]Welcome to another action packed Saturday of College Football. We have roughly 40 games to choose from today, starting at 12 p.m. ET and taking us well beyond midnight. 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. ET to 12-noon 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 a trio of Saturday matchups receiving sharp action from respected bettors.
12 p.m. ET: Kansas State (4-1, ranked 16th) at West Virginia (3-2)
On paper, this looks like a no brainer for the road team. Kansas State is riding a four-game winning streak, just crushed Kansas 55-14 as a 19-point favorite and is now getting points against an unranked team. Meanwhile, West Virginia is coming off a 34-27 loss to Texas Tech, failing to cover as 2.5-point favorites. This line opened with West Virginia listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. Anytime an unranked team is listed as a favorite against a ranked team, it automatically sends off alarm bells. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it almost always is. The public can't believe the "better" team is getting points. However, despite roughly two-thirds of bets backing Kansas State, we've seen this line move further toward the Mountaineers -3.5 to -5.5. This represents sharp reverse line movement on WVU, with pros fading the trendy dog and backing the contrarian home favorite Mountaineers.
12 p.m. ET: Michigan State (0-1) at Michigan (1-0, ranked 13th)
This Big Ten rivalry features a pair of teams coming off polar opposite season openers. Michigan State got shredded by Rutgers 38-27, losing straight up as 9.5-point home favorites. Meanwhile, Michigan crushed Minnesota 49-24, easily covering as 3-point road favorites. This line opened with Michigan listed as a 25-point home favorite. Spread bets are relatively split. The public likes Michigan to win but is somewhat reluctant to lay the huge spread. However, despite this even ticket count we've seen the line drop from Michigan -25 to -21.5. In a vacuum, a line shouldn't move at all if the tickets are even. So we know this move was caused by respected money grabbing the Spartans and the points. Michigan State has value as a buy-low unranked road conference dog against a ranked team. Pro money has also hit this under, dropping the total from 53 to 51. The forecast calls for 10-15 MPH winds.
7:30 p.m. ET: Ohio State (1-0, ranked 3rd) at Penn State (0-1, ranked 18th)
This marquee Big Ten showdown is garnering massive attention and will be by far the most heavily bet game of the night. Ohio State rolled in their season opener, crushing Nebraska 52-17 and covering as 27.5-point home favorites. On the flip side, Penn State is coming off a disappointing 36-25 loss to Indiana, losing straight up as 6.5-point favorites. This line opened with Ohio State listed as a 13-point road favorite. Ohio State is an auto-bet for the public and roughly two-thirds of bets are laying the points with the Buckeyes. However, despite this lopsided action we've seen the line fall to Buckeyes -10.5. Why would oddsmakers drop the spread to make it easier for the public to cash with Ohio State? Because respected wiseguy action came in on the Nittany Lions, forcing books to adjust the line in favor of the home dog. Penn State has value as a contrarian play in a heavily bet primetime game and a double-digit conference home dog.
More notable line movement
Northwestern + 3 to + 2.5 at Iowa
Auburn + 3 to + 2 vs LSU
Central Florida-Houston Over 79 to 82
Boise State -11 to -14 at Air Force
Georgia -15 to -17 at Kentucky
Navy + 14 to + 13 at SMU
Tulane -3.5 to -5 vs Temple
UAB -9.5 to -13 at Louisiana Tech
Rice + 3 to + 1.5 at Southern Miss
San Diego State -7.5 to -8.5 at Utah State
UTSA + 6.5 to + 4 at Florida Atlantic
Iowa State-Kansas Under 52 to 51