New Year's Day was a mixed bag for sharps, public bettors, contrarians and sportsbooks as bowl game favorites went 2-2 ATS and overs went 2-2.
The public won big with Alabama as the Crimson Tide crushed Michigan 35-16 as 7.5-point favorites. Sportsbooks took a huge hit as three-out-of-four bets laid the points with Bama.
In the most heavily bet game of the night, Joes beat Pros as Georgia handled Baylor 26-14. Wiseguys hammered the Bears down from 8 to 3.5 but it was all for naught as the Bulldogs won by 12.
Sharps cashed a pair of big bets on Minnesota and Oregon. The Gophers upset Auburn 31-24 as 7-point dogs. Minnesota was the biggest contrarian hit of the day, receiving only one third of bets but also some sharp reverse line movement 8 to 7. The Ducks took down Wisconsin 28-27 as 3-point dogs. Oregon was the beneficiary of a sharp line freeze and dipped to 2.5 on several occasions.
Now we turn our attention to Thursday.
Today we have a pair of bowl games plus 9 NBA games, 12 NHL games and a whopping 73 college basketball games. For an updated breakdown of sharp action across the marketplace, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Until then, let's discuss where sharp money is leaning for today's two Bowl Games.
3 p.m. ET: Boston College (6-6) vs Cincinnati (10-3, ranked 21)
The Birmingham Bowl takes place at Legion Field. Boston College started the season 3-1, but then went 3-5 the rest of the way. However, the Eagles did end the season on a high note, upsetting Pittsburgh 26-19 as an 8-point dog. Boston College went 7-5 ATS, averaging 30.92 PPG on offense and allowing 31.67 PPG on defense. Cincinnati started the year with an impressive 10-1 record, but lost its final two games down the stretch, both to Memphis (34-24 as a 14-point dog and 29-24 as a 9-point dog). The Bearcats went 8-5 ATS, averaging 29 PPG on offense and allowing 21.69 PPG on defense.
This line opened with Cincinnati listed as a 6.5-point favorite. The public sees a ranked team with a much better record against an unranked team and is hammering the Bearcats. Three-out-of-four bets, including some early sharp money, is laying the points with Cincinnati. This lopsided support pushed the line up to 7.5. Some books even touched 8. That's when you saw some sharp Boston College buyback on the Eagles at an inflated number, settling the line to 7.5 where it rests now. Unranked dogs vs ranked Bowl Game opponents are 46-36 ATS (56.1%) since 2005.
The total has remained steady at 55.5. On a few occasions, it dipped to 55 or 54.5. The total has never risen, signaling liability on the under. The forecast calls for mid-50s with 10 MPH winds and rain. Cincinnati is 10-3 to the under this season while BC is 8-4 to the over. BC star running back AJ Dillon is sitting out this game after declaring for the NFL Draft. The Eagles will be led by interim head coach and wide receivers coach Rich Gunnell, who is replacing the fired Steve Addazio.
7 p.m. ET: Tennessee (7-5) vs Indiana (8-4)
The Gator Bowl takes place at TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars. This game kicks off in primetime, which means it will be heavily bet. Tennessee had a magical turnaround this reason, going 2-5 in their first seven games and then winning five straight to close out the regular season. The Volunteers went 7-5 ATS, averaging 24.25 PPG on offense and allowing 21.57 PPG on defense. Indiana finished 4th in the Big Ten East and went 8-0 against unranked teams, but 0-4 against ranked teams, losing to Ohio State (51-10), Michigan State (40-31), Penn State (34-27) and Michigan (39-14). The Hoosiers went 7-5 ATS, averaging 32.58 PPG on offense and allowing 24.5 PPG on defense.
This line opened at a pick'em. Roughly three-out-of-four bets, both Pros and Joes, are backing Tennessee, which has pushed this line up to Volunteers -1.5. Some books are even up to Vols -2.5. We've also seen smart money pummel the over, driving the total up from 49.5 to 54.5. The forecast calls for clear skies, high 60s and 7-8 MPH winds. Indiana is 6-6 to the over this season and Tennessee is 8-4 to the under. This is the first Bowl Game for both teams since 2016. Volunteers star wide receiver Jauan Jennings will miss the first half due to suspension, but is eligible to return in the second half.