Hat tip to Beyond the Bets for catching that offshore site BetOnline has posted point spreads for all 44 games on the opening weekend of the college football season. Earlier this month, 5Dimes had taken the lead in posting lines for a handful of openers.
A few observations:
*Differences of opinion
The numbers posted by the two offshore books reveal a few notable discrepancies.
Alabama (-14) vs. Virginia Tech – The Hokies were getting more than three touchdowns from 5Dimes a couple weeks back. How often do you see that big of a difference, even this early?
LSU (-4.5) vs. TCU – At 5Dimes, this line came out at LSU -6 and was quickly bet up to 7.5. (Note that this was the spread even after the news of Devonte Fields' suspension.)
Oklahoma State (-6.5) vs. Mississippi State – 5Dimes is giving the Cowboys 11.
Florida State (-6.5) at Pittsburgh – Same deal as OSU-MSU. 5Dimes opened with the Seminoles as an 11-point favorite.
Maybe this is one book's way of telling the other it got a little overzealous with the favorites? Either way, looks like plenty of room for gamblers to shop for the best available deal.
*Lean times in Lubbock?
BetOnline makes Texas Tech a very short underdog (+1.5) in the Red Raiders' opener against in-state rival SMU. Tech might be the right side there, but it still sends a pretty clear message about the books' outlook for Kliff Kingsbury's first year as head coach of his alma mater.
*Speaking of rough first years...
In Mark Stoops' debut, Kentucky is favored by a mere field goal over Western Kentucky. That diabolical Bobby Petrino lies in wait.
They certainly don't have the same marquee effect as some of the other games taking place on Thursday night, but judging by the lines, Tulsa at Bowling Green and Rutgers at Fresno State present arguably the two most intriguings matchups of the first day of the season. That looks like a landmine for the Scarlet Knights, in particular.
*Lock of the week?
OK, so that's a stretch, but Oklahoma as 23.5-point favorite against Louisiana-Monroe? Granted, the Warhawks proved to be a little fool's good after a hot start to the 2012 season. Still, ULM coach Todd Berry is bringing a veteran team to Norman to take on a group of Sooners in significant flux. That just seems like too many points.