#Betting101: Surfing the Week 3 College Football Lines

Jason Lake

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:48 PM UTC

Tuesday, Sep. 12, 2017 4:48 PM UTC

Is it already too late to fade the Akron Zips this week? Sharp bettors have already put the Iowa State Cyclones in their NCAAF picks, and the lines are getting blown away.

The Akron Zips are a very special college football team. They haven’t done too well at home under head coach Terry Bowden, who entered the 2017 campaign at 7-17 ATS in this situation. Better make that 8-17 ATS; the Zips beat the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions (an FCS team from the SWAC) 52-3 on Saturday night, barely cashing in as 48.5-point home faves. As they say, past performance does not guarantee future results.

That didn’t stop the wiseguys from fading Akron right out of the gate when the Week 3 lines hit the NCAAF odds board. The Zips have another home game this Saturday (noon ET, CBSSN) against the Iowa State Cyclones, who are coming off a very close 44-41 overtime loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes (–3.5 away) for the Cy-Hawk Trophy. The Cyclones opened at –7.5 before moving as high as –10 as we go to press. Deal, or no deal


Carey, The One

Let’s do the math and find out. ESPN’s Football Power Index projects Iowa State to beat the Zips 78.2 percent of the time. That works out to a “fair” moneyline (no vig) of –359, according to our magnificent SBR Betting Odds Converter. Lo and behold, you can get ISU at –360 on the moneyline at press time, after they opened at –340. Dang, those sharps don’t miss a beat, do they?

Here’s another possibility, then: The Northern Illinois Huskies are on the road this Saturday (noon ET, FS1) to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. NIU head coach Rod Carey came into 2017 with an away record of 19-6 ATS; this will be their first road game of the season, and the Huskies have moved from +15.5 to +14 since the open. Still any value there?


0.5 Percent for Nothing

In this case, the FPI numbers at ESPN like Nebraska to win 85.5 percent of the time, for a “fair” moneyline of –590. The Cornhuskers are –525 at some books and –747 at others. Ooooh, almost an arbitrage spot with the ML, even though the point spreads are fairly uniform. Oh well. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could bet both sides of a game and not even worry about who wins?

Actually, you can. Check out Thursday’s game between the New Mexico Lobos and the Boise State Broncos (8 p.m. ET, ESPN); the Broncos are –665 at Pinnacle, and the Lobos are +695 at Skybook. Do you smell what we’re cooking? According to our Arbitrage Calculator, betting $100 on Boise State and $14.47 on New Mexico at these odds will guarantee you a return of 57 cents. Hey, it’s free money. You’ll find situations like this all the time if you pay close enough attention – and you open accounts at multiple sportsbooks. They’re the easiest college football picks you’ll ever make.

Free MLB Pick: Boise State –665; New Mexico +695
Best Lines Offered: at Pinnacle & at Skybook
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