College and NFL Football Biggest Line Moves for Oct. 31-Nov. 2
That’s right, it’s that time of the week again to review all the latest line movement in football!
My preference is always to do this closer to game time because the lines have had time to simmer in the sauce, and they are more accurate as to what is occurring in the marketplace. The one main exception is the contest or two that is pounded on the day of the game.
On tap for you are six line moves, along with the betting trends and of course free picks!
CFB – (135) OHIO STATE at (136) PENN STATE 7:30 ET ABC
A little of the shine has come off this Big Ten bash, though it is no less important to both teams. Ohio State is rather heavily favored to win the conference and reach the Playoff, with only Penn State and Wisconsin in their way. The college football odds have been adjusted for this encounter with the Buckeyes up -12 from -9.5. With no White-Out at Beaver Stadium, and the Nittany Lions losing last week to Indiana, the faith in the home team has subsided. I’ll still say Penn State has a puncher’s chance to beat the spread and expect them to give a big effort on both sides of the ball and lean with them.
Betting Trend – 86% backing Ohio State
Doug’s Take – Penn State covers
CFB – (159) NAVY at (160) SMU 7:30 ET ESPN2
SMU hosts Navy. And after their 42-13 drubbing by Cincinnati, they have fallen from -16 to -12.5. For those making college football picks, there is a lot to ponder. Despite Navy’s 3-3 SU and ATS record, they are being outscored by 15.4 PPG and outgained by 139 yards per game. Their 186 rushing yards a game is their lowest since 2001. Still, they are 12-3 SU and 11-4 ATS vs. SMU. The Mustangs might be 5-1, but their smallish defensive front is exploitable. If Navy’s ground game was better, I could see backing them. However, if you’ve seen the Middies against teams that can pass like BYU and Houston, you realize they can give up points in a hurry. At under 14 points, riding the Ponies.
Betting Trend – 60% backing SMU
Doug’s Take – SMU covers
CFB – (177) UCF at (178) HOUSTON 2:00 ET ESPN+
This American Conference clash has seen the total skyrocket like a popular TikTok video from 76 points all the way to 82.5. If you combine what the two offenses have scored, that works out exactly to the oddsmakers reconfigured total, with UCF at 45.2 and Houston at 37.3 PPG. This means we have to look at the defenses to find an answer. If we eliminate the weaker offenses the Knights and Cougars have taken on, UCF is permitting 39.3 PPG and Houston is at 37 PPG. When the total is this high, you feel the need to support it. However, that just seems like too many digits, and I’ll call for 80 points as the higher watermark and grab the “Under”.
Betting Trend – 56% backing Over
Doug’s Take – Play Under
NFL – (257) TENNESSEE at (258) CINCINNATI 1:00 ET CBS
Early speculation around the World Wide Web was Cincinnati with the points might be good for NFL picks. The Bengals are 2-1 ATS at home, with the offense scoring more and the defense at least playing harder. Besides, Tennessee had just seen their perfect season blown up on another Stephen Gostkowski missed field goal. Then football bettors wondered how Cincy’s would stop Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill and A.J. Brown and that left the barn door open. The Titans went from -3.5 to -6.5 faster than Mercury. (The Greek god, not the planet) At six or less, Tennessee is probably the right choice. However, Joe Burrow is for real, and the backdoor is wide open with the Bengals 5-2 ATS.
Betting Trend – 91% backing Tennessee
Doug’s Take – Cincinnati covers
NFL – (267) NEW ORLEANS at (268) CHICAGO 4:25 ET FOX
Chicago played a pathetic game on Monday in La-La Land. The offense was bottled up, the defense only played in spurts, and people in the Windy City were actually talking about Mitchell Trubisky again after watching Nick Foles. The NFL odds for this NFC affair jumped the Bears from +2.5 to +5 as they prepared to welcome New Orleans. There is no arguing the Saints should be good. Nevertheless, Da Bears should have pride after last week’s dismal outing. Additionally, they lost to New Orleans by 11 last year at Soldier Field where they had 17 (not a misprint) yards rushing. Taking the points and carrying a rosary.
Betting Trend – 69% backing New Orleans
Doug’s Take – Chicago covers
NFL – Monday - (479) TAMPA BAY at (480) N.Y. GIANTS 8:15 ET ESPN
Evidently, wherever Tom Brady goes, rising point spreads will follow. Tampa Bay has risen three points to -12 against the New York Football Giants. (Chris Berman reference) A real simple case could be made that this is spot on. Yet, with the Buccaneers having a home game with New Orleans next week, will they be comfortable just to win by 10 points? Likely. But I’ll get out of the typical handicapper mode knowing the G-Men are 0-7 ATS as home underdogs, losing by 17.5 PPG. And I’ll count on Giants QB Daniel Jones to make a turnover or two that carries the Bucs over the threshold.
Betting Trend – 94% backing Tampa Bay
Doug’s Take – Tampa Bay covers
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