College Football Picks: Best Contrarian Bets for Week 10

It’s time to examine the week 10 college football betting board and find some matchups that present contrarian value. If you are new to using a contrarian approach for sports betting then give yourself a primer by reviewing our first edition posted 6 weeks ago.

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As a refresher, the three steps we use for choosing contrarian sides to play are:

1. The public is heavy on one side of the game

2. The betting volume is high

3. The line stays at or reverses from the opening number (a good indicator of sharp money)

Looking at no. 3; you will need to continue to monitor line movement for a game you are interested in playing. Just because a line has exhibited reverse line movement doesn’t always mean it will always stay below the opening number. The public can be responsible for inflating the number back up after sharp money has hit. We always need to be paying attention to line movement to get the best number possible.

College Football Picks Week 8 – Contrarian Plays for Saturday

Akron vs. Bowling Green (2:00 p.m. Eastern)

Let’s start the day in a glamour matchup with 0-8 Akron traveling to 2-6 Bowling Green. Akron comes into this game having failed to score a single point against their last two opponents, but there is hope on the horizon. Akron will have starting quarterback Kato Nelson back from suspension, and Bowling Green is last in the MAC conference in defense. Bowling Green opened as 6.5 point favorites and have now dropped to 5.5 at some sportsbooks despite 73% of the public backing them. You can still find Akron at +6 if you shop around.

The College Football Pick: Akron +6

Army vs. Air Force (3:30 p.m. Eastern)

This service academy matchup has found some extra heat with Army head coach Jeff Monken telling President Trump that Air Force was “Not that Tough” during the acceptance speech for the 2018 Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy. Air Force come into this game with an impressive win over Utah State and opened as 15.5 point favorites against rival Army. Sharps felt this line wasn’t high enough and have pushed Air Force to -16 at certain books despite 65% of the public backing Army. Air Force is leading in all the right categories for this matchup. They are ranked 11th in the country against the run holding opponents to 92.8 rushing yards per game while ranking 2nd in rushing offense with 322.5 yards per game. Army comes into this matchup having been held to under 200 yards rushing in three games already this season.

The College Football Pick: Air Force -15.5

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Georgia vs. Florida (3:30 p.m.)

It’s finally time for the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” or at least that’s what I will always call it because my Xbox copy of NCAA 2003 labeled it so. Georgia opened at -3.5, and have increased to -6.5 despite only receiving 34% of betting tickets. This is a sure indicator of smart money continuously hitting the Bulldogs. There could be buyback from professional bettors if this line continues to climb, and it will be interesting to see if it reaches the key number of 7. If you are a contrarian bettor like me, then consider yourself lucky. This is one of those rare instances where you get to play the biggest game of the week. Two weeks ago, I was mimicking all of Will Muschamp’s mannerisms as South Carolina imploded and failed to cover against Florida. Hopefully this week Georgia will avenge me.

The College Football Pick: Georgia -6

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Rutgers vs. Illinois (3:30 p.m.)

We now return to the normal life of a contrarian bettor, finding value in a matchup regardless of how important it is on the national level. Illinois opened as 20 point favorites with 80% of the public backing them. However, smart money backing Rutgers steamed the line down to 18.5 before public money inflated the number back up to 20. Smart money feels this line is inflated due to the public overreacting to the Illini’s recent form. There is plenty of value to be had backing Rutgers at +20.5.

The College Football Pick: Rutgers +20.5

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Northwestern vs. Indiana (7:00 p.m. Eastern)

Last week Indiana became bowl eligible with their victory over Nebraska and opened as 11.5 point favorites against Northwestern. The line has since reversed down to 10.5 across the market despite 70% of the public backing Indiana. Some might assume that Indiana’s quarterback Michael Penix being questionable to start is responsible for the line movement, but this information was released on October 27th. It wasn’t until the 29th that the line began dropping, thus indicating smart money being responsible for the move. Northwestern’s pass defense is ranked 14th in the country and should keep the Wildcats in the game against a Hoosier team that relies heavily on the passing game.

The College Football Pick: Northwestern +10.5

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Image Credit: USA Today Sports Images

About the Author

  • James Ivy (LiverpoolReds)

  • James Ivy will soon begin his career as a history teacher. Ivy has always been interested in the forces that drive sports betting markets. His favorite sports to watch and bet on are soccer and Formula 1. When he’s not watching sports, you can find him behind a steering wheel sim racing or viewing films in the Criterion Collection.

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