After working through the games in week one of the college football season, we identified a situation where the line might be off a few points, if not a touchdown. This is a situation that only provides clarity after the bet has been placed. In this instance, William Hill had the best line in town at Arkansas -21.5. Unfortunately, we were carded and William Hill limited our bet. We still placed the maximum that was allowed on Arkansas -21.5. The strange thing was that the bet was rather small and WH moved the line to -22.5 right after our bet. Later that day, an industry insider and good friend of Vegas Sports told us that our name is on their ‘sharp’ list (for what that is worth).
Knowing the resistance and the bet limitation placed on us at William Hill, gave us confidence that our work has been spot on. Therefore, we drove across town to the Westgate and placed an even larger bet on the Hogs. The Westgate had the next best line in town with the Hogs -22. The Westgate didn’t limit our bet or card us when the bet was placed.
The reasons why we like the Hogs in this situation are plentiful. Jeff Driskel to name one. Driskel was a transfer from University of Florida. He lit up the scoreboard last year for La Tech. He was a smart kid and chose La Tech as a landing spot because they had a good team around him. His homework paid off with a nice season and a bowl win in the New Orleans Bowl.
This year, the Bulldogs lose some of their best players along with Driskel. A lot of talent and experience has graduated the program. La Tech is still a solid program with a solid coach, but starting off the season in Fayetteville is a mighty task.
The Hog had one of their best seasons under Bielema last year. This team has won a lot of money for us over the last few years. Once again, the 2016 O-Line will be ginormous. Add in a power run game with an experienced defense and the Hogs should cover the number. The game will be played in the early afternoon, so the humidity in Arkansas (along with the formidable running game) will help to wear down the defense of La. Tech early in the 2nd half.
We expect a close game in the first quarter, but this game breaks open on a big run. It might be a 15 yard run on 3rd and 11 or a 60 yard dash. The lead builds slowly over the game with the Hogs pressing the opposition deep into the 4th quarter. We can see the Hogs building a 4+ touchdown lead at some point in the game. As with all big lines, the backdoor cover lurks.
Let’s not forget that Louisiana is prime recruiting ground for this SEC West power. We don’t like to guess at a final score, but see a solid cover for one of the larger week 1 bets that that we have placed in years.
We will have more about how our bet moved the Vegas line at a later date. Again, we never have claimed to be Billy Walters or a sports betting whale, but our information is excellent and our bets move the gambling line on many occasions.
As of tonight, the line has moved back to Arkansas -24.5. Now we have to decide whether to hedge or not. We’ll figure it out.
Arkansas -21.5 (William Hill)
Arkansas -22 (Westgate)