It’s Halloween, and we are about to find out if this week’s college football card is filled with tricks or treats. Rest assured, it will almost certainly be a spooky Saturday of football.
Though Halloween gatherings will be far fewer than in the past, that has not stopped bettors from manipulating the line at the top sportsbooks. That’s right, there is still an ample amount of line moves on the football docket, and we’ll explain what happened and possible outcomes.
Our Halloween themed article will include line moves from the American Conference, the Big Ten, and a rare nonconference clash. Without further ado, let’s skip the “Hocus Pocus” and get down to business.
Indiana Hoosiers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Saturday, October 31, 2020 – 3:30 pm ET at SHI Stadium
Chances are you could have made a lot of money taking action on the chances of these two Big Ten partners coming into this meeting without a loss.
Rutgers might have proved they won’t be the worst team in the conference for a change in upsetting Michigan State on the road and ending their 21-game B10 losing streak. Indiana beat a nationally ranked Top 10 team for the first time since 1987, despite being outgained 488-221 by visiting Penn State.
Though the betting action is essentially split 50-50, the college football odds on Indiana have tumbled like Jamie Lee Curtis in “Halloween” from -13 to -11. Those betting this matchup are thinking that the Hoosiers are probably spent from such an emotional triumph and might have a challenging time taking their act on the road as double-digit favorites.
While we are happy for the Scarlet Knights and the return of Greg Schiano as head coach in ending that unenviable losing stretch, nobody is going to accuse the Spartans of being even average this season. Rutgers chance for a win was like a bucket of – Life Savers – with Sparty committing Seven turnovers. Last year, the Hoosiers won 35-0 as 27.5-point home favorites, and we don’t see where the Knights have closed the gap that quickly.
Charlotte 49ers vs. Duke Blue Devils
Saturday, October 31, 2020 - 7:00 pm ET at Wallace Wade Stadium
There were other games we could have chosen that had similar line moves. However, we went for this one like Chuckie in “Child’s Play.”
Duke is having a crummy season at 1-5 (3-3 ATS). Coach David Cutcliffe has certainly had better and more talented squads, but the one thing he hasn’t had is one that makes this many mistakes. We’re not talking about penalties or mental errors; we are only referring to giving the ball to the other team.
The Blue Devils are having a devil of a time not turning the ball over, having committed an alarming 22 turnovers in just six starts. From that perspective alone, one can understand why Duke is less desirable than – Sour Patch Kids – (one person’s opinion) and they have slid from -11 to -9 at Heritage Sports against Charlotte (2-2), in spite of split action.
The 49ers come in 3-0 ATS on the road and face a Blue Devils club that is 13-26 ATS as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points. However, Charlotte is 0-7 ATS after two consecutive games with a turnover margin of +1 or better. And we have this from ESPN’s Chris “The Bear” Fallica: Over the past 10 years, there have been nine teams 1-5 or worse favored over a team .500 or better. Those nine teams are 7-2 ATS.
Navy Midshipmen vs. SMU Mustangs
Saturday, October 31, 2020 - 7:30 pm ET at Gerald J. Ford Stadium
We had SMU on this page last week, and though we don’t like to use the same team twice, they are involved in the biggest line move. The Mustangs host Navy, and after their Cincinnati 42-13 shellacking, they have crumbled from -16 to -12.5.
With the Ponies in the low 50’s percentage-wise on tickets written, mostly sharper bettors would rather “Scream” than take SMU.
For making college football picks, a lot of consternation. Despite the Navy’s 3-3 SU and ATS record, they are being outscored by 15.4 PPG and outgained -139 per game. Their 186 rushing YPG is the lowest in 19 seasons. Still, they are 12-2 SU and 10-4 ATS vs. SMU.
The Mustangs defensive front is much smaller compared to last season, and that is a big part of why despite a 5-1 record, they are lightly regarded nationally. If Navy’s ground game was better we could see backing them. However, if you’ve seen the Middies against teams that can pass like BYU and Houston, you realize they can give up points swiftly. Not wild about backing three favorites, but we will with SMU and hope we get the treats and are not tricked.