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Football Betting: Weekly Public Action Report
by Trevor Whenham - 10/8/2010

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Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub

It has been a good year for the Public Action Report so far, and last week was as good as it gets. In college football the Report identified Indiana as a team likely to cover against Michigan, and they did. It also spotted Iowa State’s big upset of Texas Tech. On the NFL side the two games were both winners as well - the Giant’s win over the Bears, and San Francisco’s cover against the Falcons.

As always, a quick refresher - we are looking for games with abnormal line movement. Typically when heavy action is on one team - more than 70 percent of the bets placed - then the lines will move to make that team less attractive. When something happens so that team is actually more attractive after the line movement then we know something is up with the game - typically either a good deal of smart money is on the team the public doesn’t like, or for some reason the books aren’t afraid to attract more action on the more popular side. That kind of movement tells us that the less popular team is worth a closer look.

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This week there is just one NFL game that fits the criteria, but that is more than made up for with a ridiculous number of college games - six in total.

College Football

Boston College (+9.5) at N.C. State (Saturday, Oct. 9, 12 pm ET) - The action is overwhelming tilted towards the Wolfpack - more than 85 percent of bets placed - yet the college football line has dropped from the key number of 10 to 9.5. That means Boston College is worth a look. Boston College hasn’t covered yet, but N.C. State is coming off a tough three-game stretch, and could be tired.

Alabama (-7) at South Carolina (Saturday, Oct. 9, 3:30 pm ET) - It’s not a surprise that the defending champs are drawing most of the action here - more than 80 percent of bets. It’s much more surprising that the books aren’t afraid of that action. The Tide opened as eight-point favorites, but are now down to the key number of seven. That points us to South Carolina.

Arkansas (-5) at Texas A&M (Saturday, Oct. 9, 3:30 pm ET) - The public has a love affair with Ryan Mallett and the Hogs going, but smart money doesn’t seem to be buying it. More than 80 percent of bets have been on Arkansas, yet the line has moved from eight all the way down to five. A three-point swing in a line is always significant, and especially so when it’s moving against seemingly one-sided action. Texas A&M is definitely worth a look here.

Utah (-6) at Iowa State (Saturday, Oct. 9, 7 pm ET) - Utah is drawing most of the action - more than 80 percent - but the line opened at 7.5 and has fallen right through the key number of seven to six. Moves through three or seven are particularly interesting to us in this Report, so this is a clear sign that Iowa State - a team that clobbered Texas Tech last week - is worth a look.

LSU (+6.5) at Florida (Saturday, Oct. 9, 7:30 pm ET) - Florida has drawn three-quarters of the bets, yet the line has moved through the key number of seven. That means that we should be looking at LSU here. It seems that some smart money is on LSU, and that’s not surprising - LSU has gotten more bad press than they deserve recently for the missteps of Les Miles, and Florida’s already struggling offense could be tested by a good LSU defense.

Auburn (-6.5) at Kentucky (Saturday, Oct. 9, 7:30 pm ET) - This game is very similar to several of the others this week - the Tigers have drawn more than 80 percent of the votes, yet the line has moved through the key number of seven. That means we should be looking at the Wildcats here. Auburn is getting a lot of hype thanks to the heroics of Cam Newton. They haven’t beaten decent teams nearly as impressively as they have beaten up on creampuffs, though, and Kentucky will be excited to be home after two tough trips in a row.

NFL

New York Giants (+3) at Houston Texans (Sunday, Oct. 10, 1 pm ET) - The public likes the Texans here - or at least 72 percent of them do. The line opened at 3.5. Given the action you certainly wouldn’t expect the line to fall to the key number of three, but that’s just what happened. That means that Eli and company should get our attention in this one. Houston has struggled with consistency this year - especially at home - so this could be a tough spot for them. The Giants haven’t been great this year but are coming off by far their best performance of the season and could be rediscovering their form.

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