Andrews: Inside the betting action for college football's biggest Week 1 games

September 2, 2022 09:14 AM
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Labor Day Weekend marks the unofficial end of summertime and does so with a very loud bang as it coincides with Week 1 of college football and a wonderful, five-day slate of games. 

I am looking forward to it both as a fan and as a bookmaker. We are sure to do a great deal of business this weekend at the South Point and the energy in the room should be tremendous. Come on down and enjoy a hot dog or eight.

A new season, yes, but as always, the games are presented in Nevada rotation order.

Saturday

No. 7 Utah (-3, 51) at Florida 

7 p.m. ET, ESPN

Many would say the most highly anticipated game of the day is Utah at Florida. The 2021 Pac-12 champs travel across the country to face an unranked Gators team that is breaking in a new coach in Billy Napier. I opened Utah -1 and the action has been steady in the Utes’ direction ever since. We're at 3 now but I am hesitant to move it to 3.5. Under the total has been getting attention as I opened at 52.5 and am down to 51.

Louisville (-4.5, 57.5) at Syracuse

8 p.m. ET, ACC Network

Louisville visits Syracuse and this action has also all been on the favorite. I opened Louisville -2.5. They took me to 3 and were still laying it, and I went right to 4. We are currently at Louisville -4.5. Lower-profile game with a good-sized move.

No. 5 Notre Dame at No. 2 Ohio State (-17, 59)

7:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Notre Dame traveling to the Horseshoe reads as No. 5 vs. No. 2, but the market feels there is much more separation between these teams. I wanted to be on the high side of the market and opened Buckeyes -14. They laid it and kept laying it all the way to 18.5 before it began to come back the other way. We are now at 17 and that looks to be the number just about everywhere. Over the total has seen a tick up from 58 to 59.

Miami (Ohio) at No. 20 Kentucky (-16, 54.5)

7 p.m. ET, ESPN+ , SEC Network+

This game has seen a lot of activity and it’s all one-way traffic on the Redhawks. The move has been fueled by a steady trickle of bad news from the Kentucky camp. The WIldcats’ best player, Chris Rodriguez, is out for this game, with more players possibly joining him. UK coach Mark Stoops is not saying much about his team’s injury situation, but we opened this at Kentucky -20.5 and are now down to 16.

Boise State at Oregon State (-2.5, 56)

10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

The nightcap prior to the Hawaii game should be a good one to watch. I am not alone in thinking Oregon State is a little bit of a sleeper this year. I opened Beavers -4.5 and they took it. They took 4, 3.5, and kept taking the points with Boise State at + 3. I'm now at Oregon State -2.5. There has been good action on the total as well and it has been nothing but Under money. I opened 60.5 and am currently at 56.

No. 11 Oregon vs. No. 3 Georgia (-17, 54)

3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

Oregon-Georgia is at a neutral site but I call it a “neutral home game” for Georgia — the game is being played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, a little more than an hour away from Athens. The action has been all over the map. At South Point, we opened Georgia -17 and they laid it. I moved it quickly because I sensed an SEC vs. Pac-12 rush, where it could get crazy in a hurry. The buy-back came at 18.5 and, after all of that, I'm back to where we started at 17. I have a little more Oregon money but this action has been pretty even.

No. 23 Cincinnati at No. 19 Arkansas (-7, 53) 

3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

This is another highly anticipated game for many, including me. The Bearcats may be better than the public is giving them credit for, as they didn’t lose as much as people think from last year's playoff squad. I opened Razorbacks -6 and they laid it up to 7 and 7.5. It came back to 7 and most of the market is now down to Razorbacks -6.5. I'm still at 7 as I am high on Arkansas money. If you want the Bearcats, I’ve got the best price in town.

Sunday

Florida State vs. LSU (-3, 50.5)

7:30 p.m. ET, ABC

We're not done yet. In a standalone game on Sunday, Florida State meets LSU at the Superdome in New Orleans. Another “neutral home game” for an SEC team. I opened Tigers -2.5 and they took me to 3. It has been even action at LSU -3, but I do see it trending back down toward the Seminoles. I'm going to wait and take a bet first before I move it off of the 3. There has been good play on the Under. I opened 51.5 and we are now at 50.5.

Monday

No. 4 Clemson (-22.5, 51) vs. Georgia Tech

8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Labor Day Weekend comes to a close with Clemson facing Georgia Tech back at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Should be support in the stands for both sides in this one. No surprise, they have been laying it with Clemson. I opened 20, went to 21, 22, and am now at 22.5. I think it’s going to get to 23 before the wise guys jump in and take a piece of the Yellow Jackets. On the total, it’s all going to the Over as I have gone from 49 up to 51.

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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