Updated September 18, 2023 - 7:15 pm
Bettors rode Colorado and coach Deion Sanders to easy back-to-back covers as they dealt a blow to sportsbooks to start the college football season. But the money train came to a screeching halt Saturday against Colorado State.
The Buffaloes rallied for a thrilling 43-35 win over the rival Rams in double overtime after trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter. But they failed to cover as 23-point favorites as sportsbooks took back a big chunk of their losses on Colorado.
“That was our best result of the season so far,” Caesars Sportsbook lead college football oddsmaker Joey Feazel said. “Second was the Duke-Clemson game (in which the Blue Devils upset the Tigers 28-7 as 13-point underdogs).
“This one wasn’t nice for bettors. I thought their first challenge would be this week (against Oregon). I have a feeling we’re going to need whoever plays Colorado in every game the rest of the year.”
Colorado State, which was 9-1 on the money line, also delivered substantial wins to Station Casinos and the Westgate SuperBook despite the fact that the game soared over the total of 63.
“The Colorado game was huge for us,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “Having it go over was not. But having Colorado win but not cover and not have Colorado State winning on the money line ended up being a huge game for us.
“It caused me to stay up to midnight. I’m not used to staying up that late anymore.”
Said SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay: “It felt like every parlay out there had Colorado in it.”
Sharps on Oregon-Colorado
Esposito said the Colorado game drew the biggest college football betting handle, or amount wagered, for the second straight week and he expects Saturday’s showdown between the No. 19 Buffaloes and No. 10 Ducks to generate another massive handle.
Oregon was a 14-point home favorite on the lookahead line last week at Caesars, which reopened it at -17½ before the number shot up to -21.
“We took a lot of sharp action on Oregon,” Feazel said.
Colorado will be without injured two-way star Travis Hunter, who Feazel said is worth about three points to the spread.
“Not having Hunter hurts a lot,” Esposito said. “Hunter is a game changer and they were exposed quite a bit. Colorado State did those underneath crossing routes all night long.”
Kornegay isn’t so sure bettors will continue to pound Colorado on this one.
“Since they didn’t cover, that really slows the momentum. A lot of people like to ride that wave until they don’t,” he said. “Not to mention they were a 23½-point favorite and didn’t look like it. They just looked average.
“I believe the Colorado-Oregon game will be fairly balanced.”
Biggest line moves
Oregon opened at -21 at Circa on Sunday morning and the line hasn’t moved. But 16 other lines have moved by three points or more.
The biggest move saw Tennessee soar from -13 to -20 over Texas-San Antonio.
Here are some other major moves:
■ Georgia -37 to -42½ over Alabama-Birmingham
■ Fresno State -23 to -28 over Kent State
■ Georgia Tech +8 to +3½ over Wake Forest
■ Syracuse -9 to -13½ over Army
■ Arizona -8 to -12½ over Stanford.
In notable matchups, Ohio State inched up from -3 to -3½ over Notre Dame and UCLA moved from +7 to +5 over Utah.
Also, Texas-El Paso moved from +4 to +2½ over UNLV.
New show at South Point
The South Point has launched a new livestream show, “Sports by The Book,” at the South Point Studio located near the sportsbook. The show, available at southpointstudio.tv, is hosted by Jeff Parles and features veteran oddsmakers Jimmy Vaccaro, Chris Andrews and Vinny Magliulo.
Upcoming shows are scheduled for 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday.