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College Football Industry Report

College Football Industry Report

College Football Industry Report
By: Micah Roberts

Las Vegas sports books won a ham sandwich during Saturday's college football action, meaning they won just enough to literally purchase a ham sandwich, a term veteran bookmaker Jerry “Shoes“ Zimny brought with him from Chicago.

It was a grind throughout the day, winning and losing back and forth until the final game was posted early Sunday morning -- New Mexico beating Hawaii , 35-23, as a pick 'em, which turned out to be a small winner and the deciding factor for many bet shops.

Favorites went 26-23-1 against the spread Saturday, with only seven underdogs winning outright, the biggest of which was Tulane knocking off SMU, 27-26, as 18.5-point home dogs.

Iowa also took down 8-point favorite Michigan State, 19-16. Michigan State opened as 12-point favorites at The Wynn sports book last Sunday, dropped to -10 by Monday and slid all the way down to -7.5 by kickoff at some places. Sharps were on Iowa and won, while the majority of small money sided with Michigan State.

The sports books won on the biggest game of the day with LSU beating South Carolina , 23-21. LSU was favored by 3-points, and the books got equal action there, but they made their money off of South Carolina money-line wagers. They call it a bookmakers dream when the favorite wins but doesn't cover the number. The betting public loves to bet the favorite and when they don't, they usually take the odds on the underdog.

The win could have been larger in the game had it not been for ties-win parlay cards. The biggest dilemma every Wednesday for most sports books is deciding what number to use on their cards whenever a key number of 3, 4, 6 or 7 is involved. LSU -2 seemed like a safe number, since the game was 2.5 or 3 at the time, but wouldn't you know it, it landed right on it.

Had the tie landed on Air Force-Wyoming, no problem, but it's a big deal when it happens on the biggest game of the week that everyone wants to play and both sides turn out to be right.

Parlay card win percentage for the day was significantly less than all previous six weeks of college action. The cards are the bread-and-butter for the books on a weekly basis, with losses rarely occurring.

The biggest win for the books was West Virginia losing 49-14 as 4-point favorites at Texas Tech. One sports book director said, “West Virginia TKO'd the public.”

Several sports books got middled when Kansas State beat Iowa State, 27-21, meaning they lost on both sides of the moves. Kansas State opened as 5.5-point favorites, was bet up to -7, and then dropped back down to -5.5 and 6 by kickoff.

The Alabama Tide machine continued to roll at Missouri with a 42-10 win. Bettors moved Alabama from -16.6 last Sunday to as high as -22.5, with some small buy-back action by kickoff, settling the number at -21. The buy-back wasn't nearly enough to offset the early large action and the public fascination with the best team in the nation.

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