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College Football Week 5 Vegas Oddsmaker Mistakes

October 2, 2017 | Posted By Freddy Wills


Miami covered the spread by 19.5 points against the spread over Duke. This was a 17-6 game for a long time and it looked like Duke was just one play away, but it never happened despire being just -60 total yards and having 24-19 in the first down advantage. This was a clearly misleading final and the two turnovers had something to do with it as well. Miami, definitely still has a lot to prove to me but they were +3.73 yards per play in this game. Duke was fortunate to run +27 plays in this game, but managed just 1.5 points per trip in Miami territory.

Betting Take: Duke still has value moving forward and are going to be a tough opponent. They go on the road to face Virginia (off a bye and Boise win) in what should be a game many sharps fight over. Duke is a 2.5 point favorite and I suspect that line will move closer to a pk. Miami is making up their game against Florida State who did not look good last week at all. We gave it out as our Friday commute play and I hope many of you pushed. I had it at -7.5 despite many -7 being out there. Florida State just looks like hot garbage right now. Miami is has been close to beating Florida State the last two years and that game sets up to be the most interesting of the weekend as Miami is a 3.5 point road favorite in some spots.

Nebraska covered the college football against the spread by 16 over Illinois in a 28-6 game on Friday night. This was just not that exciting to be honest. It really proved just how bad Illinois offense is with 199 total yards they managed just 1.5 points per trip inside Nebraska territory.

Betting Take: Unders with both of these team look like a good idea, but Nebraska is a definite fade candidate moving forward, but I think the market already knows this. Nebraska an 11.5 point dog at home to Wisconsin this week. Actually thought it would be higher. Then again Nebraska has a solid defense as a home dog isn’t the worst bet I just don’t think they can score at all against this Wisconsin defense that was truly impressive last week.

Utah State by 17 over BYU This was one of the worst games to watch of the weekend for me. I gave out BYU on the money line and I thought there was definite advantage there with BYU. They clearly seemed to have been the right side as they got off to a 21-7 lead in this game, but they lose their backup QB and had to move to their third string QB and the game changed completely. Still they held Utah State’s offense under 300 yards yet they scored 40 points. BYU was -6 in turnover margin as the third string QB Koy Detmer was just not very good. I saw him warming up and I immediately was searching for a way to get out of my bet in live action, but was unable to. BYU was still able to run the ball in this one and outgained Utah State by 108 yards. I felt like if you play that game back a few times BYU is going to be winning more often then not. Turning the ball over 7 times is not a good thing. They were actually still in the game late in the 4th despite turning the ball over 6 times so that has to tell you something about Utah State.

Betting Take: Fade Utah State. There are holes there against the run for sure, and their offense plays up tempo, but can be contained. They play Colorado State and are 7.5 point home dogs which isn’t exactly the spot I’d look to fade them considering Colorado State is in a rough travel spot coming back from Hawaii. This is not the week. I can only hope they beat a good Colorado State team in similar fashion. BYU has a home game against Boise State on Friday and before I could do anything I have to see who is going to start at QB. I think everyone knows what I think of Boise State. The under in that game would be more enticing.

Georgia Tech by 16 over North Carolina was a typical Georgia Tech game where they ran for over 400 yards and held onto the ball for 38 minutes. It’s really nothing to over react to as North Carolina has not played well this year anyway. Betting Take: Georgia Tech has a bye this week and North Carolina will host Notre Dame as 17 point dogs. That will be a pass for me as I don’t think North Carolina is capable of stopping the run which is the key if you are going to stay in a game against Notre Dame.

Maryland covered by 20.5 points against the spread over Minnesota and won the game as a double digit dog on the road vs. a team off a bye. I think this was the more surprising finals of the weekend for me, but if you recall Minnesota was high on our list of teams to fade because they had been covering the spread by wide margins. This game was really all about Maryland not making any mistakes and playing a very efficient game. The defense was the reason Maryland won as they held Minnesota to 2.6 yards per carry. Betting Take: Hard to know what to expect from Minnesota moving forward. They have a tough road game at Purdue (off a bye) this week and are 3.5 point dogs. They probably would have been a pk prior to this game. Maryland is going on the road to face Ohio State this week and is a 32 point dog. I think it’s a lot of points, but Maryland is now down to I think their 4th string QB so I don’t think I would get involved there. I’d say Ohio State is getting them at the right time.

Georgia by 31 against the spread over Tennessee was truly impressive. I actually thought Tennessee would show something a little more for their head coach, but it looks like Butch Jones is going to be on his way out soon. You get a home game and you put up 142 yards 0 points, 2.73 yards per play. It looks like the week before against Umass was no fluke. Georgia did have +3 TO margin and this Tennessee defense is still better than what the box score has said.

Betting Take: I’m a buy low guy and things could not be lower for Tennessee. They have a bye before hosting South Carolina so we will have to see what happens. Georgia, I think is being inflated as a 17.5 road favorite against Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt had a 17-14 lead, and were covering the spread losing by a TD with a 4th and 1 before the Florida RB broke loose for a game ending TD that was a tough beat that of course we were on. As much as I love Georgia I think 17.5 points is a bit too much. This is Georgia’s second road game in a row and they are playing a very tough defense.

Notre Dame by 14 over Miami Ohio (bad match up vs. the run) did not shock me that Notre Dame handled this game. As previously mention they are big favorites at North Carolina this week and their 1 point loss to Georgia is not looking as bad these days. Betting Take: Notre Dame has nothing but their bye week to look forward to this week before getting ready to play USC at home. Miami Ohio opens up as a 14.5 point favorite at home against Bowling Green, but I’d much rather back them down the road as a dog. Their road game at Ohio coming up on Halloween seems like the right time.

Auburn by 31.5 over Miss State who just went through a brutal schedule spot playing 3 physical teams 2 of which on the road. Auburn won this game 49-10, but were just +160 in total yards. Miss State could not score when they drove into Auburn’s territory and that Auburn offense had good balance. Betting Take: Miss State gets a bye week before facing BYU at home next week. I think there will be value with Miss State moving forward especially at home and when they are not facing ranked opponents.

Marshall by 20 against the spread over Cincinnati. This one did not shock me as Cinci was really in a tough scheduling spot having been off 3 road games against Michigan, Miami Ohio and Navy. Marshall was off a bye and really took advantage, but when you have a closer look this game was a lot closer. Marshall just +17 total yards, and were helped by the 3 turnovers they forced. There were actually 5 fumbles in this game and Marshall recovered 4 of them so there was clearly a little luck there. Also Marshall gave up 5.3 ypc, but Cinci had to go away from that approach as they were forced to pass it after going down 24-0 at the half.  Worth noting this was one of our college football expert picks  Kyle Hunter

Betting Take: Marshall might get a little too much credit for this one moving forward, but I still think they are one of the most improved teams in the nation I just haven’t found a spot to take them. Cinci, I really have to check the injury report for them. They do not get an easy game this week against UCF who just blew away Memphis the week after Maryland. I think there is value on Cici at +17 hosting a #25 team at home at night, but more to look at in this game.

Troy over LSU by 23.5 against the spread was probably the shocker of the weekend as Troy pulled the upset. This game was not that crazy of an upset as Troy went into Clemson last year and nearly beat the National Champions. However LSU is not going to be getting any love from the oddsmakers as they have dropped 2 games at home they were big favorites in. LSU struggled to get off the field allowing 4.9 ypc and turned the ball 4 times. They still had +5 first downs and +65 total yards while averaging 5.6ypc. For some reason they decided to throw the ball more and I don’t understand why. Betting Take: Troy is an easy fade candidate moving forward, but unfortunately they have a bye. LSU is a 3.5 point dog at Florida who has been extremely lucky thus far. I’d lean toward LSU since the sky is falling and getting away from home for this team right now might be a good idea. I think the players fight for their HC Ed Orgeron and I still think they have very good coordinators in Matt Canada on offense and DC Dave Aranda. I’ll be looking closely at that game as LSU clearly wants revenge for last year’s loss to Florida.

North Texas by 22.5 over Southern Miss was another shocking outright upset as I think most people have been high on Southern Miss. North Texas actually did this despite being -2 TO margin. They were able to move the ball on Southern Miss with ease with 540 yards and 6.21 ypp which was surprising considering Southern Miss came into the game playing well defensively. They held Kentucky to 24 points in their season opener. Betting Take: North Texas should continue to fly under the radar because of years of poor play. They went to a bowl game last year and seem to be better this year. They are on a bye this week. Southern Miss will be a 12.5 point road dog at Texas San Antonio, another good C-USA team. I think that may be too big of a jump, but I could be missing something here.

New Mexico by 21 over Air Force. We played the over here and it easily cashed for premium clients. New Mexico though had a very dominating win over Air Force, who could have been peaking ahead to Navy perhaps? New Mexico averaged 10.18 yards per play compared to Air Force’s 4.89. New Mexico is shocking a lot of folks for how they are playing on defense as well which is much improved compared to last year. Betting Take: New Mexico is on a bye then they have two key games against Fresno and Colorado State. Air Force is a 7.5 point dog at Navy.

UCF by 21.5 over Memphis and really all I can say is buy low sell high. I think everyone is so high on Central Florida right now it’s definitely not a good time to buy although they have looked great and their win over Memphis shocked me. Memphis did average 5.42 yards per play and had 396 yards but managed just 13 points and were -3 TO margin. Central florida’s offense was clicking again at home. Betting Take: My gut tells me to fade UCF because they have been on an insane ATS run, but I probably will lay off. Memphis this seemed to have bene just one bad game and they are 13.5 point road favorites at CT this week which is enticing however, I don’t like playing a team that is on the road in back to back weeks.

FAU by 15.5 over Middle Tennessee

Western Michgian by 39 over Ball State who is in big trouble. The drop off in QB’s for Ball State from their starter seems to be significant. This was a misleading final however as Western Michigan only managed 414 yards yet they scored 55 points. Betting Take: I’m not doing anything with Ball State at the moment. Western Michigan still seems to be a one dimensional offense and they have a key game against one of the surprises out of the MAC in Buffalo this week that should be interesting. There has bene sharp money move on Buffalo from a +10 now to +6.5.

Ohio State by 27.5 over Rutgers which was one of my leans, but I just struggle taking big road favorites. Ohio State did pretty much what they wanted in the 56-0 victory over Rutgers and it was 35-0 at the half. JT Barret had a good game passing the ball which is key for this team moving forward if he can continue to gain confidence. For Rutgers they are not the same without their dynamic receiver Janarion Grant. We saw the offense fall apart last year without him and he’s now missed the last two games. Betting Take: Rutgers gets a bye and then they are on the road at Illinois. If Grant is back that will be a game I have circled as I think Rutgers has value. Ohio State is a huge favorite hosting Maryland this week who they beat 62-3 on the road last year.

Other games worth noting:

  • Indiana was only -18 yards vs. Penn State but lost 45-14 on the scoreboard due to -3 TO Margin. Their defense played really well holding Barkley in check on the ground and are a dangerous team to upset someone in the Big Ten this year. They host Michigan (October 14th), and Wisconsin (November 4th). Indiana’s front 7 has done a great job stopping the run this year they just held Penn State to 39 yards on 37 carries.
  • Northern Illinois went on the road and significantly out played San Diego State. They were +166 total yards, but -4 TO margin cost them in this game. They were down 31-10 at the half, but still battled back. It looks like Northern Illinois is back and is going to be a tough team to beat in MAC play. They get Kent State this weekend though as a 23.5 point favorite. San Diego State will go on the road to face UNLV in a really bad spot.
  • Oklahoma State despite +213 yards and 10 out of 12 trips inside Tech territory only put up 41 points and only won by 7.
  • Wyoming scored 45 points, but only managed 333 total yards. They had a fumble return for a TD, and interception returned for a TD, and a 95 yard kickoff return for a TD. Texas State not as bad as the final indicated and Wyoming has been a pretty good fade candidate all year long.

Teams on this list multiple times for covering the spread 14+ – Taking away week 1

  •  Utah State 2x
  •  Maryland 2x
  •  Notre Dame 2x (back to back weeks)
  •  Auburn 2x (back to back weeks)
  •  UCF 2x (back to back weeks)
  •  Minnesota 2x (did not cover this past week by 14+)
  •   Miss State 2x
  •   TCU 2x
  •   UTSA 2x
  •   Wake Forest 2x
  •  FAU 2X

Teams on the list multiple times for not covering the spread 14+

  •   BC 2x (covered easily this past weekend)
  •  Miss State 2x (second week in a row not covering by 14+)
  •  BYU 2x
  •  Tennessee 2x (back to back weeks)
  •  LSU 2x
  •  Memphis 2x (back to back weeks)
  •  MTSU 2x