College Football Betting: Markets React to Week 0 Results
Last week, six FBS teams participated in what is commonly referred to as “Week 0.” With a game’s worth of data and results, there were obvious reactions from the betting markets. Below we’ll analyze all six teams and what’s in store for Week 1.
Week 0 Outcome: 63-15 SU and ATS (-21.5) win vs. Duquesne
Week 1 Opponent: at Boston College
Week 1 CRIS Opener: Boston College -18 O/U 60
Week 1 CRIS Current: Boston College -18 O/U 63
Comments: After the Minutemen hung 63 points and 575 total yards, it wasn’t shocking to see bettors jump on the over for Saturday’s matchup at Boston College. Keep in mind UMass went 8-4 O/U in 2017. BC upped its tempo in a big way last year but never played a game in 2017 that closed higher than 60. And UMass’s two lowest offensive play outputs last year came against Mississippi State (59) and Tennessee (60); two competitive showings, two point spread covers, and perhaps a premeditated game plan to shorten the game against a far stronger foe.
Week 0 Outcome: 31-28 SU win, ATS (-23) loss vs. Prairie View A&M
Week 1 Opponent: vs. Houston
Week 1 CRIS Opener: Houston -21 O/U 56
Week 1 CRIS Current: Houston -25 O/U 56
Comments: For small conference FBS teams, close calls vs. FCS competition aren’t uncommon. But limping past a 200+ ranked PVA&M team was all that bettors needed to see. Rice’s two quarterbacks combined for 87 passing yards at 3.6 ypp. The markets were already showing pro-Houston support prior to Rice’s Week 0 stinker. Note that the Owls were catching +22.5 in last year’s meeting and lost 38-3.
Week 0 Outcome: 43-34 SU and ATS (+17) win at Colorado State
Week 1 Opponent: vs. Navy
Week 1 CRIS Opener: Navy -14 O/U 59.5
Week 1 CRIS Current: Navy -12 O/U 63
Comments: Outright win as a +17 road underdog. Easy over-the-total cash. Yes, it was logical to think that’s the way early bettors would react to Hawaii’s impressive showing against Colorado State. Navy’s cross-country travel and a 11 pm ET start likely aided in the move.
Week 0 Outcome: 43-34 SU and ATS (-17) loss vs. Hawaii
Week 1 Opponent: vs. Colorado (Denver)
Week 1 CRIS Opener: Colorado -6 O/U 61.5
Week 1 CRIS Current: Colorado -7.5 O/U 65
Comments: This matchup barely budged throughout the summer but once bettors caught wind of the Rams losing at home as -17 chalk, the race was on. Note that the last four meetings in this rivalry went under the total including last year’s which closed 68.5 with Colorado winning 17-3.
Week 0 Outcome: 29-7 SU and ATS (-5.5) win at New Mexico State
Week 1 Opponent: vs. Washington State
Week 1 CRIS Opener: Washington State -3.5 O/U 48
Week 1 CRIS Current: Washington State -2 O/U 47
Comments: There was no look-ahead line on this game but Wyoming opened +3.5 and was bet down to as low as +2. The Cowboys not only won easily over New Mexico State but dominated the box score to the tune of 450-135 total yards. Under Craig Bohl, Wyoming has been a strong under play (3-10 O/U in 2017). And Washington State’s baseline total has steadily decreased over the last few seasons. However, Wazzu’s last three games of 2017 were lined at 50, 50, and 47 and all three went over the total.
New Mexico State
Week 0 Outcome: 29-7 SU and ATS (+5.5) loss vs. Wyoming
Week 1 Opponent: at Minnesota
Week 1 CRIS Opener: Minnesota -17.5 O/U 45.5
Week 1 CRIS Current: Minnesota -21 O/U 45.5
Comments: Another poor Week 0 showing and another strong market reaction. Hard to blame bettors as the Aggies were thoroughly dominated by Wyoming. It’s important to note that prior to that game, there was actually some NMSU support with the line dropping to +3.5 before late steam pushed it back to the opener of +5.5. So this isn’t a case of the markets not liking the Aggies during the preseason, seeing a poor performance, and continuing the pile on. No, this is a strict reaction to a home team getting run over by a comparable opponent despite having all summer to prepare.