Welcome to another action packed Saturday of college football. We have roughly 45 games from which to choose as more conferences return to play. For Saturday betting analysis and line movement updates, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself 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.
Noon ET: NC State (4-1, ranked 23rd) at North Carolina (3-1, ranked 14th)
Both of these teams are ranked and battling for the lead in the ACC. NC State is riding a three-game winning streak, most recently beating Duke 31-20 and covering as 3.5-point favorites. On the flip side, North Carolina just took their first loss of the season last week, falling to Florida State 31-28 and losing outright as 13.5-point favorites. This line opened with UNC listed as a 16-point home favorite. Pros and Joes both think this line is a bit high and have hit NC State, dropping the line from 16 to 14.5. The Wolfpack have value as a conference road dog with a line move. Pros have also targeted this under, dropping it from 64 to 60.
Noon ET: Rutgers (0-0) at Michigan State (0-0)
This is the first game for both teams as the Big 10 returns today. It's also the debut for both coaches, as Greg Schiano is making his return to the Rutgers sideline and Mel Tucker takes over for longtime MSU coach Mark Dantonio. This line opened with Michigan State listed as a 13-point home favorite. A slight majority of bets are laying with points with the Spartans at home, yet this line has fallen from MSU -13 to -11. This signals respected money grabbing the points with Rutgers, causing sharp reverse line movement in their favor. Rutgers also has value as a road conference dog with a low total. We've seen pro money hit this under, dropping the total from 46.5 to 44.5.
3:30 p.m. ET: Iowa State (3-1, ranked 17th) at Oklahoma State (3-0, ranked 6th)
This Big 12 showdown is one of the most heavily bet games of the day, featuring a pair of ranked conference rivals. After a stunning Week 1 loss to Louisiana, Iowa State has won three straight, most recently beating Texas Tech 31-15 and covering as 10-point favorites. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State is undefeated through three games and just waxed Kansas 47-7, easily covering and 21.5-point favorites. Both teams are averaging 30 PPG on offense. The difference is on defense, where Iowa State is giving up 28 PPG and OK State is only giving up 9 PPG. This line opened with OK State listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. The public is laying the points with the higher-ranked team at home, yet we've seen this fall from 3.5 to 3. This signals sharp reverse line movement on Iowa State, with respected money backing the road dog to keep it close. The Cycles also have value as a short road dog + 4 or less (roughly 54% last decade). We've also seen some sharp under money, dropping the total from 54 to 52.
7 p.m. ET: South Carolina (2-2) at LSU (1-2)
Both of these SEC rivals are unranked and looking to get back into the national conversation. After an 0-2 start with losses to Tennessee and Florida, we've seen South Carolina respond with a two-game winning streak, most recently upsetting Auburn 30-22 as 2.5-point dogs. The Gamecocks are 3-0-1 ATS this season. On the flip side, it's been a disappointing start to the season for LSU, who is below .500 and just fell to Mizzou 45-41, losing outright as 14-point favorites. This line opened with LSU listed as a 6.5-point home favorite. Bets are split down the middle and the public doesn't know who to take. But we've seen pros back to the road dog, dropping South Carolina from + 6.5 to + 5. The Gamecocks have value as a conference dog and a short road dog with line movement in their favor.
More notable line moves
Nebraska-Ohio State Over 65 to 68
Clemson -45 to -46 vs Syracuse
Penn State-Indiana Over 58.5 to 62
Virginia Tech -7.5 to -10.5 at Wake Forest
Kansas State -18 to -20.5 vs Kansas
Hawaii + 3.5 to + 2.5 at Fresno State
Miami -11.5 to -13.5 vs Virginia
Louisiana Tech -1.5 to -2.5 at UTSA
Missouri + 5.5 to + 3.5 vs Kentucky
Rice -3 to -4 vs MTSU
Boise State -14.5 to -17 vs Utah State