Wake up with VSiN Daily Morning Bets, a quick 15-minute podcast posted at 7 a.m. ET highlighting the top games and biggest line moves of the day. I’ll also be breaking down games from 8 to 10 a.m. ET this morning on The Sweat, LIVE from the DraftKings studio in Boston.
You can always track the latest odds and betting percentages using our VSiN Betting Splits.
In the meantime, let’s examine where smart money is leaning for Saturday’s College Football slate…
This Red River Rivalry matchup will be played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Oklahoma (5-0) is ranked 12th and just crushed Iowa State 50-20, covering as 20-point home favorites. Similarly, Texas (5-0) is ranked 3rd and just brushed aside Kansas 40-14, covering as 16-point home favorites. This line opened with Texas listed as high as a 6.5-point neutral site favorite. The public is all over Texas, with 78% of bets laying the points with the Longhorns. However, despite this lopsided support we’ve seen Texas fall from -6.5 to -5.5. Some shops are even down to -5. Why would the oddsmakers drop the line to make it easier for the public to cover when they’re already sweating the Longhorns to begin with? Because pro money has grabbed the points with Oklahoma, triggering sharp line movement in their favor. Oklahoma is one of the top contrarian plays of the day, receiving only 22% of bets in the most heavily bet game of the day. Oklahoma has value as a conference dog, with the built in familiarity and rivalry aspect leveling the playing field and benefiting the team getting points. The Sooners also possess the better offense, averaging 510 yards per game compared to 478 for Texas. Sharps lean on dogs who can score and put up points, thereby keeping pace or back door covering.
Washington State (4-0) is ranked 13th and just took down Oregon State 38-35, winning outright as 3-point home dogs. Meanwhile, UCLA (3-1) is unranked and just fell to Utah 14-7, failing to cover as 3.5-point road dogs. This line opened with UCLA listed as a 3-point home favorite. Right off the bat, this opening line speaks volumes. Why is UCLA favored? If Washington State is undefeated and ranked, shouldn’t it be the other way around? The public is rushing to the window the grab the points with Washington State. However, despite 81% of bets taking Washington State, we’ve seen this line move further to UCLA -3 to -3.5. This signals sharp reverse line movement on UCLA, with pros fading the trendy dog and instead laying the points with the home favorite. UCLA is only receiving 19% of bets, making them one of the top contrarian plays of the day. Unranked home favorites vs ranked opponents are 40-31 ATS (56%) since 2017, including 1-0 ATS this season (Kentucky covered in this spot against Florida last week). On the moneyline, unranked home favorites vs ranked opponents are 50-22 SU (69%) since 2017. UCLA is -170 on the moneyline. UCLA has a big edge on defense, only allowing 263 yards per game compared to 382 given up by Washington State.
Alabama (4-1) is ranked 11th and just beat Mississippi State 40-17, covering as 16.5-point road favorites. On the other hand, Texas A&M (4-1) is unranked and just edged Arkansas 34-22, covering as 6.5-point road favorites. This line opened with Alabama listed as a 3-point road favorite. The public can’t believe this line is so short and they’re hammering the Crimson Tide minus the points. However, despite receiving 86% of bets we’ve seen Alabama fall from -3 to -2.5. This line even dipped close to a pick’em at times throughout the week. Reading between the lines, all liability seems to be on Texas A&M plus the points. The Aggies are the top contrarian play of the day, receiving only 14% of bets in addition to receiving sharp movement in their favor. Texas A&M has buy-low value as an unranked home dog vs a sell-high ranked opponent. The Aggies are offering value as a conference dog as well, with the built in familiarity leading to tighter games. Texas A&M has the better offense (443 yards per game vs 363) and better defense (allowing 254 yards per game vs 298). The Aggies also have value as a dog in a low total game (46), with the fewer amount of expected points scored making it harder for the favorite to cover.