Today the weekend kicks off with Week 4 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: Notre Dame vs Wisconsin
This noon showdown is currently the most heavily bet game of the day. It will also take place at a neutral site; Soldier Field in Chicago, home of the Bears. Notre Dame (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS) enters ranked 12th in the country. The Fighting Irish just took down Purdue 27-13 last week, covering as 7.5-point home favorites. On the flip side, Wisconsin (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS) has played just two games and is coming off a bye week. Their last time out, the Badgers took down Eastern Michigan 34-7, covering as 26-point home favorites. This line opened with Wisconsin listed as a 5.5-point favorite. The public can't believe this line is so high and they're rushing to window to grab the points with Notre Dame. However, pros smell a rat and are buying low on Wisconsin, as we've seen the Badgers tick up from -5.5 to -6.5 despite being the unpopular play. If everyone is backing Notre Dame, why is the line moving further to Wisconsin? If it looks too good to be true, there's a reason behind it. When two ranked teams face off, the favorite is roughly 57-percent ATS over the past decade. We've also seen favorites off a bye play well, going roughly 55-percent ATS over the same time span. Both of these systems match with Wisconsin.
12 p.m. ETL LSU at Mississippi State
This SEC grudge match features a pair of unranked teams looking to post victories and earn a ranking. LSU (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) has rebounded from a Week 1 loss to UCLA by winning two straight, including a 49-21 victory over Central Michigan last week, covering as 19.5-point home favorites. Meanwhile, Mississippi State (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS) started 2-0 but then suffered their first loss last week, falling to Memphis 31-29 and losing outright as 3-point road favorites. This line opened with LSU listed as a 3.5-point road favorite. The public is split and doesn't know who to take. However, we've seen this line tumble from 3.5 to 2.5. In a vacuum, a line shouldn't move at all if the tickets are even. So 1-point move to the home team indicates some wiseguy action on Mississippi State plus the points. The Bulldogs have value as a short home conference dog with a line move in their favor.
3:30 p.m. ET: Texas A&M vs Arkansas
Both of these ranked opponents enter with undefeated records. Texas A&M (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) is ranked 7th and just crushed New Mexico 34-0, covering as 30-point home favorites. Similarly, Arkansas (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS) is ranked 16th and just plastered Georgia Southern 45-10, covering as 23-point home favorites. This game will be played at a neutral site; AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. This line opened with Texas A&M listed as a 5-point favorite. The public sees two evenly matched teams and says give me the points with the dog Arkansas. However, despite this lopsided betting, the line hasn't budged much off Texas A&M -5. This signals a sharp line freeze, with pros backing the contrarian favorite Aggies. When two SEC ranked teams face off, the favorite is roughly 56-percent ATS over the past decade.
More Saturday Line Moves
Nebraska-Michigan Over 51.5 to 53.5
Michigan -18 to -20 vs Rutgers
Tennessee-Florida Over 61 to 64
Texas Tech 10 to 9 at Texas
Boise State-Utah State Over 64 to 70
Western Kentucky 10 to 9 vs Indiana
Florida State 2.5 to 1.5 vs Louisville
UTSA 5 to 3 at Memphis
Ohio 15 to 14 at Northwestern
Kansas State 7.5 to 5.5 at Oklahoma State
Florida Atlantic 5 to 4 at Air Force
Duke -14 to -16 vs Kansas
Oregon State 13 to 11 at USC
North Texas 12 to 11 at Louisiana Tech