College football fans can use these tactics to bet like the pros

New York Post Sports 1 month ago

In recent articles, we’ve discussed how sharps bet numbers rather than teams. There’s rarely a clear-cut “sharp side” in a game. Pros will bet the favorite in one price range, the underdog in another. Market followers will be well-served to find the “sharp window” where sentiment flips rather than falling for the media trope of “who the sharps like.”

Let’s see if we can find the sharp window for Saturday’s college blockbusters matching ranked teams. Games are presented in kickoff order.

No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 Texas (in Dallas, 12 p.m., Fox): The first number up at Circa in Las Vegas was Oklahoma -10¹/₂. Despite the recent “underdog history” of the series, sharps still bet the favorite at that price. Pro bettors focus much more on team skill sets than point-spread trends when making their lines. The line has continued to rise to -11¹/₂, with some offshore spots even testing 12. We can deduce the sharp window ranges from Oklahoma -10¹/₂ or lower to Texas +12 or higher.

No. 1 Alabama at No. 24 Texas A&M (3:30 p.m., CBS): A Vegas opener of Alabama -18 dropped quickly. You don’t often see that when “public” teams such as the Crimson Tide are involved. Sharps appear to have made this number Alabama by 16 or 16¹/₂. A feeding frenzy sunk the line through the key number of 17 on the way down to a widely available 16¹/₂. We certainly know the wise guys love this home dog at +17 or better. We’ll have to see what happens if Alabama -16 becomes available.

No. 10 Penn State at No. 17 Iowa (7:30 p.m., ABC): The opener of Penn State -2¹/₂ didn’t last long. You regulars know three is a key number in football. Sharps want to lock that in their hip pocket when percentages dictate. The Nittany Lions rose all the way to -4 before any Iowa buyback. For now, there’s a very clear sharp window between Penn State -2¹/₂ and Iowa +4.

No. 7 Florida at No. 5 LSU (8:00 p.m., ESPN): Mixed signals. An opener of LSU -13 was bet up quickly to -13¹/₂ . That may have involved “position taking” against Florida because its quarterback played on a bum knee vs. Auburn. But ’dog money has been trickling in through the week. We may have a tight window between LSU -13 and Florida +13¹/₂ . Or, news of improving health for the “defensive dog” could bring the line lower. Reasonable “sharp window” edges of LSU -12¹/₂ and Florida +14 may not ever show.

It’s not a battle of ranked teams, but USC at No. 9 Notre Dame (7:30, NBC) will draw a big TV and betting audience. The opener of Notre Dame -10 was bet up to -11, where it’s stood pat. It’s safe to assume sharps would like USC at +11¹/₂ or more if squares drive this public favorite higher.

When handicapping, focus on each game’s sharp window so you can see betting markets more clearly.

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