CFB Week 2 Pros vs. Joes: Sharps, public split on top-10 showdown
Before you make your college football bets this weekend, it's worth knowing which side other bettors are backing - especially on games drawing sharp action.
We talked to Jay Rood, Bet.Works' chief risk officer and theScore Bet's head trader, to see how sharps and public bettors are playing the Week 2 slate.
This game is one of only two ranked matchups in Week 2, and it's unsurprisingly drawn a ton of public activity leading up to kickoff. What may be surprising is just how lopsided the early action has been.
Ohio State opened as a two-touchdown favorite over Oregon after both teams squeaked past unranked foes a week ago. Early activity moved this line to -14.5, with bettors buying three times as many bet slips with an 8-to-1 advantage in money wagered.
The other ranked matchup this week is shaping up as an unconventional Pros vs. Joes matchup, with the public backing the road 'dog and the sharps laying the points on the home favorite.
As of Friday evening, bettors were placing five times as many bets on Iowa with a 5-to-1 advantage in parlay activity, too. Yet the straight-bet money keeps coming in on Iowa State, nudging this line from -3.5 up to -4.5 and possibly higher by game time.
"The public keeps coming in at every step of the way," Rood said. "They're benefitting from the continued sharp play."
When this game opened early in the week, East Carolina was a short two-point favorite and even climbed to -2.5 by midweek. It didn't last long, as the line has since flipped behind a flood of money on South Carolina.
Most of the money coming in has been on the Gamecocks -2, though bettors have targeted South Carolina on the moneyline (-130), as well. It's become one of the most heavily bet games of the week, particularly from sharps.
"We have grocery dollars on East Carolina and five figures on South Carolina," Rood said.
Another SEC team that sharps are lining up on is Tennessee, which impressed in its first game after a string of offseason transfers.
Big-money bettors expect a similar performance in this one against Pittsburgh, which was priced as high as -3.5 before sharps bought that number back down to 3. They've also taken Tennessee at +140 and have helped the Volunteers draw a 4-to-1 advantage in money wagered, even as the Panthers pull four times as many wagers with a near-even split in parlay slips.
"The public is kind of split on that game, leaning toward Pittsburgh a bit," Rood said. "But we've definitely seen large play on Tennessee."
Unsurprisingly, public bettors are backing Big Blue in this one, placing twice as many tickets on the Wolverines with a 5-to-1 advantage in straight-bet money wagered and a 10-to-1 edge in parlay bets. That activity moved this game from an opening line of 6 to its current mark at 7, where it'll likely remain thanks to some bigger plays on the Huskies.
"We've seen significantly stronger average ticket bets for Michigan," Rood said, "but there's still a little bit of desire to take Washington from the smaller sharps."