NFL dogs stayed hot on Thursday Night Football, as the Giants fell to Washington 30-29 on a last-second field goal but covered as a 4-point road dog. New York matched several profitable betting systems last night: a contrarian dog in a heavily bet primetime game, a divisional dog and a dog with a low total. Dogs are now 13-4 ATS (77%) to start the NFL season. Short road dogs + 6 or less are now 6-1 ATS. Last year they were one of the most profitable betting systems, going 51-33 ATS (61%).
Now it's on to Fade the Public Friday, where we have a loaded betting menu to choose from including a pair of College Football games and 15-MLB games. For an updated breakdown of Friday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 1 p.m. ET. I'll be joining The Lombardi Line at 1:30 p.m. ET to offer a market update and then co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 to 4 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for tonight's College Football doubleheader...
7:30 p.m. ET: Central Florida at Louisville
Central Florida (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) enters this Friday Night showdown undefeated, taking down Boise State 36-31 in the opener and then crushing Bethune Cookman 63-14 last week. Meanwhile, Louisville (1-1 SU, 0-2 ATS) bounced back from a 43-24 season-opening loss to Ole Miss with a 30-3 win over Eastern Kentucky in Week 2.
This line opened with Central Florida listed as a 7.5-point road favorite. The public is happy to lay the points with undefeated UCF, especially with Louisville failing to cover both of their games. However, despite this lopsided chalk betting we've seen the line fall from -7.5 to -6.5. This signals sharp reverse line movement on Louisville, with wiseguys grabbing the points with the home dog. Aside from the sharp action, Louisville also has buy-low value as a contrarian dog in a heavily bet primetime game. We've also seen some under money show up, forcing oddsmakers to drop the total from 69.5 to 66.5.
9 p.m. ET: Maryland at Illinois
This late night Big 10 clash is the most heavily bet and most lopsided game of the night, which provides heightened value for contrarian bettors. Maryland (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) enters undefeated, beating West Virginia 30-24 and then crushing Howard 62-0 last week. On the other hand, Illinois (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS) had a big 30-22 win over Nebraska in the opener but has since lost two straight, falling 37-30 to UTSA and then getting crushed by Virginia 42-14 last week.
This line opened with Maryland listed as a 7.5-point road favorite. The public takes one look at the won-loss records and is rushing to the window to back the Terps against an inferior opponent on paper. However, this line has moved away from Maryland and toward Illinois (+ 7.5 to + 7). This indicates wiseguy money grabbing Illinois with the hook at home. Illinois is the top contrarian play of the night and also has value as a conference home dog. Like divisional dogs in the NFL, the built-in familiarity levels the playing field and benefits the team getting points. We could be looking at a higher scoring affair as well. Sharps have steamed the over from 59.5 to 61.5.