What's up with the betting line??

Submitted by Ziff72 on October 2nd, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Just wondering what people think of this betting line. This game opened up at even and has steadily rose to MSU -3.5 This seems strange based on the fact the overwhelming thought amongst the fan bases is WTF. No one seems to have a great read on the game. To those not in the know a line swing of 3.5 is enormous, especially considering the only real news to come out this week is that Tate is a lot healthier than originally expected.



October 2nd, 2009 at 9:55 AM ^

I think everyone's looking at State and going, "Hey... they're a lot better than 1-3 indicates", and then looking at Michigan and saying, "I'm not sure they're as good as 4-0". For whatever reason then, they overlap the two and come out with State way ahead. Nevermind Michigan beat their only common opponent, and State lost.


October 2nd, 2009 at 9:55 AM ^

On paper the two teams are practically equal, with Michigan having two comeback wins that could easily have been losses, and the Spartans having two last-minute losses that could easily have been wins.

The home-field advantage is generally worth 3 points. The extra half-point is because bettors don't believe that Forcier is really at 100 percent.


October 2nd, 2009 at 11:07 AM ^

Those are essentially equal. 2 plays where UofM succeeded and MSU failed are essentially the difference between our records being a lot closer. Close losses and wins (anything within a Td) are almost the same thing when trying to project into the future. Just like fumble recoveries, any team with an inordinate amount of close wins is likely to regress backwards, and any team with a lot of close losses is likely to get better. Now, I think people see the score of that Wiscy game and think MSU was in it, when they really weren't.

I know saying "if we hadn't jumped offsides we beat CMU" is a bitch excuse when talking about who has performed better, but it is a legitimate thought when evaluating a teams chances to win.


October 2nd, 2009 at 11:13 AM ^

The shoe was on the other foot last year. Last year, Michigan was an extremely unlucky team, with most of their close games being losses. Those kinds of games tend to even out over time.

Also, note that the Spartans have played 2 road games thus far, while the Wolverines have only played at home.


October 2nd, 2009 at 3:07 PM ^

Don't you think clock management matters? Don't you think having players that can execute a two-minute drive matters? Don't you think having some discipline matters? There's a reason some teams win close games and others don't.

I understand that fumble recoveries and fluke turnovers happen, but State had some good luck against ND (Floyd out) and against CMU (failed 2-point conversion, missed last minute FG). Yet, they manage to screw it up. There is a reason we say "Sparty NO!"

Steve in PA

October 2nd, 2009 at 10:11 AM ^

3 points is the difference between home and away in betting lines. What 3.5 means is that on a neutral field, this game is a pickem and on that same field Michigan was initially a 3 point favorite.

I'll still be taking the over.


October 2nd, 2009 at 3:25 PM ^

the only reason to bet on a new line is that it's more favorable to a bettor than the old line. so vegas either often starts with a line unfavorable to them and moves it, or it moves a line that is favorable to them. the former implies they made a mistake, the latter makes no sense at all. you're talking about the latter, it seems.


October 2nd, 2009 at 10:16 AM ^

It's simple, the home team traditionally is said to start at -3 if the teams are straight up equal. So... the line is currently at that spot where we are getting some love from the national media and people are confused on MSU. So if they leave it near -3 to -4 it really tempts the casual observer as well as both fanbases.

Flying Dutchman

October 2nd, 2009 at 10:16 AM ^

As I've heard several times - "Best 1-3 team in the country".

Hopefully the irony and backhanded compliment gets a little love. In my mind, State is welcome to be the "best 1-3 team in the country" every year. Hopefully they can compete with Notre Dame for that "title" many of those years.

I've also heard it about Purdue, but I don't hate them very much, so I let it slide.


October 2nd, 2009 at 10:18 AM ^

Lines move because there is significantly more money on one team. So if some fish really thinks he knows Tate is hurt, bam you get significantly more money on State. So the line has to move to get punters like you and me to bet on Michigan to even it out.


October 2nd, 2009 at 10:19 AM ^

how do you deserve respect when you get your ass kicked 7 out of 10 times for oh i dont know 70 years or so? whats disrespectful is to win one fucking game and act like its your first time drunk at a keg party. the line is about like the rankings. people are not sold on UM. probably fair considering our youth. i am however baffled as to why the line would increase with the forcast of rain and wind. state cant run the ball and relies so heavily on the pass.but they must be counting on the fact that UM ,at this point,can make indiana look like they are lining up jim brown on any given play.

sorry for grammar puncuation and such ,blackberry


October 2nd, 2009 at 10:42 AM ^

My hunch is that the line is also due to Molk being out. That's a big loss. Also first road game for a VERY young team. Michigan is still suffering from perception after last year as well. I say everything depends on how well Michigan's defensive line holds up, especially in the second half.


October 2nd, 2009 at 11:11 AM ^

It means that a lot more MSU money has come in than UM money, so they are boosting the line in hopes of drawing more takers on UM plsu the points.

Basically, there are enough sportsbooks, in Veags and off shore, and probably enough street bookies, that have a lot of one side action right now.

If Michigan wins this game outright, the Book will clean up big time. It will still clean up, albeit less so if Michigan losses by less than a FG.

I say it a lot, I've never met a cash poor bookie. I'd rather be on his side every time. I'm grabbing some of the action tomorrow. Just waiting for it to get to +4


October 2nd, 2009 at 11:50 AM ^

The line has swung 5.5 points since the open. That's a pretty big swing and it should tell you something. MSU fans (no single team's fans, really... maybe ND's) don't have enough money to swing lines like that. This should tell you something.

Section 1

October 2nd, 2009 at 2:17 PM ^

I thought this week's NCAA betting opened with a "No spread" on M-MSU, because the books didn't know about Tate's condition.

I didn't regard that as an "Even" situation; rather, it was a "no bet" status.

After that, I had thought the spread went from just MSU -1 to MSU -3.5. And that movement followed directly the news that Tate had been seen on campus with his arm in a sling.

I am just asking, really. And I'm supposing a bit, too.

I do very much agree with you that the public doesn't often see a swing of 5.5 points in the spread, other than in some of the most unusual injury/suspension/off-field-issue situations.

Captain Obvious

October 2nd, 2009 at 12:14 PM ^

means nothing. It is moved by people subject to the same information and biases that we see everyday. The more ESPN and local media chirp about "OMG UPSET ALERT," the bigger dog we become. Likewise, if all the media had been pounding the idea that MSU didn't stand a chance, we'd be a 7 point favorite. They have no inside information.

It's the same thing as the betting markets for elections that every political hack was touting as a "predictor" during the primaries. All the bettors did was aggregate the publicly-available polls and bet accordingly. They pretty much shut up about it after predicting an Obama victory in NH with 99.5% certainty then Hillary won by 8 points.

Watts Club Moz…

October 2nd, 2009 at 1:09 PM ^

Lines don't move that much off media hype. It takes the smart money players in Vegas to push a game 5.5 in a week. Those guys don't bet on emotion, they do it based off simulation software that tells them when a line is weak. When the sports books see those guys get down, the lines move quickly.

Captain Obvious

October 2nd, 2009 at 4:53 PM ^

my point is that the line is not moving based some secret insider info that UM is doomed. It is moving from hype and likely the reason you outlined above. We are some of the most plugged-in fans and have several insiders at our disposal on this blog. If there is any damaging information about Michigan out there we woud already know about it.

In other words, don't worry about our chances of victory changing just because the line moves - worry if you hear tangible bad news such as Tate not being able to go.


October 3rd, 2009 at 3:37 AM ^

so, to me, I think I agree with the spread, though at first it looks sort of odd.

And while I tend to feel MSU has a better chance here, in no way am I counting out UM. I'm more nervous about this game than ND.