Welcome to another action packed Saturday of college football. Despite nearly a dozen postponements due to COVID-19, we still have roughly 40 games from which to choose today, starting at noon ET and taking us well beyond midnight.
For extensive Saturday betting analysis and line movement updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself from 10 a.m.-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: Miami Florida (6-1, ranked 9th) at Virginia Tech (4-3)
These ACC opponents are trending in opposite directions. Miami has won three straight and just beat NC State 44-41, although the Hurricanes failed to cover as 10.5-point road favorites. On the flip side, Virginia Tech has lost two of their last three, most recently falling to Liberty 38-25, losing straight up as 17-point favorites. This line opened with Virginia Tech listed as a 2-point home favorite. Right off the bat, this opening line speaks volumes. Why is an unranked team coming off a loss favored against a ranked team coming off a win? The public sees an easy layup with Miami. But if it looks too good to be true, it almost always is. Despite roughly two-thirds of bets backing Miami, we've seen this line move further to the Hokies (-2 to -2.5). This signals sharp reverse line movement on Virginia Tech, with pros buying low on the contrarian favorite and fading the trendy dog Hurricanes.
4 p.m. ET: Baylor (1-4) at Texas Tech (2-5)
Both of these Big 12 schools have struggled mightily in 2020, combining to go 3-9 overall. After posting a blowout win over Kansas in the season opener, Baylor has lost four straight. Last week Baylor fell to Iowa State 38-31, although the Bears managed to cover as 14-point underdogs. Meanwhile, Texas Tech started the season 2-3 but has since dropped two in a row, most recently losing to TCU 34-18 and failing to cover as 9.5-point dogs. This line opened with Texas Tech listed as a 2-point home favorite. Pro money has poured in on Baylor, flipped the Bears from + 2 to -1. Some shops are even up to Baylor -1.5. What we are seeing is a classic "dog to favorite" sharp line move on Baylor. We've also seen sharp action hit this under, dropping it from 58 to 56. Weather could have a big effect on the total. The forecast calls for 20-25 MPH winds.
7:30 p.m. ET: Wisconsin (1-0, ranked 13th) at Michigan (1-2)
This primetime showdown between Big Ten rivals is the most heavily bet game of the day. It also presents one of the top buy-low contrarian situations. Wisconsin has only played one game so far this season, crushing Illinois 45-7 and easily covering as 20.5-point home favorites. But then the Badgers got hit by the virus and had their next two games postponed. As a result, Wisconsin hasn't played since October 23. Meanwhile, Michigan has fallen on hard times. After throttling Minnesota 49-24 in the season opener, the Wolverines have lost two straight, most recently falling to Indiana last week 38-21, losing straight up as 4-point road favorites. This line opened with Wisconsin listed as a 3.5-point road favorite. The public is rushing to the window to back the Badgers and fade the struggling Wolverines. This lopsided action has pushed Wisconsin from -3.5 to -5. Essentially, we are looking at a contrarian value play on Michigan getting an inflated line in a primetime game. The Wolverines also have value as an unranked conference dog against a ranked opponent.
More Saturday Line Moves
Boston College + 13 to + 11.5 vs Notre Dame
Northwestern -1.5 to -3 vs Purdue
SMU + 2.5 to pick'em at Tulsa
Army + 5 to + 3 at Tulane
Stanford -6.5 to -9 vs Colorado
NC State -6.5 to -10.5 vs Florida State
Maryland + 27 to + 25 vs Ohio State
Nevada -14.5 to -17 vs New Mexico