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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 12 slate.
All lines courtesy of theScore Bet.
The Golden Gophers were in this role last week when bettors piled on visiting Penn State before Minnesota pulled off the massive upset. This week, bettors are riding the road 'dog at a four-to-one clip in ticket counts and a seven-to-one rate in the money.
"Last week, we needed Minnesota pretty heavily," Rood said. "This week, we'll surely need Iowa."
Parlay activity also skews toward Minnesota, with four times the ticket count and 10 times the money on the undefeated Gophers. Sharps are buying what P.J. Fleck's team is selling, though it could also signal a run of public money before the game starts.
"We're gonna be big Hawkeyes fans by the time this one kicks off," Rood said.
The Bears are a stellar 8-2 as underdogs since 2018, though bettors are leaning toward the Sooners on Saturday. Since the College Football Playoff began in 2014, top-10 teams are 6-2 against the spread when favored by more than 10 points on the road versus a ranked foe, which bodes well for Oklahoma's playoff hopes.
Parlay activity is slightly in favor of Baylor, setting up this one as a bookmaker's dream with two-way action in prime time.
"Being a night game, that'll get a lot more attention," Rood said.
This game has taken a winding path to Notre Dame -7.5, where it'll likely rest until kickoff Saturday afternoon.
The Fighting Irish opened at -8.5, moved to -9, and reached -9.5 before a flood of Navy money pushed the line down to -7.5. Rood says there weren't any significant mid-week developments in the matchup to prompt the meandering movement, either.
Nonetheless, the Midshipmen - who are 85-42-3 ATS as road 'dogs and 24-15 ATS against Notre Dame since 1980 - are drawing bettors' favor as kickoff nears, and they're still getting love even at +7.5. Will it be enough to cross a key number before kickoff?
"I think we'll see enough Notre Dame money come in on this game to stay above (-7)," Rood said.
It might be the highest-ranked matchup on the slate, but bettors aren't rushing to the window for either side of this SEC affair.
Rood says his book has taken one sharp play on Auburn +3 as of Friday afternoon, which pushed the money to a two-to-one advantage for the home 'dog. Parlay bettors are more bullish on the Tigers, laying four times the money on them than on Georgia, so this line could tick down before kickoff.
C Jackson Cowart is a betting writer for theScore. He's an award-winning journalist with stops at The Charlotte Observer, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Times Herald-Record, and BetChicago. He's also a proud graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and his love of sweet tea is rivaled only by that of a juicy prop bet. Find him on Twitter @CJacksonCowart.