The college football season kicks off in two months, and the regular-season win total is on the board — and in motion — on the sportsbook.
Circa Sports posted the total wins over each team in the Power Five conference on June 10, and there were 11 line moves of half a win or more based on close betting and manager’s opinion. of Circa Sportsbook, Matt Metcalf.
“Ninety percent of the money is sharps playing on some of the biggest differences between some of the other books,” Metcalf said. “In my experience, the wisest money only comes a few weeks before the start of the season.
“Most half-win moves are me giving my opinion looking for action. If I put a number and nobody bets on it, I see it as an opportunity to move it up or down.
Alabama and Georgia are tied for the highest win total at 11½, and Ohio State is next at 11.
Metcalf recently lowered the Crimson Tide from the +195 favorite to win the national title at +165. The Bulldogs, defending champions, have +315 and the Buckeyes +350.
“I had Alabama two points better than Georgia and now I have them four points better than Georgia. Ohio State is a point or two worse than Georgia,” he said. said “It’s those three teams and everyone.”
Georgia’s total win price opened at -110 before dropping to under 145.
“Any time you open a team at 11 or 11½, you’re asking for pretty much a sage under the money,” Metcalf said. “You’re basically asking a team to stay unbeaten, and that’s not an easy task.”
Down with the cougars
Washington State is the only team with a complete win, going 6-5 after sharp bettors beat the bet.
Cougars coach Nick Rolovich and four assistants were fired midway through last season for refusing to comply with a mandate that required all state employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The team still won three of its last four regular season games.
“I was very impressed with how Washington State ended last season. They didn’t fall apart when the coach was fired,” Metcalf said. , it’s going to be such a reconstruction.
“We took silver under 6 and took more under 5½. Six was a very bad first game. At six, you say you have to win seven to fight. That’s asking a ton for this team.
Six teams saw their totals drop by half a win: Arizona (3½ to 3), Boston College (7 to 6½), California (6 to 5½), Illinois (5 to 4½), Indiana (5 to 4½) and Iowa State (7½ to 7).
“There are a lot of teams that I like that probably opened higher than the market,” Metcalf said. “I’ve always liked Cal. They never have enough offense, but they’re well trained.
“I like Iowa State. They did a lot less well last year. I know they lost a lot of offenses and maybe people aren’t as optimistic as I am. But I love the program and I love (coach) Matt Campbell.
Four teams saw their totals increase by half a win: Michigan State (7 to 7½), North Carolina State (8 to 8½), Nebraska (7 to 7½) and Purdue (7 to 7½).
Metcalf said he has an anti-Michigan state bias that stems from his days as a professional bettor, when he was repeatedly burned by the Spartans when obliterating them.
“They’ve never looked so great on paper, but have always exceeded their targets,” he said. “If you ever want to bet on Michigan State, it’s always good to come to Circa. I tried to eliminate the bias, but it’s in my blood at this point.
Metcalf said many bettors will be on NC State, which went 9-3 last season and will return quarterback Devin Leary, who threw for a school-record 35 touchdowns.
“They’re like a solid C-, C+ program,” he said. “If they go out and play at a B+ level, they’re going to surpass their win total.”
Nebraska went 3-9 last season, with all nine losses by less than 10 points.
“Nebraska played with a good power rating last year,” Metcalf said. “But they were unlucky and lost a lot of close games.”
Purdue went 9-4 last season and is a 3-point home underdog against Penn State in their season opener Sept. 1.
“I like the coach (Jeff Brohm), and I think Purdue could have a decent season,” Metcalf said. “The Week 1 Penn State line tells you the market loves Purdue.”