Welcome to another action packed Saturday of College Football. Despite a dozen postponements due to COVID-19, we still have roughly 40 games to choose from today, starting at 12 p.m. ET and taking us well beyond midnight.
For extensive Saturday betting analysis and line movement updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher, Mike Palm, Thomas Gable 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: Maryland (2-1) at Indiana (4-1, ranked 12th)
This Big Ten battle is one of the most heavily bet early games on the Saturday slate. Maryland is riding an impressive two-game winning streak, most recently beating Penn State 35-19 as massive 27.5-point dogs. But then COVID struck and the Terps had their next two games cancelled. Maryland will be playing their first game since November 7. On the flip side, Indiana suffered their first loss of the season last week, falling to Ohio State 42-35 but covering as 21-point road dogs. This line opened with Indiana listed as a 14-point home favorite. The Hoosiers are 5-0 ATS and the public is riding the hot hand once again. However, despite a slight majority of bets laying the points, we've seen sharp money hit the road dog Terps, dropping Indiana from -14 to -11.5. Maryland has buy-low value as an unranked double-digit road conference dog against a ranked opponent. We've also seen some over money show up, raising the total from 62.5 to 64.
12 p.m. ET: Penn State (0-5) at Michigan (2-3)
Both of these Big Ten powerhouses have been massive disappointments this season. Penn State is winless through five games for the first time in team history. The Nittany Lions just got waxed by Iowa 41-21, failing to cover as 1-point home dogs. Meanwhile, Michigan snapped a three-game losing streak last week with a 48-42 triple OT win over Rutgers, although the Wolverines failed to cover as 12-point road favorites. This line opened with Michigan listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. The public is all over Michigan laying a short spread at home against a winless team. However, despite this lopsided support, we've seen this line fall all the way down to a pick'em. This signals massive sharp reverse line movement on road dog Penn State. The Nittany Lions also have marquee contrarian value as they are only receiving about one-third of bets in the most heavily bet game of the day. If you like betting against the public and placing yourself on the side of the house, Penn State is your top play of the day.
3 p.m. ET: North Texas (3-3) at UTSA (6-4)
This Conference-USA West division showdown pits a pair of rivals riding two-game winning streaks. North Texas just took down Rice 27-17, easily covering as 1.5-point home favorites. Meanwhile, UTSA edged Southern Miss 23-20 last week, although they failed to cover as 9-point road favorites. This line opened with UTSA listed as a 5-point home favorite. The public is leaning on the home favorite Roadrunners laying a short spread. However, despite a majority of bets laying the points, we've seen this line tumble from UTSA -5 to -2.5. Some books are even down to 2. This notable reverse line movement was caused by pros grabbing the points with road dog North Texas. The Mean Green have value as a road conference dog and a short road dog + 4 or less, a "grinder" spot that has covered roughly 54% over the past decade.
More Saturday line moves
Pitt-Clemson Over 55 to 57
Northwestern -12 to -13.5 at Michigan State
Kent State-Buffalo Over 66 to 68
Kentucky-Florida Over 58 to 61
Mississippi State-Mississippi Over 67 to 69.5
Rutgers-Purdue Over 58 to 61
Toledo -9 to -10 vs Ball State
Western Michigan -19 to -20 vs Northern Illinois
UCLA -9.5 to -10.5 vs Arizona