Matt and Drew are the head honchos when it comes to KSR sports betting, they have a great podcast called Free Money that you should check out on the podcast feed, if you haven’t already. They both have their own strategies that work well, and if you’ve listened to them you’ve probably made a little cash. I too am interested in this aspect of college football and am writing today to add a strategy of mine to the mix. Now sports betting is illegal in Kentucky, but if I hypothetically used my strategy in the past weeks games I would be 17-10 on the year and making some nice cash.
My strategy has less to do with game by game match-ups and more to do with what the money in Vegas is doing. I strictly limit myself to looking the way money is being bet, and making a decision based on several factors.
First, I look for teams that have home games in which they are the underdog. Home field advantage is huge in college football. For those games, I then turn my attention to where most of the public bets are going. Once I know where the money is going, I look for what is called “reverse line movement” which basically means the spread is going one way when it should be going the other. For instance, let’s say Team A opens at -12 against Team B and all the money starts going Team A’s way but the spread moves to -11 when it should’ve gone to -13 because a majority of the money has been wagered on them. That’s reverse line movement.
There’s value in knowing reverse line movement because when it occurs, it is a reaction from Vegas when a large sum or sums of money have been placed on Team B. This could indicate someone betting in Vegas may know something about Team B that a majority of us do not.
Keeping this in mind, I look for games that exhibit all these factors and use what little match-up knowledge I have to make a bet. I generally always wager against where the public money is going. So if Team A is -11, on the road against Team B, with 65% of public picking them with reverse line movement. In this instance, I generally always go with Team B.
So here are the games this weekend I like:
Florida St. @ Duke
The Seminoles are 7-point favorites on the road at Duke. 61% of the money in Vegas is going to Florida St. after the spread opened at Florida St. -8. This means reverse line movement is occurring and it’s probably a decent idea to go against the money. So I like Duke at +7.
Colorado @ Oregon St.
Colorado opened up at -12 and since then 76% of the wagers in Vegas have been placed on them. This may be due to OSU’s coach Gary Andersen no longer being on the sidelines. However, there is reverse line movement, so someone with a lot of money likes the Beavers this weekend and I too, like them to cover the +11 spread this weekend.
Texas A&M @ Florida
Texas A&M is a +3 underdog at the Swamp this weekend and had the most respectable showing so far against Alabama. I yield caution taking Texas A&M because 60% of public money is on them, and I think their showing against Bama may be the reason for it. Florida has been good against the spread at home this year, so I like Florida at -3 at home.
Michigan St. @ Minnesota
The Golden Gophers are +4 at home against Michigan St. Michigan St. is fresh off a good win against rival, Michigan, and it appears the public likes them a lot as 71% of wagers are on them. This is a big game for PJ Fleck and Minnesota, and Fleck is a master motivator who will have the whole state fired up to take on the B1G’s second best team. I’m picking the Golden Gophers at +4.
Hopefully, my strategy holds strong and helps you out when considering your wagers for this weeks slate of games. Good luck.