Take a moment to understand the betting patterns at play during the opening week of the College Football season. This handicapper makes a compelling case against betting too early.
College Football Opening Week Lines
The start of the 2015 college football season is less than two months away, and Betonline.com has already posted opening week lines. Unless you’re privy to some pertinent and confirmed information, I’m of the opinion its way too early in the process to contemplate a wager. Unlike the NFL, the point-spreads encounter more drastic movements when they’re posted on a Sunday night for the upcoming week in the middle of the season, let alone when lines are installed this far in advance.
Examples of 2014 Opening Week Line Movements
I’m going to exhibit some games from the opening week of the 2014 college football season that encountered sizable line movements. By doing so, it further solidifies my belief against wagering this far in advance. The opening and closing college football odds in the following games are courtesy of our good friends at Bookmaker.com.
Wake Forest opened as a 4.0 point road favorite again UL-Monroe. The Demon Deacons ended up closing as a 1.5 point underdog, and they proceeded to lose 17-10.
Vanderbilt opened as a 16.5 point home favorite against Temple. The Commodores were then hit hard by suspensions due to several key players being involved in a on campus rape scandal. They eventually closed as an 8.5 point favorite, and were routed 37-7 by the Owls.
The eventual national champion Ohio State Buckeyes opened as a 17.0 point favorite in a neutral site game versus Navy. Much was made of the early uncertainties involving the Buckeyes offensive line, and the season ending injury sustained in summer camp to starting quarterback Braxton Miller. As a result, Ohio State closed as a 13.0 point chalk, and trailed the Midshipmen 10-7 at the half. However, the Buckeyes regrouped in the second half and pulled away for a 34-17 win, and did so by virtue of a late fourth quarter touchdown that provided the final margin of victory. Consequently, Ohio State was also able to cover the closing line, and pushed the opening number.
Purdue opened as a 12.5 point home favorite versus Western Michigan, and closed at -7.0. Lo and behold, the Boilermakers won the game 43-34, covered the closing number, and lost against the opening line.
I’m sure by now you’ve at least comprehended my reluctance to make and College Football picks for the opening week of the 2015 season. After all, teams haven’t even begun their summer camps yet. There still remains the distinct possibilities of key injuries, in addition to miscellaneous occurrences which may transpire, and as a result can have a major impact on opening lines.