Big Moves in NCAA Football; NBA Title Odds Adjusted to James, et al; Oddsmaker’s Outlook on College Football



nd vs fsu


100 Things College Football Bettors Should Know – Which games have seen biggest line moves?
Melvin Gordon and Wisconsin have taken early action for the Badgers’ Aug. 30 game vs. LSU.
By: David Purdum | More Experts


As the countdown to the college football season continues, point spreads are wiggling. While the Las Vegas SuperBook will be releasing its season win totals, games of the year and conference championship odds Sunday, in the meantime, let’s take a look at some games that are already up and on the move at two Vegas bet shops.

1. Wake Forest at Louisiana-Monroe, Aug. 28 / Rutgers at Washington State, Aug. 28

Nevada sports book operator CG Technology has posted point spreads on the entire Week 1 college football slate. Two obscure Week 1 Thursday night games attracted the most line-moving action at CG Tech’s book:

— Wake Forest has shrunk from a 6- to 4-point favorite over Louisiana-Monroe. The Demon Deacons were 2.5-point home favorites over ULM in a 21-19 win last season. The Warhawks return 15 starters from a team that outgained Wake Forest 424-325 in last season’s loss. New Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson went 5-0 against the spread in season openers during his tenure at Bowling Green.

— After opening as a 10-point home favorite, Washington State is now laying only 8 to a Rutgers team that returns 16 starters. The Scarlett Knights are 20-12 ATS as road dogs the past 10 seasons, including 5-2 ATS under coach Kyle Flood.

2. Wisconsin vs. LSU, Aug. 30

The Golden Nugget opened LSU as a 7-point favorite over Wisconsin in an SEC-Big Ten neutral-field opener in Houston. The line has since been bet down to LSU -4.5. Wisconsin second-year coach Gary Andersen is 5-0 against the spread in season openers. Four of those covers came during his tenure at Utah State, including in a 42-38 loss at Auburn. The Aggies, 24-point underdogs, led Auburn 38-28 with three minutes to play. At CG Tech, LSU is a 6-point favorite over Wisconsin.

3. Ohio State vs. Navy, Aug. 30

The Buckeyes have grown from 14- to 16.5-point favorites over the Midshipmen at the Golden Nugget. The Buckeyes are laying 17 at CG Tech. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is 30-9 ATS with more than a standard week to prepare, including season openers.

4. Auburn at Kansas State, Sept. 18

The Tigers get a shortened bye before heading to Manhattan for a Thursday night showdown with covering-machine Bill Snyder and Kansas State. The Nugget opened Auburn as a 13-point favorite, but that number has shrunk all the way down to -10. Snyder is 49-34 ATS as an underdog for his career. Since 1998, the Wildcats are 12-4 ATS as home dogs under Snyder.

5. Notre Dame at Florida State, Oct. 18

The Nugget opened Notre Dame as 24-point road dogs to defending champion Florida State, but the Seminoles are currently laying only 21. This is the first time since the 2008 season the Irish have been 20-plus-point underdogs. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is 25-12 ATS as an underdog in his career.

6. Kansas State at TCU, Nov. 8

Four of the Horned Frogs’ games on the Golden Nugget’s Games of the Year board featured some of the biggest line movements of any of the 200 games offered, including a 5-point swing in a home game against Kansas State. The Horned Frogs opened as 1-point home underdogs against K-State. As of this week, TCU is a 4-point favorite over the Wildcats.

The lines in TCU’s games against Oklahoma, Texas and SMU each moved 2.5 points at the Nugget in favor of the Frogs (the updated list of all the Nugget’s Games of the Year is in the document below).

7. Ohio State at Michigan State, Nov. 8

We have split opinions on who’s the favorite in this Big Ten showdown that’s expected to decide the East Division. The Nugget has Ohio State as a 1.5-point favorite, while CG Tech has the Spartans favored by 1.

8. San Diego State at Boise State, Nov. 15

In addition to the Week 1 lines, CG Tech also released a number of Games of the Year point spreads. While none of the line movements have been as large as some of the ones at the Nugget, the biggest move at CG came in the San Diego State-Boise State game on Nov. 15. The Broncos, in their first year under coach Bryan Harsin, opened as 13-point favorites, and the line has since dropped to -11.

Part of the reason for this line movement is likely because of the disparity between CG Tech’s and the Nugget’s line on this game. The Nugget opened Boise State as 7.5-point favorites and has since moved to -8.5.

9. Arizona State at Oregon State, Nov. 15

The Sun Devils opened as 1-point road favorites, but the line has swung in favor of the Beavers, who are currently 2-point favorites. Arizona State won last year’s game 30-17, but failed to cover as 14.5-point favorites. Only eight Sun Devil starters return. The Beavers are 61-43 ATS in Pac-12 play under coach Mike Riley since 1998.

10. Auburn at Alabama, Nov. 29

The Iron Bowl point spread has settled at Alabama -7 at both the Golden Nugget and CG Tech. The Nugget opened ‘Bama as a 6-point favorite, but has since moved the Crimson Tide up to -7.


burning llbj jersey

NBA championship odds adjusted after flurry of weekend movement

Gasol heads to Chi-town, Carmelo re-ups


Pau Gasol’s signing had already been effectively baked into the Bulls’ odds to win 2015 NBA title.
By: Craig Williams | More Experts


The NBA free agency frenzy was just getting started with LeBron James’ return to Cleveland. A number of additional moves this past weekend have impacted the league’s 2014-15 outlook.

One such move is Pau Gasol’s signing with the Chicago Bulls. Paired with Joakim Noah, Gasol gives the Bulls the NBA’s best passing front court. How that eventually translates to the win column remains to be seen, but having a pair of skilled big men should open things up offensively.

Gasol bounced back from a down 2013 to average 17.4 points, 9.7 boards and 3.4 assists while shooting 48 percent from the field.

The Bulls opened at the LVH at 12-to-1 odds to win next season’s title, but that price has been cut in half to 6-to-1. Vegas had anticipated an enhancement of Chicago’s roster — Carmelo Anthony was considering joining the team before deciding to re-sign with the Knicks — as bookmakers gradually lowered the Bulls’ futures price since opening numbers were posted. In fact, Chicago was already down to 6-to-1 on Friday, so the Gasol deal had already effectively been baked into the number.

Of course, for the Bulls to warrant that price, Derrick Rose needs to stay healthy after knee issues knocked him out of the last two seasons.

However, if Rose can remain healthy, and the Bulls receive some offensive contributions from rookie Doug McDermott on the perimeter, this club should re-emerge as a legit title contender.

Carmelo remains in Big Apple

From signing with the Bulls, to forming a “Big Four” in Miami, to joining forces with Dwight Howard and James Harden in Houston, Carmelo Anthony was the subject of numerous rumors over the last month. So much for all that speculation, though. Anthony decided to remain with the New York Knicks.

The Knicks’ 40-to-1 title price has moved from their 50-to-1 opening number, a modest adjustment, but one that may have been even more significant in the opposite direction had he signed with a new team.

Led by Anthony, the Knicks made it to the second round of the postseason in 2013, so a return to the playoffs in 2015 — with new coach Derek Fisher at the helm — isn’t a stretch.

With that said, Melo’s re-signing probably means more for the Knicks’ title chances in the 2015-16 season because they’ll be free from Amare Stoudemire’s and Andrea Bargnani’s contracts.

Don’t forget the Heat

Losing LeBron takes the Miami Heat out of the title discussion for now, but they have started to re-tool and should re-establish themselves as a strong playoff contender. Chris Bosh re-signed, and Dwyane Wade is expected to follow suit, and they also signed Luol Deng to step in at small forward.

Their 2-to-1 opening price is clearly no longer close their actual value, but they’re far better than the 100-to-1 number they were slapped with following King James’ departure. Their most recent odds to win the title are 30-to-1.

ODDS TO WIN 2014-15 NBA TITLE (opening numbers in parentheses)
SPURS 7-2 (6-1)

CAVALIERS 4-1 (60-1)

THUNDER 9-2 (5-1)

BULLS 6-1 (12-1)



ROCKETS 16-1 (20-1)


HEAT 30-1 (2-1)


BLAZERS 40-1 (30-1)

RAPTORS 40-1 (50-1)

KNICKS 40-1 (50-1)

NETS 40-1

HORNETS 50-1 (60-1)

HAWKS 50-1 (60-1)

GRIZZLIES 50-1 (40-1)

MAVERICKS 50-1 (40-1)

NUGGETS 60-1 (50-1)

SUNS 60-1

WOLVES 100-1 (50-1)

PELICANS 100-1 (50-1)

LAKERS 100-1 (50-1)

CELTICS 100-1 (60-1)

MAGIC 100-1

JAZZ 200-1 (100-1)

KINGS 200-1 (100-1)

PISTONS 200-1 (100-1)

BUCKS 300-1

76ERS 500-1 (200-1)


CAVALIERS 6-5 (25-1)

BULLS 11-4 (9-2)

PACERS 5-1 (9-2)

HEAT 13-1 (4-5)


NETS 18-1

RAPTORS 18-1 (23-1)

KNICKS 18-1 (23-1)

HORNETS 23-1 (25-1)

HAWKS 23-1 (25-1)

CELTICS 40-1 (25-1)

MAGIC 40-1 (45-1)

PISTONS 80-1 (45-1)

BUCKS 120-1 (135-1)

76ERS 200-1 (90-1)


SPURS 7-4 (11-4)



ROCKETS 8-1 (10-1)


BLAZERS 20-1 (15-1)

GRIZZLIES 25-1 (20-1)

MAVERICKS 25-1 (20-1)

NUGGETS 30-1 (25-1)

SUNS 30-1

WOLVES 50-1 (25-1)

PELICANS 50-1 (25-1)

LAKERS 50-1 (25-1)

JAZZ 100-1 (50-1)

KINGS 100-1 (50-1)


bama mad

100 Things College Football Bettors Should Know – A Vegas oddsmaker’s outlook
Bookmaker says Oregon presents a different challenge than Stanford for Jeremy Langford and Michigan State.
By: David Purdum
Some Las Vegas sports book managers concentrate more on the business side of things and leave the in-depth player and team analysis to consultants. That’s not the case with Ed Salmons. The LVH SuperBook’s chief football oddsmaker can talk football.

Player for player, coach for coach, Salmons is considered by his peers to be one of the sharpest college football oddsmakers in Las Vegas. For this week’s edition of “100 Things College Football Bettors Should Know,” he visited with The Linemakers on Sporting News’ David Purdum about his power ratings, teams he likes and the early action on the LVH’s college football market

1. Limit bets: Season win totals

The SuperBook took $1,000 limit wagers on their season win totals that were released at 3 p.m. PT Sunday. By Monday afternoon, 14 teams had attracted multiple limits bets on one side of their win total. Below is a list of those teams with their opening odds and number of limit bets in parenthesis.

— Ole Miss 8.5 -120u (four UNDER bets)
— Northwestern 7.5 -130o (four UNDER bets)
— North Carolina 8.5 -130o (three UNDER bets)
— South Carolina 9.5 -130u (three OVER bets)
— Oregon 10.5 -180o (two UNDER bets)
— UCLA 9.5 -110 (two OVER bets)
— Georgia 9.5 -140o (two OVER bets)
— Michigan State 9.5 -140o (two OVER bets)
— Texas 7.0 -110 (two OVER bets)
— Nebraska 8.0 -160u (two OVER bets)
— Iowa 8.0 -120o (two OVER bets)
— TCU 8.0 -120o (two UNDER bets)
— Missouri 7.5 -110 (two OVER bets)
— Washington 9.0 -140o (two UNDER bets)

All of the LVH’s opening win totals, Games of the Year lines and odds to win conferences are listed in document below (h/t

2. There’s a significant gap between the Florida State Seminoles and everyone else.

“We ran down their schedule, and going off our numbers, the smallest spread they’re going to have is 18.5,” Salmons said of Florida State. “At the end of the year last season, they were at a historical (power rating) level. This year, we have them 4.5 points higher than any team in the country.”

After Florida State, Alabama is No. 2 in Salmons’ power ratings, followed by Oregon, Baylor, Auburn, Georgia, Oklahoma, LSU, South Carolina and UCLA.

3. Five teams Salmons likes

— Ole Miss: “I like Ole Miss a lot,” said Salmons. “I think last year had unrealistic expectations with this team. Last year at this time, Ole Miss was getting a lot of publicity. This year, I haven’t heard a word at all about them. I think this is really the year Ole Miss rises, maybe not to the Auburn level of last year, but I think they’ll be better.”

— Northwestern: “I think Northwestern only has one way to go this year,” Salmons said. “You go through their schedule last season, and I can point to several games that they lost that they easily could have won. They should have beaten Ohio State and should have beaten Nebraska and Michigan on the road. Plus, they had a zillion injuries last season. They had a lot of bad things happen to them. I really like (Pat) Fitzgerald as a coach and really expect them to bounce back strong this year.”

— TCU: “If you watch their games last season, even the games they lost, they were the better team,” Salmons said. “Against Texas Tech on the road, I think every call went against them and they played awful, but just watching the game, you could tell (TCU) was the better team. There’s not any reason not to like TCU this year. Everything points positive for them.”

— Baylor: “Baylor plays to a high number,” said Salmons. “I’m surprised that everyone is kind of sleeping on Baylor. I don’t see why they’re not going to just pick up from where they left off from last year.”

— Cal: “I don’t think Cal can be that bad again,” said Salmons. “I like Sonny Dykes. I think he’s a good coach. If you look at Louisiana Tech, their improvement (under Dykes) from year one to year two was pretty big. And I expect the same this year with Cal.”

Salmons’ high opinion on Cal can be seen in his point spread on the Nov. 13 game at USC. The Golden Nugget has USC listed as a 34-point favorite. Salmons opened USC -21.5. Middle, anyone?

4. Teams that made the biggest improvement in Salmons’ power ratings

— Florida: The Gators moved up 13.5 points from the end of last season in Salmons’ power ratings. “Some of that is because where they ended last season was amazingly low,” he said.

— Georgia: “We have Georgia up nine-and-half points from where they were at the end of last season,” Salmons said. “They had so many injuries last year. I think they lost four receivers and seven players on defense, and the running back was hurt.”

5. Teams that fell the most in Salmons’ power ratings

— Alabama: The Crimson Tide dropped six points from their end-of-season power rating last year to this season, but remain No. 2 overall.

“Our stance on Alabama was that we were lowering them, because it’s difficult for them to score a lot of points to cover their big spreads, because they just don’t snap the ball enough,” said Salmons. “Until Alabama is willing to accept to play no-huddle, they are going to fall. Alabama’s recruiting classes are just so ridiculous, but they still want to play this 1970s’ style of football that is so counter-productive. If Alabama played Auburn in a game in which you had to huddle and let the defense make all the substitutions and raise their hands up when they were ready, who knows how many points Alabama would beat Auburn by. It’s silly to me.”

— Missouri, Texas A&M and Arkansas State also took notable steps back in Salmons’ power ratings.

6. Florida International is Salmons’ lowest power-rated team, followed by Eastern Michigan, New Mexico State, Idaho and Texas-El Paso.

7. Early Games of Year action

The majority of the early action on the SuperBook’s Games of the Year, according to Salmons, came from players betting middles and scalps against lines that were available at the Golden Nugget and CG Technology’s books, which also have college football lines up. Here are a couple early line movements at the SuperBook:

— Baylor at Oklahoma, Nov. 8: Opened: OU -4.5, Monday line: OU -6.

— TCU at Texas, Nov. 27: Opened: Texas -3, Monday line: Texas -4.5

8. Michigan State at Oregon, Sept. 6

Out of all the Games of the Year lines posted at the SuperBook, the opening point spread on the Michigan State-Oregon game attracted the biggest reaction on Twitter. The Ducks opened as 15-point favorites.

“We have Michigan State down a point-and-a-half from last year,” said Salmons. “They lost half of their defense. I’m still anti-Big Ten. Against a team like Michigan State, I think the speed of Oregon can be a little overwhelming. Michigan State had the perfect matchup against Stanford (in last season’s Rose Bowl). Stanford played that slow, methodical, run-a-play, huddle. Then you play Oregon, which is a track meet. You can scout it all you want, but until you see it. Most of the Pac-12 have played Oregon and this particular style for three years, and still there’s some that just can’t keep up with it. If Michigan State can play with these guys, I’ll be amazed.”

9. Most overall bets to win national championship at the SuperBook

1. Ohio State

2. Alabama

3. LSU

4. Michigan State


10. Most money bet to win national championship at the SuperBook

1. Alabama

2. Auburn

3. Florida State

4. Ohio State



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