Well, we missed last week tracking the three most popular bets on the college football card.
But each week throughout the rest of this college football season, we’ll take a look at the three biggest public plays on the board and speculate what the public sees and why they’re betting a particular side.
We’ll also be tracking these plays to see how Joe Public fares in betting college football.
Last Week (or, two weeks ago): 1-2 ATS
Season: 3-2-1 ATS
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BOISE STATE @ WYOMING, 3:30 P.M. ET
Open: Boise State -15
Current: Boise State -15.5
Public Betting %: 82% on Boise State
What they see: As one respected BTB Sports Betting Forum member pointed out, Wyoming is “one of the worst defensive teams I’ve seen in college football in a long time.”
Analysis: The Cowboys rank 99th nationally in total defense (463.2), but now they’re going up against a Boise State offense that has struggled immediately following the Kellen Moore era, ranking just sixth in the Mountain West in total yards.
The school fined and suspended coach Dave Christensen following his ridiculous post-game tirade at the end of Wyoming’s loss to Air Force, so you never know how a team will respond without its leader.
The Broncos’ defense should be enough to win comfortably, but there’s always the danger they look past the Cowboys in lieu of their showdown with San Diego State next weekend, and the forecast in Laramie calls for temperatures in the 30s and wind gusts of at least 15 mph.
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OHIO STATE @ PENN STATE, 5:30 P.M. ET
Open: Ohio State -1.5
Current: Ohio State -1
Public Betting %: 73% on Ohio State
What they see: The undefeated Buckeyes have the star quarterback (Braxton Miller) and they’ve been favored in all but one game this season, so getting them at close to a pick ‘em is more than appealing for most bettors.
Analysis: What a battle between two of the top candidates (Urban Meyer and Bill O’Brien) for the Big Ten Coach of the Year Award.
Ohio State has been struggling with weaker opponents the past two weeks, beating both Indiana and Purdue by less than a touchdown as huge favorites. But this team, which is only 3-5 against the spread, seems to play up or down to its competition, evidenced by a 63-38 blowout of Nebraska the week before.
O’Brien has done wonders with Penn State, which is on a five-game winning streak and has covered the spread in six in a row. Still, the Nittany Lions haven’t faced anyone even close to Ohio State’s caliber, and we’ll give a small lean to the Buckeyes in this one.
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USC @ ARIZONA, 3:30 P.M. ET
Open: USC -8
Current: USC -6
Public Betting %: 70% on USC
What they see: A lot of folks still have it in their heads that USC is one of the top two or three teams in the country, so getting them at less than a touchdown against a 4-3 Arizona team seems like a gift.
Analysis: USC has actually been one of the worst ATS teams in the country this year, posting a 2-5 record while continually failing to cover large spreads.
The Trojans finally got another cover last week by beating Colorado 50-6 as 39.5-point favorites, but do we know just how good this team actually is? They’ve been ho-hum in wins over inferior programs like Washington, Utah, California and Syracuse, and that’s not even addressing the upset loss at Stanford.
Arizona has the type of run-heavy, zone-read offense that can give defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin fits. The Wildcats might not win this matchup, but don’t be surprised if they hang close and are even leading late, especially with USC in danger of looking ahead to next week’s showdown with Oregon.