#Betting101: Moneyline or Point Spread on Arkansas?

Jason Lake

Tuesday, September 19, 2017 2:11 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 19, 2017 2:11 PM UTC

When the football odds are giving you a small spread, it often makes sense to bet the moneyline instead. But the Arkansas Razorbacks are bucking the trend this Saturday.

There’s no debate: The point spread is the engine that drives the football betting market. But there are certain times when you should keep it old-school and bet the moneyline instead. Saturday’s game (noon ET, ESPN) between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas A&M Aggies could be one of those times. The Razorbacks are short 2.5-point road dogs on the NCAAF odds board at press time, and they’re also available at +115 on the moneyline. Let’s get cracking, shall we?

Stop Making Cents

As a rule of thumb, anytime you’re looking at a spread of less than a field goal on a football game, you might find a better deal on the moneyline. In this case, Arkansas is available at +2.5 (–105) at Heritage, or +3 (–115) at Bovada; that half-point is worth much more than 10 cents, so we’d recommend Bovada if you’re betting the spread. But should you take the Razorbacks at +115 instead?

To make this decision easier to visualize, let’s pretend the moneyline is actually a spread, and we’re getting Arkansas PK (+115) as our second option. Is it worth 30 cents in juice to move from +3 to PK? Not according to Wizard of Odds. According to their NFL numbers (close enough, we presume), you would need a 40-cent deal on the vig to make this a “fair” swap, so taking the Razorbacks at less than +125 on the moneyline doesn’t hold water.

How ‘Bout Them Hawgs?

Putting the moneyline in your college football picks would have made more sense when the lines first opened on Sunday. The Hawgs were +3 (–110) on the spread and +130 on the moneyline, but then the sharps did their thing. Our consensus reports show 100 percent early ML support for Arkansas, which is why they’re down to +115 today. But the spread moved to +2.5 after 61 percent of first responders took the Aggies.

So why this game in the first place? Texas A&M and head coach Kevin Sumlin are 14-26 ATS in conference play, according to the trends Marc Lawrence dished out at last month’s International Football Betting Conference. That’s not good. And ESPN’s Football Power Index has the Aggies winning 55.4 percent of the time, which roughly translates to –1.5 on the spread (or –125 on the moneyline). With Sumlin’s team looking not at all ready for SEC play, we’ll throw a few pfennigs at Arkansas and see what happens.

Free College Football Pick: Arkansas +3 (–115)
Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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