Today the weekend kicks off with Week 3 of the College Football season. For extensive Saturday betting analysis and line move updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning LIVE from 10 a.m. ET to noon on The Lombardi Line. We'll also be joined by Carl Johnson of the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi and Thomas Gable of the Borgata in Atlantic City.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for several College Football matchups today...
12 p.m. ET: Michigan State at Miami Florida
Michigan State (2-0) enters this clash with an undefeated record, crushing Northwestern 38-21 in the opener and then taking down Youngstown State 42-14 last week. On the flip side, Miami (1-1, ranked 24th) got crushed by Alabama in the opener 44-13 and barely got by Appalachian State 25-23 last week. This line opened with Miami listed as a 6-point home favorite. The public thinks this line is way too high and they're rushing to the window to grab the points with Michigan State. However, despite this lopsided betting we've seen Miami move from -6 to -6.5. This signals some sharp "Fade the Trendy Dog" reverse line movement on the home team. Miami has value as a rare contrarian favorite with a line move in their favor. Essentially all liability is with the Hurricanes despite the public backing the Spartans.
3:30 p.m. ET: Alabama at Florida
This SEC showdown between ranked teams is the most heavily bet game of the Saturday slate. Alabama (2-0, ranked 1st) has crushed its first two opponents, outscoring Miami and Mercer by a combined margin of 92-27. Similarly, Florida (2-0 ranked 11th) has outscored FAU and USF by a combined margin of 77-34. This line opened with Alabama listed as a 15-point road favorite. The public is heavily in favor of Alabama, who is consistently a public darling every time they take the field. However, this line has dipped slightly from 15 to 14.5, indicating some wiseguy support for Florida at home plus the points. Florida is your top contrarian play of the day, as they're only getting about one-third of bets in the most heavily bet game of the day. We could also be looking at a higher scoring affair. The total opened at 57.5 and has been steamed up to 60. The forecast calls for humid temperatures in the high 80s, which aids the offense and gasses the defense.
3:30 p.m. ET: USC at Washington State
This PAC 12 matchup is garnering headlines as it marks the first game for USC since firing head coach Clay Helton. The Trojans (1-1) took care of business against San Jose State 30-7 in the opener, covering as 14-point home favorites. But then USC fell to Stanford 42-28 last week, losing 42-28 as 17.5-point home favorites, which prompted Helton's dismissal. Meanwhile, Washington State (1-1) rebounded from a 36-23 loss to Utah State, losing outright as a 17-point home favorite, with a 44-24 win over Portland State, although the Cougars failed to cover as 31-point home favorites. This line opened with USC listed as an 8.5-point road favorite. Some books opened closer to -9 or even -10. The public is hammering USC, expecting a spirited effort from the Trojans after getting Helton fired. However, this line has tumbled down to 7.5. This sharp reverse line movement indicates pro money grabbing Washington State plus the points at home. The Cougars have value as a buy-low conference home dog who has yet to cover.
7:30 p.m. ET: Auburn at Penn State
This primetime clash features a pair of undefeated teams and ranked opponents. Auburn (2-0, ranked 22nd) has rolled over Akron and Alabama State by a combined score of 122-10. Meanwhile, Penn State (2-0, ranked 10th) upset Wisconsin 16-10 in the season opener, winning outright as 5.5-point road dogs, and then they crushed Ball State 44-13 last week, covering as 22.5-point home favorites. This line opened with Penn State listed as a 7-point home favorite. The public says give me the higher ranked home favorite and they're happy to lay the points with the Nittany Lions. However, we've seen this line fall from -7 to -5. This indicates some sharp action in favor of Auburn, triggering a two-point steam move in favor of the Tigers.
More Saturday Line Moves
Coastal Carolina -11 to -14 at Buffalo
Temple 16.5 to 14.5 vs Boston College
Georgia Tech-Clemson over 51 to 52.5
Utah State-Air Force over 51.5 to 54
Louisiana Tech 13.5 to 11 vs SMU
Army-UConn Under 51.5 to 47.5
Minnesota-Colorado Under 50 to 48.5
Top Contrarian Plays
BYU 3.5 vs Arizona State
Indiana 3.5 vs Cincinnati
West Virginia -2.5 vs Va Tech
Vanderbilt 13 vs Stanford
Duke 2.5 vs Northwestern
UNC -8 vs Virginia