Andrews: Inside betting action for Thursday, Friday's Week 5 CFB games

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The response has been so great to these new articles that we’ve expanded to include weeknight college football through the rest of the season. This “special edition” will focus on Thursday and Friday night college games. I’ll be back at the usual time tomorrow to cover Saturday’s marquee matchups … and then again the next day to look at weekend NFL. Thanks again for your enthusiastic support.

Two weeknight games feature ranked opponents, including a great lead-in to a huge football weekend. Let’s run through Thursday and Friday action in Nevada rotation order.

Thursday, Sept. 30

Virginia at Miami (-5, 62.5)

ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET

I opened Miami -4, and sharps came in so strong that I jumped straight to Miami -5. I see other shops showing -5.5 or -6 as I write this. I’ll probably go up, too. But I’ll take a bet before making the move. I have to say, I’m very disappointed in Miami this season. They returned a lot of experience on the offensive line. That’s one of my most important indicators. They were supposed to be a top-15 team with potential for more. Alabama embarrassed them. Then Michigan State did too. Virginia’s defense is a lot softer than those two. Sharps are betting like this is the week Miami starts to put things together. My college Over/Unders went on the board Wednesday morning. No major bets have come in on those openers, so I’ll just talk about team side betting in this report.

Friday, Oct. 1

Houston at Tulsa (-4.5, 54.5)

ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET

I opened Tulsa -3.5. Sharps laid the 3.5, and then also laid -4. I’m at -4.5 right now. I see some 5s out there. It might take 5 to stop Tulsa bettors in their tracks. No Houston money yet here at the South Point. I should note: It’s telling that first money went away from the key number of 3. I opened just above that. Instead of taking “the hook,” sharps jumped on Tulsa. Really speaks to the lack of respect for Houston. I’ll remember that in future weeks.

No. 5 Iowa (-3.5, 48) at Maryland

FS1, 8 p.m. ET

Great betting game here. Already very active, and TV hype will continue until kickoff in this battle of unbeatens. I opened Iowa -3.5. First bet was on the Hawkeyes, so I went to -4. Sharps laid that, driving the line to -4.5. But, now smart money is taking it back at + 4.5 and + 4. Looks like different groups of sharps rather than public money (which will come in hard on game day). A really good two-way action game for sports books. Iowa’s strong, but not a blowout team unless it catches turnover breaks. Maryland beat the West Virginia team that took Oklahoma down to the wire last week. Great to see such a big betting attraction on a Friday night. 

No. 13 BYU (-8.5, 62) at Utah State

CBS Sports, 9 p.m. ET

A big attraction for local bettors here in Nevada. I opened BYU -7.5. Sharps laid that. They quickly laid -8, so I skipped 8.5 and went straight to -9. Sharps took the dog at + 9. I’m at 8.5 right now. Respected play on both sides, but at different numbers. It took the full 9 to bring in sharp dog money. Another game that moved away from a key number at open. BYU -7.5 went higher rather than falling back to 7.

Always pay attention to what happens “early” around key numbers, as you’ll learn a lot about what sharps are thinking. They speak with their money. You should listen.

Back with you Thurday to look at big Saturday showcases like Cincinnati/Notre Dame, Ole Miss/Alabama, and Michigan/Wisconsin. See you then.

Chris Andrews is the Sportsbook Director at the South Point in Las Vegas, and has been a Nevada bookmaker for 30 years.

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