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Veteran oddsmaker talks sharp college football action for Week 8

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Oklahoma State v TCU Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

The one and only Vinny Magliulo fills in for Chris Andrews this week with a look at sharp action in the college football betting markets.

It is an honor to fill in for my friend, Chris Andrews, and take the reins on his column for one day. Chris couldn’t make it today but will be back tomorrow for the NFL rundown. I often tell people that I work for WGN. No, not the TV Network, rather “Whatever the Gaughans Need.”

As Chrissy always says, we present the games in official Nevada rotation order. Thank you for allowing me to fill in on Week 8 in college football.

No. 17 Kansas State at No. 8 TCU (-3, 54)

I think some people might be surprised by this game. Both teams are 3-0 in conference play and this is for first place in the Big 12. We opened TCU -3.5 and the total 55. Initial money came in on the dog and the Under, so we’re at 3 and 54. They took Kansas State on the money line, too, and I’m down from + 170 to + 160.

Marshall at James Madison (-12, 51)

Of course, James Madison was undefeated prior to last week’s loss, but this team and this SunBelt Conference are starting to become more and more popular with bettors. We opened James Madison as two-touchdown favorites at -14. They took 14, they took 13.5, they took 13, and now we’re at 12. It’s been all Marshall to this point and all sharp play. They took + 350 on the money line, too. I expect we’ll get some James Madison money, but it may not come until game day. No movement on the total.

No. 14 Syracuse at No. 5 Clemson (-13.5, 50)

Great two-way game so far. I love this game for this reason, especially with Syracuse being undefeated. I remember Dino Babers commenting five or six years ago as far as the oddsmakers making them such big underdogs, “It’s not their fault, it’s not their fault.” But this game is getting two-way action on both the 13.5 and the total of 50. They did take a shot with Syracuse on the money line at + 400 and now we’re down to + 350. That was a more sophisticated play, but the side has really been a mix of wise guys and recreational play both ways.

Washington (-7.5, 56.5) at Cal

This is another game that has not moved off of the opening number and we are getting two-way play, but not too much action yet. You have to remember, this is the late game, a 7:30 pm Pacific Time start, so we will have plenty of business before they kick off on Saturday night. We did take a bet with Cal on the money line at + 250 and we moved Washington 20-cents, from -300 to -280. No movement on the total off of the opener of 56.5.

No. 9 UCLA at No. 10 Oregon (-6.5, 71)

From a business standpoint, I wish this was the late game and not Washington at Cal. If it was, it would be our biggest bet game of the day, but it will still be one of the biggest where it is in the middle of the day. Both teams are 3-0 in conference and the winner takes control of the Pac-12. This game has already had a lot of action. We opened Oregon -6 and it was going back and forth all week. Wise guys were taking 6 and they were laying 5.5. Just about an hour before I began drafting this, we went to 6.5 on Oregon and that was really just an accumulation of volume, not necessarily a sharp move. The total has been all over the place. We opened 69 and they laid it all the way to 72 before we started getting Under money and now we’re at 71.

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