Early Line Movement for Week 15 & Major Bowl Games

army navy

Kevin Stott

Monday, December 4, 2017 2:52 PM GMT

Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 2:52 PM GMT

Let’s look at the opening numbers and the early movement for the two CFP Semifinal games as well as for the lone FBS sailor on the FBS seas this Saturday, the Army-Navy classic from the City of Brotherly Love.

While NCAAF Week 14 saw many crucial Conference Championship Games, Week 15 serves as a brief respite before the 2017 College Bowl season kicks off, with only the Army-Navy game left on the docket in the Regular Season in FBS, while the FCS plays its Quarterfinals round and trims down from 8 to 4 teams. And when the dust cleared in FBS, Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State and USC won the Power 5 title tilts, but knocking Wisconsin from the ranks of the unbeaten and manhandling a gimpy Bryce Love and Stanford just wasn’t enough for the Badgers and Trojans, respectively, as SEC powerhouse Alabama was the team made the final cut. And rightfully so probably, with the Crimson Tide’s lone Loss at Auburn in the Iron Bowl and Ohio State and USC both having 2 Losses -- with the Buckeyes ugly setback at Iowa (IOWA 55 OSU 24, OSU -21) in Week 10 and the Trojans non-Conference Loss to Independent Notre Dame in South Bend in Week 9 (NOTRE DAME 49 USC 14, NOTRE DAME -4).

So now, only QB Kelly Bryant and defending national champions Clemson (11/5 to win 2018 CFP National Championship, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), probable 2017 Heisman Trophy-winner Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma (11/4 to win 2018 CFP National Championship, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook), RB Nick Chubb and Georgia (7/2 to win 2018 CFP National Championship, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) or QB Jalen Hurts and Alabama (2/1 to win 2018 CFP National Championship, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) can win the 2018 CFP National Championship.

With the Army-Navy game the only FBS game on the NCAA Football Week 15 betting board to be played this weekend, let’s look at and analyze the really early Line Movement for the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, offer up some analysis and postulate on which way these Point Spreads will go in these two CFP Semifinal clashes set to be held on January 1, 2018. Totals for the two games had yet to be posted.

After opening early Sunday, this game between the Big 12 and SEC champions had all three betting realities (Favorite, Even, Underdog) available to the early birds in the Rose Bowl with BetOnline opening #2 Oklahoma as 1-point Favorites (-107) over #3 Georgia with Sportsbetting.ag also having the Sooners as 1-point Favorites while Pinnacle already had Oklahoma as 1½-point chalks (+101). But Offshore, Heritage was hanging the game as a Pick ‘em while 5Dimes, JustBet and Bookmaker all had Georgia as 1-point Favorites.

Here in Sin City, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened Oklahoma up as larger 3-point favorites, which was quickly bet down to 2½ (and now to 2) soon after the CFP Selection Committee had announced its final four teams and who would be participating in the two CFP Playoff New Year’s Day Bowl games (Rose, Sugar) to determine who will play for all the marbles on the following Monday, January 8. Get it? Got it? Good.

This January 1 game from the aptly named Rose Bowl in beautiful Pasadena, California (ESPN, DTV 206, 5 pm EST/2 pm PST) should find a common Favorite Offshore and here in Nevada with Oklahoma the likely emerging candidate with the Sooners the higher seed, the bigger opening chalks at the Westgate and having Baker Mayfield as their QB. With the Heisman Trophy ceremony set for this coming Saturday in New York City, there could be a point or more of Oklahoma money dumped into the market after Mayfield wins the coveted award. But this game, like the Sugar Bowl, is a toss-up and a big play or two, TOs, Field Position and other intangibles will likely determine who covers or not as these are two very good FBS Football teams that definitely deserve a shot at the National Championship. On the Moneyline, 5Dimes opened Georgia slight -110 chalks with Oklahoma at +100, but this line and the 5Dimes Point Spread right now may just be a book-balancing measure due to Futures Book exposure on Oklahoma and maybe not because of heavy early Georgia money as seldom do line-movement leaders Pinnacle and 5Dimes have different Favorites for such a huge game.

There was no doubt who oddsmakers both Offshore and in Las Vegas have as the Favorite in New Years Day's second CFP Semifinal, the Sugar Bowl, with perennial SEC powerhouse Alabama not only sneaking into the CFP Playoff without playing during Conference Championship Week but the Crimson Tide opening up as 2-point Favorites at BetOnline and Bookmaker and at 1-point favorites at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, where that number is now at 1½, so there will some early settling (Open), some middle settling (Dec. 4-Christmas) and some late settling (Christmas to Kickoff on Jan. 1) with this Point Spread and nobody to see enough money in the next 26 days to see Hunter Renfrow and Clemson actually go off as slight Favorites.

But the movement early this week will probably dictate who both the Sharps and General Public like and which way the number goes for this game from The Big Easy and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome (ESPN, DTV 206, 8:45 pm EST/5:45 pm PST).

Looking at the SBR.com Oddsboard, we see Jalen Hurts, Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough, Calvin Ridley and Alabama are solid 2-point Favorites across the board after some early settling and the mere fact that this number has seen the Crimson Tide stay as small 2-point chalks a couple of hours after post shows the CFP Selection Committee went with the best team for that No. 4 spot as opposed to any recency bias (a winner from Friday or Saturday in Conference Championship Weekend) or one of the potential school’s résumés. And honestly, it was pretty much a call between Alabama and Ohio State, something astute ESPN College Football analyst and former Buckeye Kirk Herbstreit nailed weeks back. (Herbstreit agrees with Alabama’s CFP inclusion.) And, in the end, this shows the 4-year-old College Football Playoff would do itself a big favor to expand to 8 teams and a CFP Quarterfinal tier in the near future, with Big Ten champs Ohio State, Pac-12 champs USC, AAC champs and unbeaten Central Florida and previously unbeaten Wisconsin all deserving of getting to play in a Playoff to determine their fates on the national level this exciting 2017 FBS season.

Alabama +178

Clemson +260

Georgia +322

Oklahoma +345

There was slight Line movement Offshore on the Army-Navy game with the sportsbooks seeing enough money on Army to move the line to (Navy minus) 3 at most Offshores (around 9 am EST) before some quick Navy buyback forced the number back to its original 3½. The Total on this game has gone down a point from 51, stopping at 50½ before moving to 50 (around 4:20 pm ET). The Trends here show the Midshipmen (60-50-7 SU vs. ARMY) have dominated the Black Knights SU, winning a series-record 14 in a row before losing to Army last year, 21-17 as 4-point Favorites, making Navy a porous 1-5 ATS the L6 meetings.

With the Total number of points scored by these two Independent service schools not eclipsing the 41-point mark in the L4 meetings(ARMY 21 NAVY 17, NAVY 21 ARMY 17, NAVY 17 ARMY 10, NAVY 34 ARMY 7, NAVY 17 ARMY 13), strong lean to the Under here which will start a 4-game series run an Lincoln Financial Field -- home of the NFL’s Eagles -- in Philadelphia.

COTTON BOWL—#5 Ohio State vs. #8 USC

ORANGE BOWL—#6 Wisconsin vs. 10 Miami Florida

PEACH BOWL—#7 Auburn vs. #12 Central Florida

FIESTA BOWL—#9 Penn State vs. #11 Washington

Free NCAAF Picks: Army-Navy Under 47.5, Oklahoma +345 for National TitleBest Lines Offered: Pinnacle

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