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College Football Week 1 Line Moves


Photo Credit: Omaha.com

College football sides have been available to bet since late May yet only a handful of games have seen significant lines moves — the number will undoubtedly grow as the week progresses. In the following, we’ll discuss the reason for the one-sided money and how to approach each game from a betting perspective.

Akron at Nebraska
CRIS Opener: Nebraska -20.5
CRIS Current: Nebraska -24
Bettors no doubt like Scott Frost (65% ATS L2 Seasons) but there’s a lot of anti-Akron in this move. For one, the Zips have all but taken a knee in recent years vs. power conference foes. Against the likes of Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa State, Akron lost by an average score of 42-7. And Akron’s profile from last season – statistically weak, favorable turnover margin, multiple coin flip wins – is something bettors like to key in on the following year. Cornhuskers are a wild card under Frost; what’s the focus in Year 1, win or rebuild? They certainly don’t have a pedigree for laying this type of price (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS as double-digit favorites last year). I’ve also never been a fan of laying big prices with first-year head coaches in their first game of the season.

Northern Illinois vs. Iowa
CRIS Opener: Iowa -14.5
CRIS Current: Iowa -9.5
This was a two-part line move. Back in late May, bettors pushed Iowa down from -14.5 to -13 where it then sat for six weeks. Then the Hawkeyes were hit with multiple suspensions along their offensive and defensive lines; hence the second wave of Northern Illinois support. NIU’s success against Big Ten teams is also a likely factor. The Huskies won at Nebraska last season, lost by only seven at Ohio State in 2015, beat Northwestern, Iowa, and Purdue – all on the road – in 2014 and 2013, and lost by a single point against the Hawkeyes in 2012.

Texas at Maryland
CRIS Opener: Texas -8.5
CRIS Current: Texas -12.5
The betting markets love dysfunction and they get that and some with Maryland. With each passing day, more dirt on the program and coaching staff is being brought to light. It’s hard to envision DJ Durkin surviving this. On the flip side, you have a Texas team that is pegged for big things (O/U 9 regular season win total) and playing in a revenge spot after losing outright to the Terps as -17 chalk last season. Some sportsbooks took the game off of the board while others moved to -13. If you’re the sort of bettor who thinks the markets tend to overreact to situations like these, wait, as +14 will likely become available at some point. Also note there was pro-Texas money prior to Maryland’s off-the-field issues.

BYU at Arizona
CRIS Opener: Arizona -15
CRIS Current: Arizona -11.5
Betting on the Cougars’ “seasoned veteran” angle in Week 1 has always been popular. And the recent results back up the theory: 7-3 ATS their last 10 lined Week 1 games. Arizona also has a slew of offensive line issues with only one player with a starting experience at the FBS level. And getting rid of offensive coordinator Ty Detmer, at least for me, is a huge upgrade for BYU. Cougars will be a popular moneyline bet (+350).

North Carolina at California
CRIS Opener: California -5
CRIS Current: California -7.5
Thirteen North Carolina players suspended; 11 of which will miss this game including starting quarterback Chazz Surratt. The Tar Heels (-12.5) led last year’s meeting 17-7 in the second quarter before the wheels fell off and Cal stormed to a 35-30 win. The loss was a precursor for UNC’s injury-riddled, nothing-went-right season. The only positive for the Tar Heels is that they’ve had nearly a month to adjust to the aforementioned suspensions. Cal still sitting at -7 at a few sportsbooks. Expect those to be gone by game day.

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.