Friday served as Christmas in June for college football gamblers, as the otherwise irrelevant Golden Nugget – subject of one of the biggest reality television letdowns in history – released early lines on their "games of the year" for 2011. (Props to ViewFromVegas.com for compiling these.)
Covers.com has subsequently updated the board with some of the major moves.
Here's a look at the opening lines for the OU games, complete with a comparison against my predictions and some thoughts:
Tulsa at OU (-21)
Notes: Only in the desert is this considered a "game of the year." If I had given a prediction on this one, this is exactly where I would've pegged it. Seems like three scores is about what the books always give these matchups of top AQ teams and solid mid-majors.
OU (-3.5) at Florida State
(Prediction: OU -3.5)
Notes: Nail meet head. As I also suspected, sharps bet this down to a field goal pretty quickly. OU fans need to realize that this is essentially a toss-up and that getting points at home with this year's edition of FSU is a solid proposition.
Missouri at OU (-13)
(Prediction: OU -12)
Notes: Again, pretty much in synch. OU historically gets revenge in Norman and does so ruthlessly.
OU (-8) vs. Texas
(Prediction: OU -7)
Notes: For this rivalry, this number seems a little high, doesn't it?
Texas A&M at OU (-7.5)
(Prediction: OU -9)
Notes: Vegas is definitely drinking the maroon Kool-Aid. If things hold true to form, this is the only game where A&M will be a 'dog this year. I'm still a little skeptical.
OU (-2) at Oklahoma State
(Prediction: OU -7.5)
Notes: Alright, I clearly misfired badly on Bedlam. Interesting to note that the linesmakers initially have the Pokes a point and a half closer to the Sooners than they do FSU. This is scary, Sooner Nation.
A few other observations from the day's activity:
*Georgia seemed to be the early darling. Every game moved UGa's way, and the sharp bettors clearly pounded the Bulldogs in the opener against Boise State. The Broncos moved from a 6 point favorite to a virtual toss-up at -1.5.
*Other squads getting some love: LSU, BYU, Clemson.
*In contrast to Georgia, the sharps must have faded Auburn with a vengance. Gene Chizik's fancy new contract extension be damned – that's a lot of Wilson's Leather – there's a lot not to like about Auburn this year. Still, that team has boatloads of talent.
*Michigan got killed, too. Presumably bettors see the lack of fit between the personnel recruited by RichRod and Brady Hoke's predilections.
*The lines provide a good indication of how exciting the opening weekend with Oregon-LSU and UGa-Boise will be.
*Be prepared for the onslaught of Notre Dame hype. The Fightin' Irish must have attracted a ton of money today, just judging by the line moves. ND is such a public team, but I wonder if the sharps are on its side this season.