Once again last week, we found many opportunities in the early and opening lines that were no longer available later in the week, which made all the difference between winning and losing.
Off of the top of my head, we can look at the Boise-Idaho game which opened at Boise -33 1/2, sat for over a day at Boise -24 before settling in at Boise -36 1/2. Boise won by 35 for the second week in a row.
Timing on the Broncos meant everything. In the Ohio State-Illinois game, the line opened at 10 and within two days was at 9. Plus 10 was a push for Illinois backers and for Ohio State backers' patience paid off.
As we look to this week's lines, we're sure to see plenty of movement as well as we head down the closing stretch of the season. Changing spreads were no problem for Mark R of Delaware, who went a smashing 12-3 against the number with a site-record 99 confidence points to win this week's free picking contest.
We congratulate Mark, and while some may feel I may stress my enthusiasm for the contest too often, Mark says it was my encouraging everyone to join that got him to finally give it a shot. Of course, it cost Mark nothing and he wins a gift card from one of our sponsors for his accomplishment.
Well the lines are up and we see some real surprises out there, let's see what we have to work with this week.
On Tuesday 11/18/08, Northern Illinois is -3 1/2 at Kent. We have had plenty of chances to see both of these teams in recent weeks.
On Wednesday 11/19/08, Ball State is -6 at Central Michigan. Ball State looks to keep their dream of a perfect season alive.
On Thursday 11/20/08, Miami is +4 at Georgia Tech. With Miami's five-game winning streak, they now control their own destiny in the ACC.
On Friday 11/21/08, Miami (OH) is +3 at Toledo, Buffalo is +4 at Bowling Green, and Fresno State is -3 at San Jose State. This triple dose of college football makes for an exciting start to the weekend.
As we move into Saturday 11/22/08, Eastern Michigan is +10 at Temple. Temple has played decently and has been a factor in every game they have played.
Army is +17 at Rutgers. Both of these teams have played much better football in the second half of the season.
Illinois is -2 1/2 at Northwestern. This is one of many regional battles where the records aren't going to matter.
Pittsburgh is +4 1/2 at Cincinnati. This battle for the Big East may be one of the best games of the day.
Boston College is +1 1/2 at Wake Forest. Every game in the ACC seems unpredictable these days.
Indiana is +13 at Purdue. Joe Tiller says goodbye to the rivalry.
Michigan is +19 1/2 at Ohio State. It would have to be much more of a mismatch than this to take the luster off of this game.
Duke is +17 1/2 at Virginia Tech. This line seems to be rather large given the play of both of these teams this year.
See the rest of the week 13 opening lines, point spreads, and odds.