Breaking Down Week 2’s Biggest Saturday Movers

Holy War

Kevin Stott

Friday, September 8, 2017 1:45 PM GMT

Friday, Sep. 8, 2017 1:45 PM GMT

After a perfect 3-0 in this space last week analyzing point spread moves from Monday to midweek, let’s look for some more winners for our readership as the Week 2 slate also offers up a bunch of Non-Conference matchups.

Saturday, September 9, 2017Cincinnati at #9 MichiganOpen: Michigan -27½  High Now: Michigan -35

Movement Analysis: Early week Wolverines chalk money has driven this number up 7½ points already, with bettors seeing an edge in backing HC Jim Harbaugh and nationally ranked and Big Ten power Michigan against Cincinnati from Michigan Stadium (FieldTurf) in Ann Arbor on Saturday afternoon (ABC, 12 pm ET/9 am PT). Perhaps Wolverines backers liked the Trends here which show Michigan (28/1, to win 2018 CFP National Championship, 5Dimes) to be 5-2 ATS L7 Non-Conference and 5-1 ATS L6 in September along with Cincinnati being 2-8 ATS its L10 in September, 2-9 ATS L11 on FieldTurf and a dismal 3-14 ATS L17 Non-Conference. But with this move to 35, it seems any perceived value has been drained and backing the Bearcats (1-5 ATS L6 Overall) even getting 35 or more in The Big House just doesn’t sound that great.

These two FBS teams have never met before on the College Football gridiron despite having campuses less than a tank of gas (250 miles) apart in the Midwest. Perhaps their respective ADs dated the same woman or once fought for a parking spot in Toledo or something? With the Wolverines again placing so much emphasis on playing good Defense (FBS-low 183 points allowed in 2016), this is now in the “stay-away” category with those lucky enough to potentially be looking for Middles on 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34 already having the best of it with the ability to lock in now taking visitors and American Athletic Conference members Cincinnati (1-5 ATS L6 vs. Teams with Winning Records) plus (at least) 35 points. There certainly must be better cherries to pick on a weekend menu as long as ZZ Top’s beards.

 

UAB at Ball StateOpen: Ball -7 High Now: Ball -14½

Movement Analysis: In another first-time meeting between two schools who should have banged helmets already, the MAC faces C-USA in this Week 2 meeting between UAB at Ball State from Scheumann Stadium in quaint Muncie, Indiana on Saturday afternoon (FOX, 3 pm ET/12 pm PT). So why the 7½-point spread move so far on Letterman U? In their opener in Week 1, the host Blazers (6-6 SU, 7-4 ATS in 2016) played their first game in two years and beat Alabama A&M, 38-7 as AJ Erdely threw for 2 TDs, while Ball State lost 24-21 to Illinois but (barely) covering ATS as 4½-point spread Road underdogs in Champaign (55½). So Ball State backers must like the idea of taking a team in its Home opener against a team which has one win since 2014 (Week 1) and is headed on the Road to face a Cardinals team which is an impressive 5-0 ATS L5 Non-Conference, 16-5 ATS their L21 in September but just 5-15 ATS L21 at Home in the Hoosier State. The slightest of leans to UAB (BALL ST. 1-5 ATS L6 vs. C-USA) here should the line keep rising and get to the 15-17 range (where there will surely be buyback), but the best handicapping advice here seems to be Blazers (5-1 ATS L6 Overall) or bust with better fish in the CFB Week 2 seas.

 

#13 Auburn at #3 ClemsonOpen: Clemson -8 Low Now: Clemson -4½

Movement Analysis: This ACC-SEC showdown on Saturday (ESPN, 7 pm ET/4 pm ET) between #3 Clemson and #13 Auburn will leave one really good FBS team with an early-September Loss, but both the defending national champion and hosts Clemson and always tough Auburn (25/1 to win 2017 CFP National Championship, 5Dimes) will both have potential paths to the CFP Playoffs should they stumble this late Summer weekend Between The Hedges. Clemson (20/1 to win 2017 CFP National Championship, GTBets) opened at -8 and has been bet down to as low as 4½ at several Offshores (BetCRIS, BookMaker, BetDSI, JustBet) on heavy and likely Sharp Auburn money so maybe SEC-Tigers (8-5 SU, 8-4 ATS in 2016) backers like the Conference pedigree and the more experienced QB Jarrett Stidham (33/1 to win Heisman Trophy, Bovada) in this spot over the ACC-Tigers (14-1 SU, 7-7 ATS in 2016). It should be a tremendous game.

One thing Auburn has going for them is a great track record against Top 10 teams, with HC Gus Malzahn (26-22-1 ATS) and Auburn going 17-5 in Top 15 matchups since 2004, the second-best mark in the land (USC). But 9th-year HC Dabo Swinney (59-48-1 ATS) and Clemson have been one of the rare teams to fare well against the SEC as we witnessed in the 2017 CFP National Championship Game in January when this team toppled undefeated and top-ranked Alabama, 35-31. With star Deshaun Watson now gone and plying his pigskin wares for the NFL’s Houston Texans, Clemson QB Kelly Bryant (6-4, 220) will take over and he looked pretty good and calm in the pocket in his first game, going 16-for-22 and 236 yards and 1 TD and 1 INT in a 56-3 dismantling of Kent State in Clemson which saw the ACC hosts rush for 353 yards with Travis Etienne (81 yards, TD), Bryant (77 yards, TD), Tavien Feaster (69 yards, TD) and CJ Fuller (51 yards, 2 TDs) all score. But that was against the Golden Flashes. Kent State.

Stopping Auburn RB Kam Martin (136 yards, TD vs AKR, 9.7 ypc) and RB Kerryon Johnson (136 yards, TD vs AKR, 8.5 ypc) from running wild at Clemson Memorial Stadium (Grass) will be a big thing for Clemson here and looking at a map should tell you that this game will quite possibly be affected somehow by the enormity of Hurricane Irma. The move down looks like a good time to buy the Home Favorites at -4½ or -4 (if buying the half-point or shopping lines). Clemson still looks pretty darn good.

Free NCAAF Picks: Clemson -4½ & Clemson -203Best Line Offered: at BetCRIS

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Other Significant Offshore NCAAF Point Spread Movers (as of Wednesday 3 pm ET)

#19 Louisville as high as -10 (WagerWeb) @ NC State, opened -6

Rutgers as high as -6 (Heritage), vs. Eastern Michigan, opened PK

Baylor as high as -17 (Bovada), vs. UTSA, opened -12

Oregon as high as -14½ (SIA), vs. Nebraska, opened -9½* (5Dimes)

Texas as high as -28 (The Greek, Bodog, Betmania) vs. San José St, opened -23½

#6 USC as low as -6 (GTBets), vs. #14 Stanford, opened at -10

#9 Wisconsin as low as -31½ (JustBet) vs. FAU, opened -36

#21 South Florida as low as -17 (Heritage) @ Connecticut, opened -21½

Boston College as low as PK -102 (Pinnacle) vs. Wake Forest, opened BC -3

>Game odds links under current favorites’ names above; openers BoL unless noted*

 The Favorite Double-Flipping, Basically a Pick 'Em Showdown Anyway Holy War Line Movement (So Far)

At LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah in the BYU-Utah game on Saturday night (ESPN2, 10:15 pm ET/7:15 pm PT)—dubbed the Holy War (UTAH 56-31-4 SU)—the Pac-12’s Utes opened up as semi-solid 3½-point favorites over their heated Beehive State rivals, and early Sharp money on Sunday afternoon at post (at BoL) immediately moved the line from 3½ t0 Pick ‘Em (UTAH -105) in two minutes (1:26 pm to 1:28 pm), before seeing more Cougars move make BYU the temporary 1½-point chalk at that popular sportsbook less than two hours later before seeing other Sharps gobble up Utah +1½ to drive the Point Spread back to PK on Tuesday...before more Utes money has left us with Utah as a 1-point Favorite (for now) at BoL and as high as (Utah minus) 2 in shops like Pinnacle and Bet365. Some ride so far. So whomever you like to take home the Beehive Boot in this 92nd installment, maybe best to back them in the Money Line market here with Utah (4-1 ATS L5 Meetings, 4-0 ATS L4 at BYU) currently priced as low as -125 (BetOnline) after late Utes movement— and current Underdog and hosts, the Tackling Mormons of Brigham Young University as high as +110 (5Dimes, Sportbet)? You decide.

Like Clemson-Auburn, this one should be a great watch and points may be scarcer than most think and the L3 Regular Season meetings have all had less than 45 points (39, 33, 45)—the highest Total is at 47 (The Greek, Bovada). Utah won 20-19 last year at Home in Salt Lake City but failed to cover ATS as 3-point favorites. After watching all eight quarters of QB Tanner Mangum and the Independent Cougars first two games (Portland State, LSU) on my TV this year, it’s hard to be impressed with 1st-year HC Kalani Sitake and the Offense with the Cougars scoring “easy” points looking like a problem. With that in mind, equal plays and picks on Utah and the Under, with the Pac-12 experience and the 6-game SU Win Streak—including once here in Sin City in the 2015 Las Vegas Bowl (35-28)—against their rivals BYU making the visitors the tipping points.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Utah 20 BYU 17NCAAF SATURDAY MOVERS PICKS: Utah Money Line -125, Under 47 Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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