Happy Friday! Today the College Football Bowl season officially kicks off with a pair of matchups. Bettors also have 8 NBA games, 6 NHL games and roughly a dozen college basketball games to choose from today.
For an updated breakdown of Friday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted by 1 p.m. ET. I'll be joining The Lombardi Line at 1:30 p.m. ET to offer a market update and then I'll be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 to 4 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for today's Bowl Games…
12 p.m. ET: Toledo vs Middle Tennessee State
This is the Bahamas Bowl and the official launch of Bowl Game season. Toledo (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS) has won three straight games, most recently crushing Akron 49-14 and covering as 28.5-point home favorites. Similarly, Middle Tennessee State (6-6 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) went 4-2 down the stretch, finishing the regular season with a 27-17 win over Florida Atlantic as 3.5-point road dogs. This line opened with Toledo listed as a 9.5-point neutral site favorite. We've seen big money lay the points with Toledo, driving the Rockets from -9.5 to -10.5. Middle Tennessee has value as a buy-low contrarian inflated dog. Bowl dogs playing an opponent who missed a Bowl the previous year are roughly 58% ATS over the past decade. We've also seen respected money hit the under, dropping the total from 53 to 49.5. The forecast calls for 10-15 MPH winds in the Bahamas.
6 p.m. ET: Coastal Carolina vs Northern Illinois
This is the Cure Bowl and it will be played at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Coastal Carolina (10-2) finished the regular season with two straight wins, including a 27-21 overtime victory over South Alabama their last time out. Meanwhile, Northern Illinois (9-4) just beat Kent State 41-23 in the MAC Championship game. This line opened with Coastal Carolina listed as a 10-point neutral site favorite. The public is split and doesn't know who to back. However, we've seen Coastal Carolina jump up from -10 to -11. This signals respected money laying the points with the Chanticleers. This is a showcase for Coastal QB Grayson McCall, who may enter the transfer portal. Coastal is averaging 40.4 PPG on offense compared to 31.5 PPG for NIU. The total has fallen from 64 to 53, indicating some sharp money hitting the under. Northern Illinois is a run heavy offense, which chews up the clock and benefits unders.