The college football season is just about over. The biggest game of the season is on the horizon with a Monday January 13 kickoff at 8 p.m. ET. Beyond that, we only have a few bowl games remaining and the FCS National Championship Game between James Madison and North Dakota State.
Sadly, in what will be the last College Football Market Report of the season, there is very little to report. The post-New Year’s bowl games don’t draw a whole lot of attention and are generally weak matchups. There was some noteworthy game day movement in the Gator Bowl after an initial wave of activity, but not much otherwise. We’re seeing the same in the Potato Bowl, but very little otherwise.
In any event, we’ll analyze the remaining games in our last College Football Market Report:
275/276 Ohio vs. Nevada – The Potato Bowl kicks off on Friday afternoon between Ohio and Nevada. Ohio took the early money in the game to go from 6.5 up to as high as 8.5. Some trickles on Nevada bumped the line back down to 7.5, but game day money is hitting the board on Ohio. The markets are mostly 8.5 and 9 once again now. The total initially moved up from 57.5 to 59, but we’re seeing more over money now with a perfect weather forecast in Boise.
277/278 Tulane vs. Southern Miss – Tulane has been sitting -7 and the total has been sitting 56.5 for a long time for the Armed Forces Bowl. This is a very early 10:30 a.m. CT kickoff in Fort Worth, so this one will be done and over with a long time before the Wild Card games get going. There really is very little to report. A few books are sitting with extra juice on Tulane.
One thing I can report is that Tulane took a lot of sharp money over the course of the season and hasn’t taken any here. That does stand out to me to a degree and suggests that maybe Southern Miss will be the side of interest for sharper bettors.
279/280 Miami (OH) vs. Louisiana – The Lendingtree Bowl is in Mobile, Alabama and takes over for the Dollar General Bowl. Louisiana has been a 14-point favorite throughout the bowl betting process, but there are some whispers that Mississippi State may be courting Louisiana head coach Billy Napier. We’ll see if that has any impact on the January 6 bowl game. Otherwise, there is nothing to report on this game.
283/284 Clemson vs. LSU – LSU took quick early money on the National Championship Game to go up to 5.5 across most of the market. Some places did open below -5, but most of them did not, so there isn’t a ton of exposure for most books on the LSU side. Clemson sharp money is likely to come in as kickoff approaches because this line would have been pick ‘em or Clemson slightly favored just 5-6 weeks ago and one game or two shouldn’t be this much of an overreaction.
It seems likely that this line will close 5 with the total likely somewhere in the current range of 69.5 or 70. Public over money will be very, very heavy on the game, but usually the sharp side tends to be the under. Given that we didn’t see any sharp money to get out in front of a potential total move, the implication here is that sharp money will hit the under when the line peaks or simply isn’t interested.