NCAA Football Betting Line Moves For Championship Weekend
by CarbonSports - 12/6/2013
It’s Championship Week in NCAA football betting! There’s no time to explain it all! Let’s just get to the four biggest games of the week!
Pac-12 Championship - #7 Stanford at #11 Arizona State -3.0
This is one of the only championship games being played on a real home field as Arizona State hosts Stanford for a chance to represent the Pac-12 at the Rose Bowl. Not many people are paying attention to the Sun Devils down the stretch, and that’s been a costly mistake. They are a 7-0 SU and 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games.
People will point to their harrowing road loss earlier this year against Stanford that had a final score of 28-42, but it’s important to remember that this particular ASU team is different than the one that started the year. They are much better defensively and their offence has exploded in turn. They have scored 48.1 points per game during their seven game winning streak and have allowed just 18.8 points against in their last four home games. This is a solid team that capitalizes on their home field advantage.
The strongest indicator that ASU is the team to back is the NCAAF betting line itself. Stanford is not only a pretty big public team, they are the higher ranked school. But the Cardinal and Kevin Hogan are coming off two rough games in their last three outings, barely beating Notre Dame last weekend while losing on the road to USC three weeks ago.
Arizona State is simply piquing at the right time. They have rebounded from their only two losses this season and have won in dominant fashion as they’ve come barreling towards the Pac-12 Championship game. This is a natural home line that may get a boost for the home team when the weekend warriors chime in on this NCAAF betting line, but it still has promising value now. There’s no telling how the public reacts to ASU but the sharps are already swarming towards the Sun Devils against Stanford. The Rose Bowl is the home team’s for the taking.
Michael Stewart Lines Manager:
“We opened ASU a 4 point favorite but we weren’t there very long, taking a sharp bet at +4 we went to 3.5 and eventually to ASU -3. With the sharps on Stanford in this game, it’s definitely a concern for us because the public is also betting the dog, and we hate seeing sharp’s and the public on the same side because it really creates only one way action. We’re now dealing ASU -3 -105 / Stanford +3 -115. So far 75% of the action is on the dog in this game.”
SEC Championship - #5 Missouri at #3 Auburn -1
Missouri and Auburn, just like we all predicted right? Both teams have been betting darlings at a combined 20-3-1 ATS this season, so it’s no wonder that action is split down the middle of this game. The Georgia Dome will host the SEC Championship, so this isn’t a natural home line. If not for the massive public backing that Auburn has built over the past few weeks, this game would be a straight pick ‘em. The fact that the line isn’t higher speaks volumes about how much respect the line makers are giving Missouri.
Quite frankly, it’s all well deserved. Missouri has gone a blissful 9-1 SU and ATS in their last 10 games and have done it the old fashioned way. They have a great defense that hasn’t allowed more than 28-points against this season, and on top of that they’ve shown an ability to contain hyper mobile quarterbacks. They limited Manziel and Bo Wallace in the past two weeks handedly.
Auburn is one of the most fun teams to bet on. Period. However, it’s increasingly difficult to have faith in a team that has needed two outright miracles to win their last two games. It’s to their credit that Auburn was even in a position to beat Alabama in the first place, but Missouri just seems like it’s designed to lock down a guy like Marshall.
This is a game where the public and the sharps are divided. Many believe that Auburn is a prodigal son playing with horseshoes on their feet and four-leaf clovers in their gloves. Missouri represents a sturdy NCAAF betting commodity with a defensive front that is undeniably effective against dynamic quarterbacks. Whichever side of the line you land in begs you to answer one question: how much luck do you think Auburn has left?
Michael Stewart Lines Manager:
“We opened Auburn a small 2.5 point favorite in this pivotal SEC Championship game. While we’ve seen great, two action on this game we’ve seen sharp action on the dog, hence we’ve gone from Auburn -2.5, to Auburn -1.5 and to Auburn -1, a number we’re currently dealing. From my perspective, I understand the sharp action on the dog here. This is an awful spot for Auburn, coming off 2 thrilling last second wins and just last week beating their archrival Alabama. It’s going to be awfully tough for Auburn to rebound from that type of win and focus on this game. If Auburn comes out even a bit flat, they lose this game.”
ACC Championship - #20 Duke vs. #1 Florida State -29.5
Despite all of the questionable conduct Jameis Winston is being accused of off the field, you can’t deny how incredible the leading Heisman candidate has been all season. It has been thirteen years since FSU was ranked number one in the BCS Standings and gone to the BCS Championship Game. One of those droughts has already ended. The latter looks like an academic formality.
Duke has been an incredibly strong fringe bet throughout the year, and only a small faction of the NCAAF betting universe has really noticed. But this is a nightmare matchup for them, and frankly for any team out there. FSU loves demolishing the scoreboard and while Duke has been a fun bet all season, there’s no way you can expect them to contend with the best team in the country. The Seminoles can lean on their staunch defense and Winston to crush the upstart Blue Devil.
You’re allowed to be suspicious of Winston’s transgressions away from football. But when the ball is in his hands and the uniform is on his shoulders, you simply can’t bet against FSU. This line could come down a bit, but the oddsmakers seem intent on keeping it where it is. That is a lot of points to cover, but I wouldn’t stress too much about this. At the end of the day, it’s Duke football.
Michael Stewart Lines Manager:
“We opened FSU a huge, 30 point favorite and with speculation that FSU QB Jameis Winston could be charged with a felony and suspended for this game. We honestly never thought he would be charged and while we saw a decent amount of money on Duke, we only moved a half a point to 29.5 based on the early action. So far 75% of the money is on Duke, but we feel we’ll see plenty of support on FSU as we get closer to game time because our bettors have backed FSU nearly every week this season, and more times than not, they’ve gotten paid.”
Big Ten Championship - #2 Ohio State -5 vs. #10 Michigan State
Ohio State put itself even more on the map when they outlasted Michigan last weekend on the road and The Game was yet again another barn burner. So you’d think that the public would be rushing towards Ohio State’s side of the line. That isn’t the case. Michigan State is touting nearly two-thirds of the action, and as people dig in to this matchup even more I expect the Spartans to be an even more attractive underdog play.
The Buckeyes are pretty much a running team. Braxton Miller is a run-first quarterback that has never had a big passing game this season. It’s no secret that the Big Ten doesn’t offer a lot of high level competition, so Urban Meyer’s ground game has taken advantage of some soft interior defenses.
They’ll have trouble finding room to run against the Spartans, one of the nation’s best run stopping units. On top of that, Michigan State has allowed just 11.8 points per game this entire season and are renowned in NCAAF betting circles as a reliable, well-rounded team. Their 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS run in recent weeks has been a gold mine since nobody has paid attention to them with so much else happening at the top of the rankings.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Buckeyes are one of the better teams in the country, but they are literally about to run in to a brick wall. The Spartans can wear you down offensively and have allowed just 10.8 points against in their last 5 home stands. This will be a coming out party for Michigan State which has been quietly on the rise this season. Some NCAAF betting enthusiasts have already discovered how good they are. It’s time the rest of the country noticed too.
Michael Stewart Lines Manager:
“We opened Ohio St -6 and booked early money on the dog in this game. While this early money wasn’t significant, it was enough for us to move off the 6 and go to Ohio St -5.5, a number we’ve pretty much used all week. We thought our bettors would back the favorite in this game as week in and week out, Ohio St always attracts betting action and I’m sure they will as we get closer to game time. So far 60% of the early action is on the dog.”
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