10/24/2011 06:22 PM
College football odds: Week 9 opening line report
Call it the calm before the storm. The week before the week. The appetizer.
Whatever Week 9 of the college football season truly is, it won’t include LSU or Alabama. Those two BCS-hungry monsters both have the week off, as they prepare to collide on Nov. 5. (Please see below for more on that).
In the interim, though, we still have plenty of intrigue. Oklahoma and Wisconsin made sure of that as they both tripped up last week, opening the door for several teams to believe they have a shot at the BCS title game.
And one of those teams is Stanford.
“The only thing we control is how we work during the week and how we play on Saturdays and after that, great, if that puts us some place, great. If it doesn’t, so be it. We’re going to play hard, and we’re going to play aggressive and hopefully we’ll continue to get better.”
Those were the words of Stanford first-year coach David Shaw, and he better get used to that line of questioning. As powerful and precise as LSU and Alabama have been, it’s going to be awfully difficult for the Tigers and Crimson Tide to both make the national title game.
Oklahoma, with a soft schedule, seemed like the perfect dance partner ... until it lost. Wisconsin, in the soft Big Ten, seemed like a quality candidate, too ... until it lost. And while Clemson is still unbeaten and scoring points in bunches, not many expect an ACC team to be playing for the crystal ball anytime soon.
That leaves the Oklahoma State, Boise State and the Cardinal, who play host to an improved Southern Cal team Saturday at home.
“Stanford just keeps on cruising. Slow starts sometimes, but then they figure out a way to get it going,” Pete Korner of Esportclub, LLC, in Las Vegas told ***********. “When it comes to making their lines, we continue to have to use the highest number we have.”
Korner installed Stanford as 9-point favorite and so did Johnny Avello at the Wynn Las Vegas, the first book in Nevada to post college football odds every week.
Quarterback Andrew Luck has led the Cardinal to 10 straight wins of 25 points or more.
“He has it all,” Shaw said of Luck, “at his fingertips.”
And with that, let’s take a look at some of next week’s other marquee games. We'll give you Korner's line consultant group's recommended odds and the actual opening numbers at the Wynn.
Virginia (+14.5) at Miami
With the spotlight off their scandal for a few weeks, coach Al Golden and the Hurricanes have gotten back to business. Miami is now 4-3 after consecutive wins over North Carolina and Georgia Tech and may yet make a run for the ACC title game.
“I just don’t think Virginia’s in this game at all,” Korner said. “So, with it being a Thursday game, it will be heavily bet. So, we needed to go high. I don’t expect it to be close.”
The Sports Club recommended Virginia +17 but the Wynn opened just over the two-touchdown spread.
Illinois (+6) at Penn State
A month ago, Penn State was smarting after getting whacked by Alabama and barely getting by Temple. Now, as the Big Ten dominoes continue to fall, all of a sudden the Nittany Lions are in first place? Wow. Nice run. Bad league.
“I still don’t have a feel for Penn State,” said Korner, who recommended Illinois +5.5. “This will probably be a tight game, and I’m not a fan of Penn State yet. It’s kind of a bland line, but we didn’t want to be too far out there.”
Michigan State (+5.5) at Nebraska
Count the Spartans and Cornhuskers as teams who believe they have a chance in the Big Ten now, too. Michigan State has recovered well from losing to Notre Dame, setting up an interesting matchup in Lincoln.
“This will be a good game. Nebraska’s continuously getting money, even though this isn’t one of their best years,” Korner said. “This might be a letdown game for Michigan State. I don’t see it that way, personally, but we think the bettors will. This is a line that we’re not so sure where it’s going to go as the week progresses.”
Early bettors took the points right away forcing the Wynn to drop their number down to 4.5.
Oklahoma (-13.5) at Kansas State
One of the big boys was bound to fall at some point and there probably aren’t a ton of people out there surprised to discover Oklahoma fit the bill. Now, it’s up to coach Bob Stoops to see how they bounce back against an electric Wildcats team.
“Coming off a loss, yes, but we still kept it at a high number for Oklahoma,” said Korner, who sent out OU -15. “I think Kansas State can play, no question, and this will be tight, and volatile for a while. But it’s a fair number, and Oklahoma can hit it if they play well.”
Baylor (+18) at Oklahoma State
The Cowboys not only seem to be in the driver seat for the Big 12 title, but they even have a distinct shot at the national championship game now. How long those chances last, still remain to be seen. But no matter what happens in December, Oklahoma State still has to take care of business on October.
“Now, they have everything in front of them and things really broke well for them,” Korner said. “Knowing that, I expect them to play big here. Really big.”
The Sports Club sent out a larger spread (+20) than what the Wynn opened and it seems the early bettors think the Bears are live dogs in this one. The Wynn was dealing Cowboys -16 late Sunday.
Iowa State (+17.5) at Texas Tech
We wouldn’t normally signal out this game as marquee, but we owe it to the hangover players out there to see just how coach Tommy Tuberville and Texas Tech respond after the upset of Oklahoma.
“I don’t have a good feel for these teams. We expect good play here in a conference game, and it will be high scoring and exciting,” Korner said. “But Texas Tech should take care of business.”
Korner's group recommended at smaller spread (+14) and that seems to be the way the line will move. The Wynn dropped down to TTU -16 shortly after opening.
South Carolina (-6.5) at Tennessee
Steve Spurrier clearly doesn’t have the talent that the elite SEC teams have this season, but he may have the best collection on the East side of the league and should be able to get to Atlanta for the conference title game.
“As SEC matchups go, this is not a great game,” Korner said. “We stuck it at a touchdown, as South Carolina is always capable of laying an egg. They do have the talent to pull away, certainly, but you never know.”
This one got bet down right away, with the Vols getting just 4.5 points late Sunday at the Wynn.
Clemson (-5) at Georgia Tech
The inconsistent Yellow Jackets hurt this matchup a little with their loss to Miami. However, now that Clemson is truly in the national-title hunt, we’ll include the Tigers moving forward.
“Another one where we expect a high-scoring game,” Korner said. “I like Clemson, like the way the offense has been playing, and I easily could’ve gone as high as 8. I don’t see a letdown at all, and really expect to see a blowout.”
The Wynn didn't have this one posted with their opening spreads but offshore books went with a shortly line, installing the Tigers as 4.5-point favorites.
Wisconsin (-8.5) at Ohio State
Bounce Back, Part II. Quarterback Russell Wilson and the Badgers were stunned against Michigan State. This is the Big Ten though and anyone can recover, right?
“This is a good game, all of a sudden. Wisconsin, though, should really bounce back,” Korner said. “Ohio State is not Ohio State any more. And Wisconsin, even after a loss, knows they’re one game away from right being back in the middle of things. It has happened before. They know that. So, I do not see a letdown.”
Korner's group was bang on with the Wynn on this one but the line is moving down toward a touchdown spread.
Bonus Game: Nov: 5: LSU (+5) at Alabama
We’d be remiss not to mention the clash of the titans that is still two weeks ago, only because both teams have a bye, and also because books are already taking action on this mammoth SEC battle.
“We opened it at 6, and nobody is betting the home team,” Korner said. “Things have slowed down a bit. But all the money that’s been coming in, has been on LSU.”
Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: