Doc's Friday Public Action Report
by Trevor Whenham - 11/09/2007
With a huge number of games identified in the Public Action Report, there were some notable successes. Most interesting was the discovery that the books had much less faith in Nebraska than the public did. Though public money was firmly on the side of Nebraska, the line moved away from them more than any other line on the report did, and the result was a humiliating butt-kicking at the hands of Kansas. This week there are six more games. It's doubtful that another team we pick will run up 76 points, but they should still be interesting nonetheless.
Bowling Green (-3.5) at Eastern Michigan (Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30 p.m.) - This is the first time this year we have ventured outside of the safety of a Saturday college game. This Friday night tilt features two pretty average teams from the MAC. Three quarters of bettors have chosen Bowling Green, yet the line has dropped from 4.5 at the open to 3.5 now. Eastern Michigan has won just one of the last six, and covered only twice over that span. Despite that, the line movement shows us that the Eagles of Eastern Michigan are worth a look. That could be because the Falcons of Bowling Green aren't xactly a powerhouse, either. They also have just two covers in their last six. Or maybe it's because Eagles are bigger and nastier than Falcons. Either way, take a look at Eastern Michigan.
Kentucky (-3.5) at Vanderbilt (Saturday, Nov. 10, 2:00 p.m.) - A recurring theme this year in the college football season has been the fall from grace. South Florida, Cal, South Carolina, Louisville, and these Wildcats - all teams that have climbed to lofty heights and then dove off head first. A month ago, the team was the talk of the country, and Andre Woodson was on the fast track to the Heisman. Three losses in their last four games, capped by a confounding no-show against Mississippi State last time out, have changed that. Now the line movement is pointing us away from them against lowly Vanderbilt. A resounding 90 percent of support has been on Kentucky, yet the line has fallen from four to 3.5. We featured Vanderbilt in this same position last week, but they could not measure up to Florida. Perhaps they will fare better against Kentucky. Take a look at them.
Michigan (-2.5) at Wisconsin (Saturday, Nov. 10, 12:00 pm.) - As a die-hard Wolverine it kills me that I keep having to recommend going against my beloved Michigan. On the other hand, they have won the last two times I did it, so maybe it's good luck. 80 percent of bettors are on Michigan in this suddenly fairly meaningless Big Ten game, yet the line has moved off of the key number of three to 2.5. There can be a couple of explanations for this. First, Wisconsin is a better team than they are being given for, and they could be dangerous playing at home with wounded pride after Ohio State pulled away from them late in the game last weekend. Second, Michigan may not be fully focused. Win or lose here, the result is the same - they have a one game playoff with Ohio State next weekend for the Big Ten title and the Rose Bowl berth. A win here would obviously help their standing in the polls and the BCS standings, and give them a better bowl if they lose next weekend, but if it comes down to leaving it all on the field on Saturday, or saving a bit for Ohio State and the home fans next weekend, Michigan may choose the latter. Either way, the numbers tell us to look at the Badgers.
Kansas State (-7.5) at Nebraska (Saturday, Nov. 10, 12:30 p.m.) - I am certainly not above kicking a team when it is down, but in this case I am actually in the position of suggesting you have a look at Nebraska. How strange. Almost three quarters of the bets placed have been on the Wildcats, but the line has dropped from eight to 7.5. The woes of Nebraska, especially at the hands of teams from Kansas, have been well documented. Gaining less attention, though, is the fact that Kansas State is one of the most wildly inconsistent teams in the country. It should be absolutely impossible to soundly beat Texas and lose badly to Iowa State in the same season, yet Kansas State has pulled it off. Nebraska has lost five straight, and only one was close, but it's not inconceivable that they could put up enough effort here to stay within a touchdown.
Denver (+3) at Kansas City (Sunday, Nov. 11, 1:00 p.m.) - The public love the Chiefs, but the books don't seem to be believers. Three quarters of bets placed have been for Kansas City, but the line has dropped from four down to the key number of three. That means that the Broncos are worthy of attention. Though the Chiefs are surprisingly at the top of the AFC West, you could argue that they have only had one really good effort in their last four games. Of course, Denver has only really had one good game in their last six. What this line movement likely comes down to is that the potential loss of Travis Henry is seen as less of a problem for Denver than the certain loss of Larry Johnson, and subsequent elevation of Priest Holmes, is for Kansas City.
St. Louis (+11.5) at New Orleans (Sunday, Nov. 11, 1:00 p.m.) - The public loves the Saints. Perhaps too much, if you believe the line movement. New Orleans has the support of almost 70 percent of bettors yet the line has dropped a point and a half from its open of 13. Though it's hard to love anything about St. Louis, this movement could reflect that Steven Jackson is finally due to return to action this week, and that Reggie Bush missed practice time with a bone bruise. The Rams have been painfully inept, but they do have a pile of offensive tools, and if they could get their act together they could score a lot of points on a New Orleans defense that is not among the elite in the league.