Football Lines To Watch This Week - Monday Market Report
By: Don Best Staff
Monday, October 1, 2012
Brian Blessing and Todd Fuhrman take a quick look at the betting market this week with early analysis about spreads that have already moved, and some that could.
An SEC collision in Oxford, Mississippi where the Ole Miss Rebels host the Texas A&M Aggies is first up on the docket. Texas A&M opened as 8½-point chalk for its first SEC road game, but that number has been boosted quickly to an 11-point spread. Fuhrman points to several reasons why the number may have moved, from the Aggies' prolific offensive showing last week in a rout of Arkansas to the Rebels' struggles against Texas and Alabama.
"Texas A&M, though, starts a stretch with five of their next six games on the road," Fuhrman notes. "We'll know a lot more about them very soon."
The Pac-12 battle at Stanford between the Cardinal and Arizona Wildcats has also seen a sharp correction from the opening spread. The Cardinal opened as 12½ favorites before the line dropped as many as three points at some shops monitored by the Don Best Pro Odds. Both teams are coming off losses with Arizona losing a heartbreaker at home to Oregon State, 38-35, while Stanford was upset 17-13 on the road at Washington who was a touchdown underdog.
Oklahoma comes off its bye week that was preceded by a loss at Kansas State, and now the Sooners go to Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders and their top-rated defense. Tommy Tuberville's team is off to a 4-0 start behind a defense that ranks No. 1 in the country in total yardage (167.5 ypg) and fifth in points allowed (10.8 ppg). This game begins a string of five straight games against ranked opponents for the Red Raiders, while the Sooners have their big Red River Rivalry game with the Longhorns next week.
The Sooners opened as 7-point favorites vs. Tech before being bet down as low as -3½.
Another monster SEC game this week finds the LSU Tigers at the Swamp to take on the Florida Gators. Louisiana State opened -4 but was down to -2½ on Monday.
Turning to the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings come off a 20-13 win in Detroit on Sunday to host the Tennessee Titans this week. Minnesota is off to a surprising 3-1 start while the Titans come in 1-3 after being manhandled by the Houston Texans. Still, early money on Tennessee has pushed the opening 6½-point spread in favor of the Vikes down to 5-5½.
Fuhrman points to Minnesota's inability to consistently move the ball on offense as a reason why bettors don't think the Vikings can cover a 6-point spread.
One more NFL contest that has seen early movement is the matchup in Kansas City between the Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. The line opened Ravens -6½ with the number now down to 4-4½. The money on the home 'dog is a bit perplexing considering the Chiefs have started 0-2 at Arrowhead Stadium.
"When you don't have a defense," Fuhrman said of the Chiefs, "and you can't get the fans into the game, it makes things awfully tough. Kansas City has struggled in the first half against everybody this year. I think this is a pump-fake early in the week, and would be surprised if there's any real wise-guy money coming in on the Chiefs."