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Old 10-16-2009, 11:13 AM
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Default Week 7 college football point spread moves / Millman

Week 7 college football point spread moves

Chad Millman

Thursday, October 15, 2009 | Print Entry

I got a lot of Twitter questions this week about why certain college games were moving -- specifically Washington-ASU and Cincy-South Florida -- so, naturally, those two games lead off the college lines move column this week.

To get an inside handicapping take, I called a young sharp I know named Brian Edwards. I met him at the VegasInsider handicapping seminar this past August and loved his logic on the games. He had a deft touch with stats, plus he wasn't afraid to put himself out there and share his opinions.

Here's what he thought on Cincy at South Florida, Washington at ASU and three other games on the move.

Matchup: Cincy at South Florida
Line moves: South Florida opened favored by 1.5; Cincy is now favored 2.5
What that means: Bookmakers think these teams are close enough that they gave the home team the edge. Wise guys disagreed.

Edwards says: "When I was doing my lines this past Sunday night, I actually made the Bearcats 3.5, so I think the number is closer to where it should be now. At minus-3 or less, I think Cincy is the play. Coaching and QB performance are huge to me and I give the Bearcats the advantage in both categories. Tony Pike has an outstanding 13-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio, while Brian Kelly is the premier coach in the Big East and one of the rising stars in the profession. I like what I've seen out of young USF quarterback B.J. Daniels, but he's not going against FSU or Syracuse tonight. Without a doubt, the Bulls' win at FSU has lost a little impact the past few weeks. On the other hand, Cincy has already gone on the road and destroyed Rutgers (47-15) and beaten a quality team like Oregon St. out west."


Matchup: Washington at Arizona St.
Line moves: ASU opened at minus-3, now minus-6
What that means: Heavy play on the Sun Devils, and it happened fast, within the first 48 hours of betting.

Edwards says: "This doesn't make much sense to me. The Huskies are 4-1 against the spread in five games as underdogs this season. They don't have a shameful loss, with their defeats coming versus LSU, at Stanford and at Notre Dame in overtime. The combined record of those three schools is 13-4. As for the Sun Devils, their only wins have come against ho-hum foes like Idaho St., ULM and Washington St. They lost at home to Oregon St. by double digits, and playing Georgia close in Athens isn't looking quite as good with the Dawgs falling on hard times recently. ASU at minus-three seemed like the right number to me."


Matchup: Arkansas at Florida
Line moves: Florida opened as 22-point favorite, currently 26-point favorite
What that means: Bookmakers won't take big bets on Florida from wise guys, since the public will also be putting lots of dough on the Gators. So they quickly raise the line off of any Florida action.

Edwards says: "The Gators fall into a classic letdown spot coming off a huge win at LSU. The trip to Baton Rouge was pegged as UF's toughest test of the season all summer, and it was the first time in three trips to the Bayou that Urban Meyer came home with a victory. Meanwhile, Arkansas is coming off back-to-back victories in impressive fashion. The Razorbacks thumped Texas A&M 47-19 at Cowboys Stadium two weeks ago, easily covering the number as short favorites. Then last week, they spanked previously unbeaten Auburn by a 44-23 score. When catching a huge number like this, bettors have to love when the underdog has one of the nation's premier QBs. That's certainly what Ryan Mallett looks like right now. He has a 13-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio and has led the Hogs to 41 points or more in four of their five games. Even if the Gators get ahead of the monster number, the backdoor cover will be a possibility."


Matchup: Texas Tech at Nebraska
Line moves: Nebraska opened at minus-6, currently minus-10.5
What that means: Wise guys aren't as high on Nebraska as they are down on Texas Tech.

Edwards says: "The line move might be due to the uncertain status of concussed Texas Tech starting QB Taylor Potts, but since when does Mike Leach not just plug in another signal-caller and keep throwing it around the yard? Potts probably won't start, but Steven Sheffield might be keeping his job anyway. Sheffield threw for 490 yards and seven TD passes in his first career start, a 66-14 home win over Kansas St. last week. The Red Raiders covered the number as double-digit underdogs in a loss at Texas earlier this season. In fact, going back to midway through the 2001 campaign, Texas Tech owns a 7-3 spread record as a double-digit 'dog. But, Nebraska does have the benefit of extra rest after rallying to win at Missouri last Thursday. And the Huskers remain perfect for our purposes with a 5-0 spread record this year -- cashing in on all three double-digit chalk situations."


Matchup: Iowa at Wisconsin
Line moves: No. 11 Iowa opened as a two-point favorite, currently the Hawkeyes are three-point 'dogs
What that means: Bookmakers looked at the rankings, wise guys looked at the stats.

Edwards says: "The Hawkeyes are seemingly living on borrowed time. After all, they needed to block a pair of field goals in the final seconds to beat Northern Iowa in the season opener. Two weeks ago, Iowa only beat Arkansas St. from out of the Sun Belt by a 24-21 count, failing to cover the number as a 21.5-point home favorite. Then last week, Kirk Ferentz's squad barely scraped past Michigan 30-28 in another non-cover as an 8.5-point chalk. Meanwhile, this is a huge revenge spot for the Badgers, who lost 38-16 at Iowa last year. The 38 points were the most the Hawks had put up against Wisconsin since 1978. One thing that may have bettors leaning Wisconsin's way is a closer look at the box score from last week's 31-13 loss at Ohio St. They see that the Badgers actually outplayed the Buckeyes. Jim Tressel's team scored on a kickoff return and got a pair of interceptions returned for touchdowns. Wisconsin doubled up Ohio St. in yardage (368-184) and had way more first downs (22-8). I think Wisconsin is the play."

Week 7 college football point spread moves - Chad Millman - ESPN
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