When the originating linemaker/bookmaker is making up the lineup for all of the other sportsbooks to copy, the idea behind that process is to put up a line that will create equal two-way action on both sides of the game.
However, when that originating bookmaker and his team are trying to do this, it becomes much harder because any given weekend there are 75 games he will have to put up. When you consider that this time of the year the linemakers also have to put up baseball, golf, tennis, WNBA, etc., it becomes nearly impossible to get all those lines correct.
Therefore, what my team does is begin working on Saturday night for the following week’s college football games and lines literally hours after the college slate is complete.
I will have a spread and total on every single game before the bookmaker has the lines up and available to the public. This way, when the lines go up in the sportsbook, we are ready to pounce on it. If we do not anticipate the public (or more importantly) another sharp group will be on the same play, we then will wait until other sportsbooks copy the line.
We can then spread our bets out and get more money down. If we like a public team, such as Ohio State or Michigan, I will bet it as soon as possible because the public will also be betting it and I need to beat them to the line.
It is actually unusual that we would be on too many public teams. Normally I will be against the public teams and waiting until later in the week to get a better line when the tourists start coming in, closer to the weekend or on Saturday.
For example, in last week’s article I had Tulane +14 and UNLV +9. Using my model, I had Tulane as a +10.5 point underdog and the Rebels as +5.5 underdog. Ultimately, both lines closed significantly lower, and UNLV amazingly closed at +4.
More than just a model, there has to be a human element when looking at some situational games like UNLV. The previous week Howard pulled off the biggest upset in college football betting history when they won outright as a 45-point underdog over UNLV. You have to put yourself in the mindset of a handicapper when you have these situational type games.
The computer model only considers historical data and stats. Can you imagine how it must have felt to be a UNLV player or someone on the coaching staff walking around with your head down all week after being on the wrong side of a history-making game? I just knew these guys were going to be up for the following week’s games because they had something to prove. And prove they did, beating Idaho up on the road, 44-16.
That can also be another advantageous way to handicap games. Looking at the schedules of the teams and finding out a few games where these big favorites may be looking ahead to future opponents because they are double digit favorites and feel the current week’s game is easy.
If you like an underdog, you could also bet a small portion of the wager on the moneyline. I use this as a guide. For every $100 I like to bet on the dog plus the points, I like to bet $10 on the moneyline. A few of these outright winners can add up. Most of the time in college football I will only do this with underdogs.
This week’s best: UAB +3 and Memphis +3.