Every Sunday morning, smack dab in the middle of the early NFL games, the betting action hits a fever pitch at Circa Sports sportsbook.
But it’s not because of halftime or live wagering on NFL games. It’s because, for the second straight season, Circa is the first to market with point spreads and totals on college football at 11 a.m.
“There is high-intensity betting from 11 to 12, then it slows down and picks back up after the NFL games,” Circa sportsbook director Matthew Metcalf said.
Despite the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus this season, Metcalf said the action — which is 99 percent sharp money — has been brisk.
“It’s definitely harder, in terms of being an oddsmaker, under this environment. But to some degree, the players are at an equal disadvantage. A lot of guesswork goes into these numbers,” he said. “The action has been good, partly because we’re taking the same limits on the app that we were on the counter last year.”
Metcalf said the limits on the college football openers are $2,000 per side and $1,000 per total on the mobile app and at the counter. Last year, the limits on the app were $1,000 and $500.
Here are the biggest line moves in the first 24 hours after they were posted:
— Brigham Young soared from a 29-point home favorite to -34 over Texas-San Antonio.
The Cougars (3-0) have crushed their first three opponents en route to a 3-0 ATS mark, but Metcalf conceded the line move was mostly because he “didn’t know the quarterback for UTSA (Josh Adkins) got hurt.”
— Marshall moved from a 2-point road favorite to -6½ over Western Kentucky.
“I’m going to make a couple lines a week that the market disagrees on,” Metcalf said. “That’s probably the one I missed the worst on. Obviously the market thinks more of Marshall than I do.”
— Southern Mississippi moved from a 6-point home underdog to +2 to Florida Atlantic, which played its season opener Saturday.
“FAU hadn’t played all year until last week and now they’re going on the road,” he said. “I can see why they bet it down.”
— In the marquee matchup of the week, Miami was bet down to a 15-point underdog to Clemson after the line opened at 16.
“I kind of anticipated that. I’m putting up what I think is the sharpest number I can hang,” he said. “If that number gets low enough, I can see sharp money on Clemson -14½ later.
“Miami’s quarterback play is definitely an upgrade and they’re better than they’ve been in 10 years at this point. But the jury is still out based on their schedule. This is their first step up in class where they’re playing a real team.”
College football line moves
Circa Sports posts the opening college football point spreads and totals at 11 a.m. Sunday. Here are the biggest line moves in the first 24 hours:
Favorite; opening line; current line; underdog
Brigham Young; 29; 34; UTSA
Marshall; 2; 6½; W. Kentucky
Fla. Atlantic; 6; 2; Southern Miss.
Liberty; 22; 19; UL Monroe
Houston; 4; 6½; Tulane
Louisiana St.; 18; 20½; Missouri
Florida Int’l; 6; 3½; Middle Tenn. St.