The first full Saturday of the 2021 college football season is here! Let's discuss a few of the key games receiving notable sharp action today...
Noon ET: Penn State at Wisconsin
This Big Ten showdown between Top 25 teams is the most heavily bet game of the early slate. Penn State enters ranked 19th in the country and Wisconsin 12th. This line opened with Wisconsin listed as a 4.5-point home favorite. The public sees two ranked teams and doesn't know whether to take the points or lay them. However, despite the ticket count split down the middle, we've seen Wisconsin move from -4.5 to -5.5. This signals respected wiseguy action in favor of the Badgers at home. Historically, chalk has been a smart bet between two ranked teams, with the favorite covering roughly 55% of the time over the past decade. Pros have also targeted this under, dropping the total from 51 to 49.
7 p.m. ET: Texas Tech vs Houston
This "Texas Kickoff" matchup takes place on a neutral site field, NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans. Both teams are looking to rebound from disappointing campaigns, with Texas Tech finishing 4-6 last season and Houston going 3-5. Texas Tech opened as a 2.5-point favorite. Respected money has poured in on Houston, flipping the Cougars from + 2.5 to -1.5. Houston matches the classic sharp "dog to favorite" line move system. If you're late to the party and missed the good number, Houston backers may prefer backing the Cougars on the moneyline instead of laying the points. Sharps have also leaned on the under, forcing oddsmakers to drop the total from 65 to 64.
7:30 p.m. ET: Georgia at Clemson
This is the marquee matchup of Saturday's slate as it features two powerhouse programs both ranked in the Top 5, with Georgia ranked 5th and Clemson 3rd. This line opened with Clemson listed as a consensus 3-point home favorite. The public is right down the middle and doesn't know who to back. At times during the summer, this line has reached 3.5 and immediately come back down to the key number of 3. This signals some pro money supporting Georgia getting the hook (+ 3.5). When two Top 5 teams go head-to-head, the dog is roughly 60% ATS over the past decade. Also, short road dogs + 4 or less are roughly 54% ATS the past decade. The next move is critical. If this line falls to 2.5 on gameday, it will indicate further sharp action on Georgia. If it rises up to a 3.5 and stays there, that will represent late Clemson action.
8:30 p.m. ET: LSU at UCLA
This primetime showdown features 16th-ranked LSU making their season debut while UCLA (1-0) already has a game played and win under their belt, crushing Hawaii 44-10 and easily covering as 17.5-point home favorites. This line opened with LSU listed as a 4-point road favorite. The public is all over LSU as a ranked team laying a short number. However, despite this lopsided betting we've seen LSU fall from -4 to -2.5. This signals sharp reverse line movement on UCLA, with pros grabbing the points, not laying them. UCLA is one of the top contrarian plays of the day as an unpopular home dog in a heavily bet primetime game. UCLA also has value as a buy-low unranked team vs a ranked opponent.
More Saturday Line Moves
Rice + 20 to + 19.5 at Arkansas
Fresno State + 21.5 to + 20 at Oregon
Missouri -12 to -14 vs Central Michigan
Maryland + 3 to + 2.5 vs West Virginia
South Alabama + 1.5 to -1.5 vs Southern Miss
Remember to check the VSiN Betting Splits every day for money and ticket counts so you can tell who the public is betting on.