The Giants (+ 5) came up huge for sharp contrarian bettors last night, losing to the Eagles 22-21 but covering the spread. New York was a blueprint example of data-driven sharp play. The G-MEN were contrarian in a heavily bet primetime game and received sharp reverse line movement (+ 6 to + 5). The line even reached 3.5 throughout the week. Essentially all liability and line movement was toward New York even though the vast majority of bets were on Philadelphia. The Giants also cashed as a road divisional dog. The built in familiarity between divisional opponents has historically benefited the team getting points. Road teams with line movement in their favor are now 29-16 ATS (64%) this season. Short road dogs + 6 or less are now 24-12 ATS (67%).
The under also hit for contrarians. It opened at 45 and closed 44.5 despite a majority of public bettors going over.
Now it's on to Friday. Today we have four college football games and Game 3 of the World Series. 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 noon ET. I'll also be joining Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher on The Lombardi Line at 12:25 p.m ET to offer a market update.
For now, let's discuss how lines are moving for two of tonight's college football games.
7:30 p.m. ET: Tulsa (1-1) at South Florida (1-4)
This American Conference Showdown features two teams hungry for a win. Tulsa has only played two games this season due a pair of games being postponed because of the virus. Tulsa has played a pair of ranked opponents, hanging tough against Oklahoma State and then upsetting UCF 34-26. Meanwhile, it's been a disastrous start to the season for South Florida, who just lost to Temple 39-37 last week. Tulsa is averaging 21 PPG on offense and giving up 21 PPG on defense. South Florida is similar on offense (19 PPG) but their porous defense is allowing 34 PPG. This line opened with Tulsa listed as a 9.5-point road favorite. Pros and Joes are united in their support for Tulsa, which has pushed the Golden Hurricane from -9.5 to -10.5. Some books are at -11. Pro money has also hit this total, dropping it from 51 to 50. This is a windy under system match. The forecast calls for high 70s, humidity and 10-12 MPH winds.
8 p.m. ET: Louisiana (3-1) at UAB (4-1)
This non-conference showdown features the sharpest line movement of the four-game Friday night slate. After starting 3-0, Louisiana lost their first game of the season last week, falling to Coastal Carolina 30-27 and losing straight up as 9-point favorites. Meanwhile, UAB lost their season opener but has since won four straight, most recently crushing Western Kentucky 37-14, easily covering as 11.5-point favorites. Louisiana is averaging 28 PPG on offense and giving up 23.3 PPG on defense. UAB is averaging 31.8 PPG and giving up 20.6 PPG. This line opened with UAB listed as a 2.5-point home favorite. Bets are split down the middle and the public doesn't know who to back. Yet we've seen a massive line move toward Louisiana, with the Ragin Cajuns moving from + 2.5 to -3. In a vacuum, a line shouldn't move at all if the tickets are split. So we know this huge "dog to favorite" move was caused by pro bettors loading up on Louisiana. The Ragin Cajuns also enjoy a 3-day rest advantage in this one, having last played on October 14 vs UAB last playing Oct. 17.