Earlier this summer, several sportsbooks in Las Vegas posted Games of the Year lines for select games during the college football regular season. I wrote about the Golden Nugget release in May and then my Stadium colleagues and I picked a game from the Westgate SuperBook’s selections that we liked.
Now with Week 1 in the books, it’s a good time to look back at the Week 2 odds and compare them with the Week 2 Games of the Year lines. It’s a good exercise to start your handicapping for the week because you can see what kind of adjustments were made after each team played 60 minutes of football. If you think there was an overreaction with the current point spread, there could be a line value opportunity.
Here is a closer look at the 10 Week 2 Games of the Year lines that were offered by the Las Vegas Super Book:
Marshall at Boise State (-10.5)
Game of the Year line: Boise State (-10)
The Marshall-Boise State line includes a small adjustment if you compare the current market with the Game of the Year number. However, Boise State re-opened as a 12-point favorite on Sunday in this contest and it has bet down. I agree with the line move against Boise State. This could be a letdown game for the Broncos coming off a cross-country trip and upset win over Florida State in Week 1. Boise State rallied from an 18-point deficit to get the win, so I would only look towards betting Marshall if I had to play this game.
Nebraska (-3.5) at Colorado
Game of the Year line: Nebraska (-9)
This line changed dramatically after Nebraska didn’t look impressive in a 35-21 home win against South Alabama. The final score could’ve been closer, as the Cornhuskers scored two defensive touchdowns and added a punt return for a touchdown. Only averaging 4.2 yards per play on offense against South Alabama is concerning and likely the reason the line is closer to a field goal after opening Nebraska -7.5 on Sunday. However, it could be a time to buy low on Nebraska if you still believe in them.
California at Washington (-14)
Game of the Year line: Washington (-12.5)
Not much of an adjustment here, as both teams played FCS schools in Week 1. The over/under is 43, so I wouldn’t want to bet on Washington to cover a two-touchdown spread with such a low total.
Stanford at USC (-2.5)
Game of the Year line: USC (-5)
There has been a much-needed adjustment in this game with USC quarterback JT Daniels tearing his ACL in Week 1. Stanford has a quarterback injury concern of their own: K.J. Costello missed the entire second half of Week 1 after taking a shot to the head. I would stay away from this game with Costello’s status up in the air.
Miami (-4.5) at North Carolina
Game of the Year line: Miami (-6.5)
Miami lost but covered in Week 0 against Florida. Meanwhile, North Carolina won outright as 11.5-point underdogs against South Carolina in Charlotte. This could be a good opportunity to fade North Carolina and true freshman quarterback Sam Howell after a huge win in Week 1. I also like that Miami has an extra week to prepare for this game, but I want to see if this number gets lower before getting involved with this game.
LSU (-5) at Texas
Game of the Year line: Pick ‘em
Another big adjustment here compared to the July number; however, LSU ended up being close to a field goal favorite for this game before Week 1. I agree with the adjustment on LSU because I think Texas is currently overvalued in the betting market. I wouldn’t bet on the favorite at the current point spread, but would only look towards the Tigers in this spot.
Arkansas at Ole Miss (-6.5)
Game of the Year line: Ole Miss -3
Despite averaging 3.3 yards per play in Week 1 against Memphis, Ole Miss has gone up from a field goal favorite to close to a touchdown chalk in their SEC opener against Arkansas. The main driver for this move is likely Arkansas narrowly defeating FCS program Portland State 20-13 in Week 1. This game will be one to pass on watching and to pass on betting for me.
West Virginia at Missouri (-14)
Game of the Year line: Missouri -12.5
Missouri was a team I liked before the season started, so losing straight up as a 17.5-point favorite to Wyoming was discouraging. Two red-zone turnovers by Missouri and a Wyoming defensive score were the plays that swung the game in the Cowboys’ favor. West Virginia beat James Madison by a touchdown and it appears it will be a rebuilding year in Morgantown. Given all that information, I agree on the small line move towards Missouri. The Tigers were as low as a 10.5-point favorite in some spots on Sunday so they have received most of the early betting action in this matchup.
BYU at Tennessee (-3.5)
Game of the Year line: Tennessee -3
This appeared to be a good spot to bet on Tennessee before the season started. BYU would be traveling to Knoxville the week after playing rival Utah and the week before a home date against USC. The confidence in betting on Tennessee may have shrunk after losing as 24.5-point underdogs to Georgia State in Week 1. As crazy as it sounds, I would still look towards betting Tennessee if this line goes to -3 or less. It’s hard to pass up taking a SEC program at home against BYU at a short number.
Texas A&M at Clemson (-17.5)
Game of the Year line: Clemson -18.5
I covered the difficult Texas A&M schedule back in May and this is their first of four tests as over a touchdown underdog. It seems like a big number for a matchup between the No. 12 and No. 1 teams in the country, but I’m going to treat Clemson how I treated Alabama last year and not bet against them. It’s either the favorite or pass for me.