Today the weekend kicks off with a loaded betting menu, highlighted by Week 2 of the College Football season. For extensive Saturday betting analysis be sure to join Patrick Meagher, Michael Lombardi and myself LIVE this morning on The Lombardi Line from 10 a.m. ET to 12-noon. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups and updating the top lines moves across the marketplace. We'll also be joined by Carl Johnson of the Beau Rivage in 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...
3:30 p.m. ET: Texas A&M (1-0, ranked 5th) at Colorado (1-0)
Both of these non-conference opponents are coming off impressive Week 1 victories. Texas A&M destroyed Kent State 41-10, covering as 29.5-point home favorites. Meanwhile, Colorado took down Northern Colorado 35-7, although the Buffs failed to cover as 37.5-point home favorites. This line opened with Texas A&M listed as a 17-point road favorite. The public sees an easy blowout win and cover with a ranked, Top 5 Aggies squad. However, despite this lopsided betting we've seen the line remain at -17. Normally, if one side is getting overwhelming support the line will be adjusted in their favor, with oddsmakers moving the number further toward the popular side in order to entice betting on the opponent so they can mitigate their risk. However, this line has never crept up to -18 or -19 despite the heavy Aggies support. This signals a sharp line freeze on the Buffs at home, with pros leaning toward grabbing the points. Colorado has value as a double-digit unranked home contrarian dog against a ranked opponent.
4:30 p.m. ET: Iowa (1-0, ranked 10th) at Iowa State (1-0, ranked 9th)
This in-state grudge match between undefeated Top 10 teams is shaping up to be one of the biggest "Pros vs Joes" matchups of Saturday's Week 2 slate. The public perception of these teams is vastly different. Iowa is coming off an impressive 34-6 win over Indiana, easily covering as 3.5-point home favorites. Meanwhile, Iowa State barely edged Northern Iowa 16-10, failing to cover as 28.5-point home favorites. This line opened with Iowa State listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. The public is rushing to the window to grab the points with Iowa, who looked far better in their season opener. However, despite a majority of bettors backing Iowa, we've seen this line move further to Iowa State (-3.5 to -4.5). This signals sharp "Fade the Trendy Dog" reverse line movement on the Cyclones, with pros buying low on Iowa State at home to win and cover. Iowa State is a rare contrarian favorite in a heavily bet game. When two ranked teams go head-to-head, the favorite is roughly 55% ATS over the past decade. We've also seen some over money show up, raising the total from 44.5 to 46.
7 p.m. ET: NC State (1-0) at Mississippi State (1-0)
This primetime showdown is one of the most lopsided games of the day, which creates notable value for contrarian minded bettors. NC State just destroyed South Florida 45-0, easily covering as 20-point home favorites. On the flip side, Mississippi State barely edged Louisiana Tech 35-34, failing to cover as 20.5-point home favorites. In other words, one team cruised while the other barely staved off a terrible upset loss. This line opened with NC State listed as a 2.5-point road favorite. The public can't believe the line is so low and are hammering the Wolfpack to cover the short spread. However, we've seen this line fall from -2 to -1, which indicates wiseguy action backing Mississippi State at home (+ 2 to + 1). The Bulldogs combine two key elements for data-driven bettors: contrarian in a heavily bet game and sharp reverse line movement in their favor.
10:15 p.m. ET: Utah (1-0, ranked 21st) at BYU (1-0)
This in-state rivalry commonly referred to as The Holy War is the most heavily bet late game on Saturday night. Utah enters ranked 21st, having just beaten Weber State 40-17 but failing to cover as 29.5-point home favorites. Similarly, BYU edged Arizona 24-16 but failed to cover as 13.5-point home favorites. This line opened with Utah listed as a 7-point road favorite. The public is always biased toward ranked opponents over unranked opponents and this game is no exception. However, despite lopsided public support favoring Utah, this line hasn't budged off -7. In fact, it's even dipped down to 6.5 at times. This signals a sharp line freeze and slight reverse line movement liability on BYU as a home dog getting a key number. BYU has buy-low value as an unranked home dog vs a ranked opponent. The Cougars are also a top contrarian play in a heavily bet late game.
More Saturday Line Moves
Toledo 18.5 to 16.5 at Notre Dame
Michigan -5.5 to -6.5 vs Washington
Miami Ohio 20.5 to 18 at Minnesota
South Carolina 2 to -2.5 at East Carolina
Nebraska -12 to -14 vs Buffalo
Navy 7 to 6 vs Air Force
UAB 26 to 23 at Georgia
Troy 6 to 4 vs Liberty