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College Football Betting: Analyzing Week 5 Line Moves


As we enter Week 5 of the college football season, there is far less movement off of the opening numbers. Oddsmakers now have a good amount of data to go from but there are still a handful of teams the betting markets feel confident are mispriced. Below we discuss some of those teams and take an in-depth look at the key early week point spread moves and how to approach them from a betting perspective.

Memphis at Tulane

CRIS Opener: Memphis -11.5
CRIS Current: Memphis -14
Comment: Tough spot for the Green Wave after its defense was gashed for over 400 yards through the air in a 49-6 loss at Ohio State. The unit has developed a strong reputation for struggling against high power spread offenses. Case in point was last season when Memphis rolled up 557 yards (8.84 ypp) in a 56-26 win. The Tigers closed -10.5 home chalk in that game but now find themselves -14 on the road. Though different in scheme, Memphis did face the option in Week 2 when it traveled to Navy. They outgained the Midshipmen by over three yards per play but coughed it up four times in a 22-21 loss. Bettors interested in mid-week home dogs should have no trouble finding +14.5.

Army at Buffalo
CRIS Opener: Buffalo -6
CRIS Current: Buffalo -9.5
Comment: I hate to use the term “perfect storm” but that’s really the only way to describe this game. Army went toe-to-toe with Oklahoma in Norman only to lose in overtime 28-21. Hard not to imagine some sort of a let down. And then you have a Buffalo squad that has made as big a power rating jump as anyone in the country. Wins over Temple and Eastern Michigan look a lot stronger given both opponents’ body of work. And while Rutgers is horrific, credit is due for winning on the road 42-13. Buffalo lost last year’s meeting against the Black Knights 21-17 despite gaining 8 yards per play. The problem was they only ran 39 plays and suffered a -2 turnover margin. I don’t think this one gets to -10. In fact, those tempted by Army should grab the +9.5 while they can.

UL-Lafayette at Alabama
CRIS Opener: Alabama -51.5
CRIS Current: Alabama -49
Comment: Hardly a “key move” but worth discussing. For the first time all season, early money has come in against Alabama. I discussed the Crimson Tide’s point spread “ceiling” on the BettorIQ Podcast with Eddie Walls last week. Bettors covered Bama’s first three games with such ease that last week’s contest against Texas A&M was essentially a “free roll.” It was close but the Aggies cashed as +25 underdogs in a 45-23 loss. This week’s line move vs. UL-Lafayette doesn’t have anything to do with personnel or in-game matchups. Instead, it’s the highest price tag placed on the Crimson Tide since 2013; and that includes games against FCS competition. Bettor should however be cautious as Alabama hung 49 and 40 in the first halves of absolute beatdowns of Ole Miss and Arkansas State. If Alabama wants to win by 55, it will.

Marshall at Western Kentucky
CRIS Opener: Marshall -3.5
CRIS Current: Marshall -6.5
Comment: Now that Louisville has been exposed as a total fraud (27-3 loss at Virginia last week), bettors aren’t putting much stock in WKU dominating the box score in a 20-17 loss to the Cardinals. Marshall took money against NC State last week but were handled rather easily both from a box score (outgained 502-234) and scoreboard (37-20) perspective. The Hilltoppers’ home loss to Maine was a big red flag. But since then, they’ve fired back with two easy point spread covers including last week’s outright win at Ball State, 28-20, as a +3 underdog. The money this week likely has to do with both of WKU’s quarterbacks being listed as questionable due to injury.

USC at Arizona
CRIS Opener: USC -2
CRIS Current: USC -3.5
Comment: Two teams a lot of bettors don’t want anything to do with. USC was outgained by 81 yards in last week’s non-point spread covering win over Washington State. To many, the Trojans should have lost. Arizona meanwhile took care of business in a 35-14 win at Oregon State. The box score was completely lopsided as UA outgained OSU 594-238. But questions remain on the usage and health of Khalil Tate. Tate accounted for only 143 total yards; still yet to be “let loose” which he’ll need to be at some point if Arizona is going to beat a comparable opponent. Feels like Tate’s lack of production and bum ankle is the basis for the early USC money.

Hawaii at San Jose State
CRIS Opener: Hawaii -8.5
CRIS Current: Hawaii -13
Comment: Bettors love those “last call” West Coast games; a chance to cap off a big day or chase a few losses. Hawaii went from -31 to -41 against Duquesne and quickly trailed 14-0. The Warriors ended up winning 42-21 but never sniffed a point spread cover. Despite the ATS loss, the move here is pro-Hawaii. Their 28-21 loss at Army looks even better after the Black Knights nearly won in Norman. Bettors viewing Hawaii as having blowout potential against bottom feeder San Jose State.

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M (Arlington)
CRIS Opener: Texas A&M -16.5
CRIS Current: Texas A&M -20
Comment: I had three takeaways from Arkansas’ 34-3 loss at Auburn. One, the Razorbacks aren’t that bad and still possess an SEC-caliber front seven. Two, Chad Morris’ familiarity with Gus Malzahn’s offense probably attributed to Auburn’s struggles. Third, how do you not cover +30 when you hold the opposition to 225 yards? A&M was outgained by Clemson and Alabama by only 43 combined yards. But when you include games against UL-Monroe and Northwestern, it’s perhaps alarming that on the season, the Aggies have allowed 6.84 yards per play. Arkansas is such a work in progress. There’s enough talent to be more competitive than they’ve shown but Morris is taking the right approach in that properly implementing his system remains the main priority. Wouldn’t shock me to see this one reach -21 and beyond.

Andrew Lange is off to a profitable start in college football thanks to a perfect 4-0 100% mark with his 2-unit BEST BETS. Get this week’s top play exclusively at BettorIQ for only $29.

Andrew Lange

With significant market influence, Andrew Lange has produced a decade-long 58% winning rate on over 750 selections in college basketball. Using a low volume, high return approach, Lange's results in the NFL have been equally impressive with a 61% mark and over +49 units of profit on a 1, 1.5, and 2-unit scale since 2012.