NCAAF Line Watch: Grab Arizona State’s spread now


USA Today Sports

Each week during the college football season, Covers Expert Steve Merril looks at the NCAAF odds and tells you which spread to bet now, which one to bet later and which total to watch as the week plays out.

Spread to bet now: Arizona State +3 (vs. Texas A&M)

There hasn’t been any movement on this game as of yet; Texas A&M opened -3 and that’s where the line currently sits. But I expect money to show on Arizona State in this game, so taking the Sun Devils at +3 now may be a prudent move to make.

My raw power ratings actually rate Arizona State slightly higher than Texas A&M, and I don’t think the Aggies should be given more than a point or two for home field since this game will be played in Houston. That means there is value on Arizona State based on my numbers, and since I think the two teams are basically even after adjusting for location, grab the +3 now on the Sun Devils before the line drops.

Spread to wait on: Bowling Green +20.5 (vs. Tennessee)

Tennessee opened as 21-point favorites over Bowling Green, and a little early money has nudged the line down to -20.5 in favor of the Volunteers. However, I expect money to come in on Tennessee from the public bettors closer to kickoff.

Bowling Green returns 10 starters from a fantastic offense that averaged 30 points per game on 433 yards of offense last season. The Falcons can score points, so that makes them a dangerous underdog in this pointspread range. This game will be played in Nashville, and that lessens Tennessee’s home field advantage. Wait and take Bowling Green +21 or more in this game.

Total to watch:  Wisconsin/Alabama 50

Wisconsin and Alabama are both similar teams in that they are heavily reliant on running the football and playing excellent defense to win. The total opened around 53.5, and it was quickly bet down to the current number of 50 which is fully understandable.

There are some major question marks on both teams coming into this game. Alabama is young and inexperienced (10 returning starters), but they are obviously super talented. Wisconsin has a new coach in Paul Chryst, and he only has 11 returning starters to work with. The Badgers also have offensive line concerns which will limit their scoring production. This game should be low-scoring, and there’s still value on the Under at the current number.

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