida quarterback, Kyle Trask is lining up against his first real test and by far his fiercest “D.” The Tigers are 6-0 ATS the last six overall games while the Gators are 1-4 ATS the last five conference games. AUBURN
Last week: 2-2