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Majority of action backing Alabama as road underdogs Saturday
By ANDREW AVERY
Conference play certainly heats up in Week 5 of the college football schedule with the SEC front and center as a host of inviting matchups hit the board, including Alabama’s visit to Georgia where the Tide find themselves as underdogs for the first time since 2009.
We talk to Michael Stewart of CarbonSports and Peter Childs of Sportsbook about the action coming in on some of the biggest games from this weekend’s college football docket.
Alabama Crimson Tide at Georgia Bulldogs – Open: -2.5, Move: -2, Move: -1.5
Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide as an underdog? Is this the end of days?
The last time Bama was a dog was waaaaaay back in 2009 when the Florida Gators closed as a 4.5-point fave (Bama won 32-13) in Week 14. But Heisman hopeful Nick Chubb and the Dawgs are rolling into this SEC showdown leaving UL Monroe, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Southern in their wake, dismantling each en route to a 4-0 SU (2-2 ATS) mark.
Still, as Stewart points out, bettors love the Crimson Tide and have backed them in the role of the visiting dog here.
“The Tide is 1-1 SU against ranked teams so far this season and face the 4-0 (SU) No. 8 ranked Georgia Bulldogs,” Stewart. “We opened Georgia as 2.5-point faves at home but took nothing but action on the Tide to cover that number on the road, forcing us to move to Georgia -2 and eventually to our current number of Georgia -1.5. Alabama is still receiving the majority of the action with 67 percent.”
Mississippi State Bulldogs at Texas A&M Aggies – Open: -7, Move: -6.5
The Aggies will attempt the begin conference play with a 2-0 SU mark for the first time since 1997-98 and will look to start 5-0 SU in back-to-back seasons for the first time since pulling the double in 1940 and 1941.
Texas A&M has begun the season as a good bet as well, heading into its Week 5 tilt with Mississippi State with a 3-1 ATS record.
But the Bulldogs have had the edge at the betting window in recent head-to-head meetings, covering the spread in the previous two contests versus A&M.
“We booked sharp money on Mississippi State this morning, moving our line from Texas A&M -7 to -6.5 -105,” Childs. “While the sharps bet the dog we’re also seeing some public support on Mississippi State, but most of that public money was at +7. I’m assuming at 6.5, we’re going to see a decent amount of public money support the home favorite.”
Ole Miss Rebels at Florida Gators – Open: +5.5, Move: +8, Move: +7.5
The Rebels followed up a great performance against Alabama in Week 3 with a ho-hum showing against Vanderbilt one week ago. Ole Miss won 27-16 but failed to cover the spread as 27-point home favorites. It was the Rebels’ first ATS loss of the young season.
Action has been all Ole Miss and early line moves reflect that, but sharp action came back on the home dog and bumped the line back down.
“We opened up Ole Miss as 5.5-point road faves and took nothing but action on Ole Miss at that number forcing us all the way up to Ole Miss -8,” Stewart says. “We finally booked some action on the home dog that we respect moving us down to our current number of Florida +7.5 with 77 percent of the action on Ole Miss to cover.”
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Clemson Tigers – Open: Pick, Move: -1.5
Two unbeaten, popular programs in search of a National Championship playoff spot square off at Clemson Memorial Stadium as the Tigers host the Fighting Irish Saturday evening.
The Irish lost starting quarterback Malik Zaire in Week 2 but DeShone Kizer has stepped in and performed admirably, leading the Irish to wins over Georgia Tech and UMass.
Standing opposite Kizer will be a Clemson defense that ranked tops in the nation in total defense one season ago and is ranked in the top 10 heading into Saturday’s crucial showdown.
“We opened up Clemson pick’em and booked some really nice, two-way action on our opening number,” says Childs “But during the week we did see some sharp money bet Clemson and that pushed us to Clemson -1 to -1.5, with -1.5 being our current number. At 1.5, we’re seeing a bit more Notre Dame money but nothing severe. This is going to be a real good game for us as we’re seeing lots of two-way action. At this point we respect the sharp Clemson money but I do believe we’re going to see more and more ND public money as we get closer to game time. I see this game closing Clemson -1.”