Happy New Year's Day! We have a loaded slate to ring in 2021 today, including four college football bowl games, 28 college basketball games and 10 NBA 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 noon ET. I'll also be joining the Lombardi Line with Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher at 12:25 p.m. ET to offer a market update.
For now, let's discuss where the action is flowing for today's College Football matchups...
Noon ET: Cincinnati vs Georgia
This is the Peach Bowl and it will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons. Cincinnati (9-0, ranked 8th) is undefeated and just beat Tulsa 27-24 in the American Conference Championship game, although they failed to cover as 13.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, Georgia (7-2, ranked 9th) finished 2nd in the SEC East. The Bulldogs finished the regular season on a three-game winning streak, most recently crushing Missouri 49-14 and easily covering as 14-point favorites. This line opened with Georgia listed as a 7-point favorite. The public can't help but take the points with undefeated Cincinnati. However, despite a majority of bets backing the Bearcats, we've seen this line move toward Georgia (-7 to -7.5). This signals sharp reverse line movement on the Bulldogs, with pros fading the trendy dog and laying the points with contrarian favorite Georgia. Pros and Joes are also leaning toward the over, driving this total up from 50.5 to 51.5. Georgia is 6-3 to the over this season. Cincinnati is 5-4.
1 p.m. ET: Auburn vs Northwestern
This is Citrus Bowl and it will be played outdoors at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. Auburn (6-4) finished 3rd in the SEC West. The Tigers snapped a two-game losing skid in their regular season finale, beating Mississippi State 24-10 and covering as 5.5-point favorites. On the flip side, Northwestern (6-2, ranked 14th) finished 1st in the Big Ten West. However, after a 5-0 start, the Wildcats went 1-2 the rest of the way. Northwestern lost to Ohio State 22-10 their last time out, although they hung tough and covered as 16.5-point underdogs. This line opened with Northwestern listed as a 3.5-point favorite. Spread bets are split down the middle and the public doesn't know who to take. However, we've seen Northwestern move from -3.5 to -4, signaling some pro money laying the points with the Wildcats. The public is taking the over, yet this total has remained frozen at 43.5, indicating some under liability. Both of these teams have been great to the under this season, with Auburn 8-2 and Northwestern 7-1. The forecast calls for low 80s with 10-15 MPH winds.
8 p.m. ET: Ohio State vs Clemson
This is the Sugar Bowl and the College Football Playoff semifinal. It will be played indoors at the Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints. Ohio State (6-0, ranked 3rd) is undefeated and just beat Northwestern 22-10 in the Big Ten Championship game, although they failed to cover as 16.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, Clemson (10-1, ranked 2nd) just beat Notre Dame 34-10 to win the ACC Championship, covering as 10.5-point favorites. This line opened with Clemson listed as a 7.5-point favorite. The public is rushing to the window to lay the points with Clemson, yet we've seen this line fall from -7.5 to -7. This sharp reverse line movement signals wiseguy money backing Ohio State plus the points. Ohio State is your top contrarian play of the day as the Buckeyes are only receiving about one-third of bets in a heavily bet, primetime game. We've also seen some respected money hit this over, pushing the total up from 65.5 to 67.5.