The week one point spreads have been out just a handful of days at most sports books and already we’re seeing some massive movement because of early betting. Although most games have moved at least a point or two, a handful of games have shifted more than that.
TCU at Baylor
Opened: TCU -10
Current: TCU -6.5
Week one’s Friday night game (plan your liquor store runs accordingly) might be the most intriguing week one game outside of the Saturday night showcase. For those of you that got Baylor +10 at home, kudos. That seems like a nice number and while they may not cover, you have to like getting double digits in this spot. Curious to see where this line goes as more betting comes in. Has the public finally embraced TCU following their Rose Bowl win? Do folks think Baylor can compete within a TD in this one? Something tells me this line will slowly creep back up as TCU love will resurface.
Northwestern at Boston College
Opened: Boston College -10
Current: Boston College -3
Did the odds makers just miss here? Do they like BC that much and are simply accommodating heavy Northwestern betting? Either way, this is a massive move and another interesting game. If Dan Persa is healthy, and all indications are that he is, than the Wildcats seem like a solid play here at 10 (obviously) and even at 3. Boston College, however, is a team that might be undervalued and could be much improved if the offense can score. Unknowns on both side early on, and the line should probably stay near where it is. I’d wait and see and let the line work itself out before you decide which way to go.
Utah State at Auburn
Opened: Auburn -32
Current: Auburn -22
Big, big line and even bigger movement. A 10-point shift is almost unprecedented, but this AU team is also unique given the sheer amount of talent that they lost. We know what Auburn has to replace, but perhaps Utah State is the true wildcard in this. Although they finished last season 4-8, they nearly beat Oklahoma in Norman which raised a lot of eyebrows and put up substantial points in losses. This isn’t exactly a game I would want to have an investment in, but apparently others don’t feel the same. After a big early shift, I expect the line will hover around 22 although perhaps it might dip a little further. If you like Auburn, you may want to wait a little longer. If Utah State is your pick, jump on it while you can.
East Carolina vs South Carolina (in Charlotte)
Opened: South Carolina -13
Current: South Carolina -20.5
With Garcia in (for the time being), folks have high hopes for the Gamecocks and the betting certainly shows this. And while the South Carolina offense is loaded, East Carolina is no slouch in this department. Where they do suffer, though is defense and last year they gave up an average of 44 point per game for the entire season. Yikes. South Carolina can and likely will run wild, but EC may be able to keep up for a bit. In the past we’ve seen the Gamecocks come out of the box slow, but they have not had a team this good in recent memory. This line could get bigger if you’re looking for more points although that’s a lot of points already.
LSU vs. Oregon (in Dallas)
Opened: LSU -3
Current: Oregon -1
Not the massive movement we’ve seen in the games above, but this is the weekend’s biggest matchup and the favorite has changed. Well, actually a few times now. A few months ago, some of college football’s biggest games were given point spreads and Oregon opened as a 3-point favorite. That soon shifted, and LSU became the favorite after it was announced that Cliff Harris was out for Oregon and folks became weary of the Ducks’ connection with Willie Lyles. Well, with week one betting now in full swing Oregon is taking money once again. Although this may go back and forth between now and early September, I’d be shocked to see the line reach 3 on either side unless something NCAA-related breaks or another suspension occurs. Wouldn’t shock me to see this game at pick ‘em either, which would be a fitting way to start the season.