NCAAF line watch: Wait and watch Arizona-Utah spread climb


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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

Oklahoma State Cowboys at Baylor Bears (-27)

Baylor opened as a 24-point home favorite over Oklahoma State and early money quickly came in on the favorite pushing the line up to -27. I expect more money to come in on Baylor throughout the week, so this line could potentially reach the key number of -28.

Oklahoma State is a bad football team. The Cowboys have lost four straight by 33, 24, 34, and 21-point margins. Their offense scored 14 points or less in all four of those games. Baylor comes in fresh off its bye with revenge in its heart after losing 49-17 as a 7.5-point favorite at Oklahoma State last season. 

Lay the points now with Baylor before the line goes up to and possibly higher than the key number of -28.

Spread to wait on

Arizona Wildcats (+4) at Utah Utes

Utah was initially posted as a 3-point home favorite over Arizona and money quickly came in on the Utes, pushing this line up to -3.5 and even to -4 in some locations.

Arizona comes in off an uninspiring 27-26 home win over Washington, while Utah won 20-17 at Stanford as a 10-point underdog. The Utes have now played in seven consecutive highly-emotional games and they’ve been underdogs in five of those games, including four straight outings. 

Utah is now laying points in a bad situational spot, so the Wildcats hold the value as a road underdog in this game, especially if the line goes up higher.

Total to watch

Stanford Cardinal at California Golden Bears (61)

Stanford and California are built in different ways. The Cardinal win with defense while the Golden Bears win with offense. Stanford is only averaging 23.9 points per game on 5.8 yards per play. The Cardinal defense only allows 16.5 points per game on 4.1 yards per play.

California has a potent offense that is averaging 40.7 points per game on 6.3 yards per play. The Golden Bears’ defense is a sieve, giving up 39.7 points per game on 6.2 yards per play. Stanford is currently a 6-point road favorite, so the oddsmakers will likely shade this total lower based on the weak offense and strong defense of the Cardinal.


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