Ferringo Examines Early Line Moves
by Robert Ferringo - 11/20/2007
Last week's 0-4 showing has simply reaffirmed what we've learned this season: early week steam moves are no indicator of actual against the spread performance. We've been tracking the games with the strongest early line movements all season and over the past seven weeks alone following the "sharp" early action would have net a subpar 17-24 ATS mark. It was certainly worth tracking, but in the end we proved that, at least for one season, there's no reason to get scared off a play simply because the line moves heavily against you early in the week.
These are the games that have seen the most significant early movement heading into college football's Week 14:
Texas Christian at San Diego State (3:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17)
Open: TCU -8.0.
Current: TCU -11.0.
Apparently the books are assuming that the Aztecs have mailed it in. San Diego State got bombed 55-23 last week against Air Force and now face one of the top defenses in the nation. TCU has covered three straight games and hammered the Aztecs 52-0 last year in Fort Worth. However, that may provide this SDS squad with some extra motivation and, in a season that's given us plenty of shockers, why couldn't this be one more?
Toledo at Bowling Green (2:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 23)
Open: Bowling Green -8.5.
Current: Bowling Green -6.0.
One of the MAC's most venerable rivalries kicks off this weekend. Toledo has covered three straight in this series but the home team is a stellar 7-1 against the spread. Bowling Green is looking to lock up a solid bowl game and are equipped to handle the high-octane offense of the Rockets.
Texas at Texas A&M (3:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 23)
Open: Texas -9.0.
Current: Texas -5.5.
We have a strong reverse line movement on this game with over 70 percent of the early action backing the Longhorns despite the line dipping below several key numbers. Each team has had two weeks to prepare so we should expect a sharp effort from both. The home team is 7-2 against the spread in this series and in a tumultuous season this rivalry game means everything to Dennis Franchione.
Southern Methodist at Memphis (2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 24)
Open: Memphis -11.0.
Current: Memphis -7.5.
After a start to the season that was just pathetic enough to make me go away from one of my expected sleepers, the Memphis Tigers have posted a strong 5-2-1 ATS run over the last three-quarters of the year. SMU is just an awful, horrible team and have virtually nothing to play for so I'm actually not certain what makes them such an appealing play. The Mustangs are 7-21 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to ten and are 3-9 ATS in their last 12. However, because of the reverse line movement this should be a game to stay away from.
UNLV at New Mexico (5:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 24)
Open: New Mexico -14.0.
Current: New Mexico -10.5.
The Lobos have been a bottomless pit for their backers this season. New Mexico is a solid 7-4 overall but just 3-8 against the spread. But they are still a tempting play against a UNLV team that has dropped seven straight games while going 2-5 ATS. The Rebels are just 1-11 ATS playing on the road after a straight-up loss but are 5-1 ATS in their final game of the year. I think this game is for masochists only.
For more information about Robert's member's picks, check out his Insider Page here.