College Football Picks: Huge Early Line Movement Favors South Florida +9.5 vs. Memphis

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 11:18 AM UTC

Wednesday, Sep. 30, 2015 11:18 AM UTC

Our college football analyst takes an early glance at Friday’s odds for Memphis and South Florida. Don't miss our betting preview and winning point spread pick.

Friday Night Lights in the AAC
South Florida (1-2) hosts Memphis (4-0) on Friday in an American Athletic Association contest. The opening kickoff at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida is slated for 7:00 PM ET, and the game will air on ESPN2. Memphis has defeated South Florida during each of the last two seasons by scores of 23-10 (2013) and 31-20 (2014).


Huge Early Line Move
Memphis opened as a 12.0 point chalk when point spreads were first released on Sunday night. According to current (9/28) college football betting odds,, Memphis has fallen substantially to either a 9.0 or 9.5 point favorite, and all despite 70% of early point spread betting action going the way of the Tigers. This is what’s called reverse line movement, and is a typical indicator that a lot of sharp early money has been wagered on South Florida.


Rest Factor
Memphis will enter this contest with a normal seven days of rest between games. They’re coming off a thrilling and entertaining 53-46 home win over Cincinnati this past Friday (9/25). South Florida last played at Maryland on (9/19) and was thumped by the Terrapins 35-17.


Tiger Trap
This is a particularly dangerous spot for Memphis. After coming off an emotionally draining down to the wire win in their previous game, and with a massive home game coming up next (10/2) against #3 ranked Ole Miss, this looks to be the proverbial sandwich game against South Florida. After all, the Bulls have gone an atrocious 11-37 during their last 48 games, and that includes 6-18 in conference play. Sports Psychology 101 deems this to be a very possible letdown for Memphis.


Final Analysis
Besides all the intangible factors I just mentioned, I’d have a difficult time to lay better than a touchdown on the road any time. Considering the suspect status of Memphis’ defense, I’m even more reluctant to do so. Memphis allowed 87 points and 1341 yards combined in their previous two games. Their potent offensive attack was able to bail them out in both instances. South Florida is in a prime position to catch the more heralded opponent napping. I’ll have an early lean toward the home underdog for one of my college football picks. Pinnacle provides me with the most appealing number and price at this juncture.

College Football Pick: Play on South Florida +9.5 (-110) at The Greek 

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