Originally posted on Just Cover Blog  |  Last updated 9/25/12

Before moving on to the Week Five slate, lets do what we always do this time of week. Check out the future lines and see if there’s been any adjustments of note.

Last week, I took at look at the shifting odds in the Big 10 for some of the games the rest of fall. For the most part, those lines have remained steady. The games this week have moved a bit. MSU was -1.5 over Ohio State a week ago, but now the line is MSU -3. Nebraska was a 9-point favorite over Wisconsin at this time last week, but are now favored by 13 points in Saturday night’s meeting. Also worth mentioning, that Minnesota-Illinois line that was Illinois -13.5 over the summer, but unavailable last week at onlines with a games of the year board has finally been re-released by sportsbook.com. The chalkChalk is another name for the favorite team to win. has nearly been slashed in half, but the Illini are still being listed at 7.5-point favorites. I say book the Gophers on that now before it gets any smaller.

Lines continue to move against the Michigan Wolverines, however. The Maize and Blue are off this week, but open conference play next week at Purdue. Today, Michigan is slight -2.5 road favorites in that contest. That’s noteable because the line opened over the summer as UM -8.5. It was -6.5 two weeks ago, -4.5 last week and now it’s less than a field goal. Meanwhile, the Boilers have dropped from 20/1 o win the Big 10 to 7/1. Getting back to Michigan, their other two lines on the future board are the Nebraska and OSU games. For most of the summer, those lines had Michigan +3 in both. But a week ago, Nebraska was -5 and OSU -7.5 (up from -6.5 the week before). Today, the lines available are Nebraska -6 and OSU -8. Michigan is now significant underdogs in their two toughest road tests of the season.

Now that Notre Dame is 4-0, predictably their bandwagon is filling up. Their game with Miami in Soldier Field next week has seen the odds increase from ND -9.5 earlier in the year to ND -13 today. Their showdowns later in the fall at Oklahoma and at USC were expected to be routs. The opening summer lines reflected that with the listed odds being OU -12 and USC -14. But both the Sooners and Trojans have absorbed surprise losses in the early going, while the Irish are undefeated this late in the year for the first time in a decade. Predictably, those lines have shrunk. The current betting numbers are now Sooner -7 and USC -7 in their games with the Irish. Thats a full TD swing in that Trojan/Irish game. The other interesting note is the Irish host Stanford on 10/13 in whats looking like a battle of top-10 teams. The line for that game has yet to move. The Irish were 5-point chalkChalk is another name for the favorite team to win. in the summer. They remain 5-point chalkChalk is another name for the favorite team to win. today.

How about Oklahoma’s lines? We referenced their game with their Irish up above, but what about their other big games? Did lines move after viewers watched Kansas State go into Norman and choke the Sooners? Sure did. The notable one being the Red River Shootout with Texas. Played at a nuetral sight at the Cotton Bowl, the Sooners were -6 in the summer. Today, that line is a pick ‘em. There arent many things better than a coin flip spread in a rivalry game. And its not the only coin flip on the Sooners’ upcoming docket either. They travel to Morgantown in early November for a game with West Virginia that oddsmakers are now listing as a pick ‘em also. They had made Oklahoma short 4-point favorites over the summer. As for the Bedlam Game against Oklahoma State, that line hasnt moved much as sportsbook.com lists it as OU -8.5 after a summer line of -8. Two other things to note on the Sooners. They were listed as -17 at home against Baylor over the summer, but I cant find that game listed anymore. Their season finale at TCU was not on the summer games of the year board, but sportsbook.com today lists the Sooners as slight 3-point favorites right now for that December 1 clash.

Alabama is a whopping 31-point favorite against Ole Miss this week, the bigges spread in an SEC league game in over a decade. However, thats exactly what this line was over the summer when the Golden Nugget released their games of the year lines back in June. That lack of movement is in stark contrast to what we saw earlier in the month with the Bama-Arkansas line. Recall, that line was -6 over the summer, but as it became apparent how incendiary the tire fire that is John L Smith’s interim position leading the program, that line opened at -14 the week of the game before being bet up to -20 prior to kick. In the case of the Ole Miss-Bama game, everyone is pretty much what we expected them to be at this point, so there was no need to move the line. But what about Alabama’s other games this year? Two of those summer lines, the -24 vs Mississippi St and the -20 at Texas A/M arent being listed on the current games of the year board that I am aware of. The other four lines have moved. Some barely, like the game at Tennessee which has moved a smidge from Bama -17 to -18, others more significantly, like the Missouri line jumping from -14.5 and -21 and the Auburn rivalry game, which has ballooned from -18 all the way up to -28. Then, there is the LSU showdown in Baton Rouge on 11/3. Might it be the first of two meetings to settle the national championship? We could be headed that way, although there is a lot left to shake out. In the summer, oddsmakers made LSU slight home favorites at -2.5. Today, the roles have been flipped. Alabama is now chalkChalk is another name for the favorite team to win., and bigger chalkChalk is another name for the favorite team to win. than LSU was at the start to boot. For the presumptive game of the century, Alabama is currently listed as -3.5 at LSU. LSU is a rare home dog. The last time the Tigers were home dogs was just wo years in 2010 when they were +6.5 against the Tide and won outright 24-21. This year’s game is a mere 40 days away.

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