Sports bettors leave no stone unturned when it comes to looking for an edge. This includes taking an overlooked factor like weather into account. In football—both pro and college—weather can have a big impact on lines, specifically when it comes to totals. Wind is the number one element to look out for. Strong winds are the best friend of an under. Why? Because when it's windy out, it's harder to throw the ball, move the chains and make kicks. This leads to more running the ball and chewing up the clock, leading to lower scoring games.
This weekend might be the "windy" weekend of the year in college football. Hurricane Delta is set to make landfall on Friday, bringing strong winds along with it for Saturday's games. According to Bet Labs Sports, when the wind blows at least 10 MPH in a college football game the under is 54.3% since 2005.
Here are the top windy unders for Saturday
14 MPH: Pittsburgh-Boston College Under 44
14 MPH: Texas State-Troy Under 63
12 MPH: Arkansas-Auburn Under 47.5
11 MPH: FAU-Southern Miss Under 57
11 MPH: South Carolina-Vanderbilt Under 41.5
10 MPH: Tennessee-Georgia Under 43
10 MPH: Miami-Clemson Under 63
10 MPH: Marshall-WKU Under 44.5
10 MPH: Alabama-Mississippi Under 70.5
Weather is subject to change, so be sure to check the updated wind speeds as we get closer to Saturday.
Today, we have a relatively light betting slate headlined by Thursday Night Football and 4 MLB playoff games. For an updated breakdown of Thursday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at noon ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the smart money is flowing for Thursday Night Football.
8:20 p.m. ET: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears
This Thursday Night showdown features a pair of 3-1 teams. But public perception of these teams is vastly different. One is riding a prolonged win streak and the other is looking to bounce back after their first loss. After dropping the season opener to the Saints, the Buccaneers (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) have rebounded to win three straight games, most recently beating the Chargers 38-31, although Tampa failed to cover as 7.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, the Bears (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) are coming off a 19-11 loss to the Colts, failing to cover as 3.5-point dogs. The Bucs are + 28 in point differential this season. Chicago is + 4.
This line opened with Tampa Bay listed as a 6-point road favorite. The public is absolutely hammering Tom Brady and the streaking Bucs. However, despite three out of four bets rushing to the window to lay the points, we've seen this line fall from Bucs -6 to -3.5. Why would sportsbooks drop the Bucs spread and hand out a better number to the public when they're already betting them to begin with? Because respected money from pro bettors has gotten down hard on the Bears, causing drastic reverse line movement in their favor. Chicago has value as a buy-low home contrarian dog in a heavily bet primetime game. The Bears also have the advantage of being a home team in a Thursday night game, while Tampa must travel on a short week. Injuries could also be a concern for Tampa as several offensive weapons may not play. Chris Godwin is out, Leonard Fournette is doubtful and Mike Evans and Scottie Miller are questionable.
In terms of the total, it opened at 45 and has dipped slightly to 44.5. This is notable because roughly two-thirds of bets are taking the over, yet the line has either stayed the same or dipped slightly depending on the book. This signals some liability on the under. The weather at Soldier Field is clear, high 50s and 7-10 MPH winds. Alex Kemp is the lead official. Historically, Kemp has favored home teams (55% ATS) and overs (56%).