It’s been another hectic week on the line moves as the 2018 college football season enters Week 9. We haven’t seen big number shifts at this point, but several games moved off the key number three, which tends to be an uncommon practice among sportsbooks. We also had a handful of games jump fence in the early part of the week, most notably in the Big Ten matchup between Purdue and Michigan State. Fresh off a huge upset of No. 2 Ohio State, the Boilermakers opened as a 1-point favorite, only to see the line shift the other way in a matter of about 20 minutes. That quick move tells us more about the Buckeyes than it does the Boilers.
The only top-10 matchup of the week is a doozy between No. 9 Georgia and No. 7 Florida with first place in the SEC West up for grabs. The Dogs opened at -6.5 and briefly got up to -7.5 before settling back at the opening number. The money is evenly split which is a sign that the oddsmakers nailed this one. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest movers in early Week 9 betting action at BookMaker.eu.
Week 9 Major Line Moves
Miami, Florida at Boston College
Opening Line: Miami -1.5
Current Line: Miami -4
Both teams are still alive in their respective divisions in the ACC and the outcome will significantly impact their chances. The Canes didn’t play last week, using the down time to lick their wounds after an upset loss to Virginia as a 7-point favorite. Sharp bettors are counting on Miami to bounce back from that ugly outing, and they’re also looking at Malik Rosier back under center. Coach Mark Richt announced the change this week after N’Kosi Perry threw two picks and was benched when the Canes scored their fewest points of the year. Playing at home and getting leading rusher AJ Dillon back should help the Eagles, who went from +1.5 to +4 on the college football betting line, despite getting a majority of public backing on the early line.
Illinois at Maryland
Opening Line: Maryland -15.5
Current Line: Maryland -18
The Terrapins stunk last week in a shutout loss at Iowa. The Illini have been stinking up the joint all season. So it isn’t a big surprise to see the line spike from the Terps -15.5 to -18. The whole ‘us against the world’ approach has worked for interim coach Matt Canada, who has exceeded expectations considering all that’s happened in College Park. The Terps have been good against unranked teams, and the Illini fall in that category. Maryland’s last two losses have come against nationally ranked Michigan and Iowa. Not counting their letdown against Temple, the Terps have cleaned up against non-ranked competition and they have a win over Texas, which has moved to No 6 in the polls.
Purdue at Michigan State
Opening Line: Purdue -1
Current Line: Michigan State -1.5
Four wins in a row, including an impressive 29-point thrashing of then No. 2 Ohio State last week, should have everyone singing the praises of the Boilermakers. Instead, they surrendered points on the line and are currently a 1.5-point underdog against a Michigan State team that’s lost two of three and its leading receiver Felton Davis III to an Achilles injury. The line favors Sparty right now, but given how volatile it’s been since hitting the board, it’ll probably change by the time this article gets posted. The biggest obstacle facing Purdue is a letdown after taking care of the Buckeyes. But considering the Boilers’ three losses were by a combined eight points, it’s hard to say this team is overachieving.
Notre Dame vs. Navy
Opening Line: Notre Dame -21.5
Current Line: Notre Dame -24
If talent alone was the deciding factor in setting the line, the Fighting Irish would be favored by twice the amount they currently are. But you can never underestimate the heart of a service academy player. And the triple option has given teams fits over the years. Still, there’s no reason why Notre Dame shouldn’t cover the lofty spread. The current line of Notre Dame -24 appears to be the limit. The Irish were getting plenty of action on the opening spread of -21.5, causing the number to rise. The money evened out once the number got to 24 and we shouldn’t see significant changes from here. Since both teams are travelling thousands of miles to play this contest in San Diego, the total could be impacted.
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