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CFB Week 6 big games: The importance of market entry

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Market entry is defined as the point at which you bet on the game and the number on the point spread that you get. It's arguably the most important thing to becoming a profitable sports bettor. Two weeks ago, Kansas opened at -9.5 against Duke, but by the time that week's article went live, the line was -7.5 and eventually dipped down to -7.

If you read our weekly lookahead to the biggest games in college football, and it inspired you to make a bet, you won because you had a good point of market entry. If you read this, went back in time, and bet Kansas -9, you lost, but at least you have a time machine, which should be a profitable invention, so that's awesome.

We followed up a 5-1 Week 4 with a solid 5-3 record during a Week 5 that had a ton of big games. This week, there's less to choose from in big games, since the Red River Showdown isn't what we thought it might be.

No. 17 TCU @ No. 19 Kansas (+7.5, 67.5)

Every week that Kansas has played an FBS school this season, we've bet on them to cover the spread. They've never let us down. But we're in the money-making game here, and it's time to momentarily jump off the Jayhawks, even after we collectively dragged College GameDay to Lawrence this week.

In fact, the opening line of -5.5 should have triggered a play on TCU. There's just one team that has averaged more yards per play on offense this season: Ohio State. Meanwhile, the Horned Frogs' defense is 23rd in yards per play against.

Kansas's wins have been great - for Kansas. But TCU is a team we had pegged as a dark horse Big 12 champion this season, and it's lived up to those hopes. The TCU coaching staff has the tape to study Jalon Daniels' tendencies, as he was slowed by Iowa State last week. However, with the line crossing over the key number of -7, there's no reason to enter the market with a bad number, and we'll have to show some discipline here.

Line outlook: Pass

No. 8 Tennessee @ No. 25 LSU (+2.5, 64)

One of the underlying stories of the season when it comes to potential big matchups is a close loss early in the year taking some prestige out of a later game. LSU should probably be undefeated, but a brutally close loss to Florida State in the opener means Brian Kelly's group is just barely ranked. However, a home win for the Tigers would make life in the SEC West interesting.

Tennessee is undefeated and has the top-10 ranking to go with it. The Vols are also 10th in the country in net yards per play, with both the offense and defense of a contender.

They opened as 3.5-point favorites on the road, but like the game above, this line has crossed a key number. Unlike the TCU-Kansas game, this move creates a bet.

If the Vols want to set up a showdown game with Alabama next week, and if Hendon Hooker is truly the Heisman candidate we hoped he would be, then they need to go on the road and win this game. LSU won't be able to win ugly, as they did at Auburn last week.

Line outlook: Tennessee -2.5

No. 11 Utah @ No. 18 UCLA (+4, 64.5)

Just as in the example above, it would be nice if Utah was undefeated. However, unlike LSU, Utah is a worthy contender for the College Football Playoff this season. The interesting thing is, maybe UCLA is as well?

The Bruins didn't have much to boast about in their non-conference schedule, but they passed their first test last week. Meanwhile, it's been pretty easy for Utah since their loss at Florida.

I'm willing to admit this might be an exaggeration, but Dorian Thompson-Robinson was displaying some Louisville Lamar Jackson vibes in the Bruins' upset win over Washington. Given that Utah struggled with Anthony Richardson, it's not out of the realm of possibility that "DTR" will give them a headache.

UCLA's offense has been as advertised, but the defense has been surprisingly good, with 4.4 yards per play against compared to Utah's 5.3. We'll back the Bruins to surprise again.

Line outlook: UCLA +4

Washington State @ No. 6 USC (-13, 66)

Stop me if you've heard this one before: This could easily be a battle of undefeated teams. However, Washington State blew an 11-point lead with five minutes to go at home to Oregon.

We talked about how USC might be overrated before they almost lost to Oregon State. Then they didn't cover last week, even though I couldn't stomach betting Arizona State.

USC has moved up from being widely opened at -11 to -13, but we'll see if we can get a full two touchdowns before entering the market with a play on the Cougars - the team with the most votes outside the AP rankings.

Line outlook: Wait for Washington State +14, otherwise pass

Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there’s a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.

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