Welcome to another action packed Saturday of college football. We have roughly 30 games to choose from today. For Saturday betting analysis and line movement updates, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning on NESN from 10 a.m.-noon ET on The Lombardi Line. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups and breaking down late sharp action leading up to kickoff.
In the meantime, let's discuss four Saturday matchups receiving sharp action from respected bettors.
12 p.m. ET: Auburn (2-1, ranked 15th) at South Carolina (1-2)
On paper, this looks like an easy win and cover for Auburn. After all, the Tigers are ranked and have a winning record while South Carolina is unranked and has a losing record. But a closer look at the line movement tells a different story. Auburn opened as a 3-point road favorite. Roughly two-thirds of bets are backing the Tigers as a short favorite. However, we've seen this line either remain frozen at 3 or fall slightly to 2.5. This signals smart money hitting South Carolina as a live home dog. South Carolina has value as a contrarian conference dog with a line move in their favor. Sharp money has also hammered the over, pushing the total up from 51.5 to 53.
3:30 p.m. ET: Mississippi (1-2) at Arkansas (1-2)
Both of these SEC teams are 1-2 and looking to get back to .500. Ole Miss just put forth a valiant effort against Alabama, losing 63-48 but covering as 24-point dogs. Mississippi is averaging 42 PPG on offense and giving up 52 PPG on defense. Similarly, Arkansas battled hard against Auburn, losing 30-28 but covering 13.5-point dogs. Arkansas has averaged 20 PPG on offense while giving up 27 PPG on defense. This line opened with Ole Miss listed as a 3-point road favorite. Just under two-thirds of bets are backing Ole Miss, yet we've seen this line fall from 3 to 1.5. This sharp reverse line movement is a dead giveaway that pros got down on home dog Arkansas, dropping the line in their favor. Keep an eye on the weather in this game. The forecast calls for 15 to 20 MPH winds. The public is hammering hte over, yet the total hasn't budged off of 76.5. This lack of upward movement signals windy under liability.
4 p.m. ET: Virginia (1-2) at Wake Forest (1-2)
Both of these ACC teams are 1-2 and looking to get back to .500 with a victory. Virginia won their season opener against Duke but has since dropped two straight, most recently falling to NC State 38-21, losing straight up as 7-point favorites. Wake Forest started the season 0-2 but then crushed Campbell 66-14, easily covering as 34-point favorites. This line opened with Virginia listed as a 3-point road favorite. Spread bets are split down the middle and the public doesn't know who to take. However, we've seen this line fall from Virginia -3 to -1.5. This signals pro money grabbing Wake at home, causing sharp reverse line movement in their favor. Sharps have also gotten down hard on this under, dropping it from 62.5 all the way to 56.
8 p.m. ET: Georgia (3-0, ranked 3rd) at Alabama (3-0, ranked 2nd)
This primetime SEC showdown features two of the best teams in the country going head-to-head. Georgia is coming off a 44-21 win over Tennessee, covering as 12-point favorites. The Bulldogs are undefeated and have outscored their opponents by an average margin of 36-12. Meanwhile, Alabama just beat Ole Miss 63-48, failing to cover as 24-point favorites. The undefeated Crimson Tide have outscored their opponents by an average margin of 51-30. This line opened with Alabama listed as a 6-point home favorite. The public is all over Alabama as a relatively short home favorite. However, despite two-thirds of bets laying the points, we've seen this line fall from Bama -6 to -4.5. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the Bulldogs, with pros grabbing Georgia and the points. We've also seen some sharp money hit this total. It opened at 56.5 and has been bet up to 58 despite over/under bets being split down the middle. This signals pro money hitting the over. A big x-factor here is Alabama coach Nick Saban. He tested positive for COVID-19 and it's unclear whether he will be coaching in person or not. One big edge to Georgia: when two top-5 teams go head-to-head, the dog has covered at roughly a 60% clip over the past decade.
More notable line moves
Mississippi State + 6.5 to + 5 vs Texas A&M
Miami -10.5 to -13 vs Pitt
Navy-ECU Under 59.5 to 54.5
UNC -10 to -13.5 at FSU
Virginia Tech -10.5 to -13 vs BC
Temple -10 to -13 vs USF
South Alabama -2 to -3.5 vs Texas State
Georgia Southern -28 to -31 vs UMass