Breaking Down Week 3’s Biggest Moves: Which Side You Should Bet

Jay Pryce

Friday, September 15, 2017 1:56 PM UTC

Friday, Sep. 15, 2017 1:56 PM UTC

Here’s a look at four of the largest line moves among Power 5 teams headed into Week 3 of the 2017 college football season. Which side should you bet? We got you covered.

UCLA (-3) vs. Memphis

The total in the UCLA-Memphis matchup is extra volatile, ranging form 69-74.5 points throughout the week since hitting the board on Monday. The number sits at 73 less than 24 hours out with 71 percent of tickets on the ‘over.’

The public has seen the Bruins combine for 89 and 79 points through their first two games, the offense red-hot behind quarterback Josh Rosen. Sharp bettors know Rosen is half the player away from the Rose Bowl and the offense will likely cool. At home in his career, Rosen owns a 24:4 TD-to-INT ratio and a 148.2 passing efficiency rating, in away games his numbers dip to 15:10 and 131.4.

The contest equates to a 9 a.m. Pacific Time start for the Bruins and they have a tough conference matchup versus Stanford next week. Will UCLA be prepared and ready here? It would be a mistake to overlook a highly dangerous and experienced Tigers team. This game looks like one of the most competitive on paper in Week 3 and the total should stay in the 60s. Which side should you bet? ‘Under’ 73 points should be your College Football Pick.

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North Carolina (-10.5) vs. Old Dominion

The line in the North Carolina-Old Dominion matchup has seen some huge spikes. After opening -10 in favor of the Tar Heels, books adjusted to as low as a touchdown in early wagering. A slight increase to -8 on Wednesday was bet back down to -7.5 before returning to -10 in a two hour span. Whew. The number of tickets backing UNC sits at 83 percent. Big money bets accounted for the adjustments.

What side should you bet? UNC at -10 (some books are dealing this line as of publication). The talent gap is too wide here. ODU has played seven Power 5 opponents all-time. It is 0-7 SU and 2-5 ATS, losing each game by 11 points or more. Old Dominion just re-established their football program in 2009 and joined the FBS in 2014. They went 10-3 SU last season, largely on the heels of the now-graduated David Washington at quarterback Sophomore Blake LaRussa leds the offense this season and will be overwhelmed by the speed and size of UNC’s defense. The Monarchs are not as good as last season, projected to finish third in Conference USA by most analysts.

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Air Force vs. Michigan (-23)

The line in the Air Force-Michigan tilt is seeing one-way action for the Falcons. They opened +27.5 underdogs, the line adjusted to +23.5 with no pushback throughout the week. The total is mixed, ranging form 46 to 54 points over this time.

Which side should you bet? Lay the points with Michigan. Head coach Jim Harbaugh has hosted five non-Power 5 opponents at “The Big House” in his career. They average 7.6 points per game, none scoring more than two touchdowns. Air Force has 10 new starters on defense. Don’t be fooled by that 62-0 rout versus FCS opponent VMI last weekend. The Wolverines will overwhelm this unit and stuff the Falcons’ option attack on offense.

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Oregon (-14) vs. Wyoming

The total in this game is crashing. Opening at 68 or 69 points depending on the book, its dipped to as low as 58.5 midweek. The number sits at 60 across most shops on Friday. The public is banking on a high-scoring affair with 76 percent of tickets on the ‘over.’ Sharp money is driving the move down.

Which side should you bet? Tough call on the total, but lean the Ducks against the spread, only because we’re not sure how much Oregon will run up the score. Head coach Craig Bohl has never seen his Cowboys score more than 17 points against a Power 5 opponent. Though all five previous meetings were on the road, including last week’s 24-3 defeat at Iowa. Wyoming’s Josh Allen, third choice at +400 odds to be the first QB selected in the 2018 NFL Draft, has 1 TD and 7 INTs against Power 5 defenses in his career. 

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