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Buffaloes bettors battered for 2nd straight week; Buckeyes lucky to push

Updated September 23, 2023 - 10:54 pm

College football is back. The Review-Journal’s David Schoen will track the biggest betting storylines every Saturday of the college football season.

Even before Colorado stepped on the midfield “O” at Oregon’s Autzen Stadium ahead of Saturday’s showdown, Buffaloes bettors were in trouble.

Ducks coach Dan Lanning was intent on exposing No. 19 Colorado as a team “fighting for clicks,” and No. 10 Oregon easily covered in a 42-6 victory.

After opening as an 18-point favorite at most sportsbooks, Oregon closed as anywhere from a 21- to 22-point favorite. The game stayed under the total of 71.

“Overall a good decision for our side of the counter,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said via text message. “Sharps were on Oregon (minus the) points. Public on Colorado especially on the (money line).”

Oregon raced to a 35-0 halftime lead, and Lanning said during his interview on ABC the Ducks were “not satisfied.” The Ducks were as big as 48½-point favorites on the live line at Caesars Sportsbook during the second half.

Colorado sustained its first outright loss after opening with victories and covers against Texas Christian and Nebraska. The Buffaloes failed to cover last week as 23-point favorites in a double-overtime victory against Colorado State.

The Buffaloes attracted 96 percent of the money-line bets and 71 percent of the money-line handle at BetMGM. It was a similar picture on spread bets, with 77 percent of the tickets and 72 percent of the handle on Colorado.

Following the blowout loss, Colorado’s odds to win the national championship soared from 60-1 to 150-1 at Caesars Sportsbook.

Buckeyes bailed out

Ohio State bettors were saved by video review following the go-ahead touchdown.

Initially, it appeared that Chip Trayanum’s 1-yard scoring run came with no time remaining, giving the No. 6 Buckeyes a two-point win at No. 9 Notre Dame. But after the play was reviewed and Trayanum’s score confirmed, officials ruled that one second remained on the clock.

That meant the Buckeyes, who were consensus 3-point favorites, had to kick the extra point. Jayden Fielding converted the try, giving Ohio State a thrilling 17-14 victory and the frontdoor push for bettors.

The total of 55½ was never in play.

Making it tougher for Notre Dame bettors, the Fighting Irish had 10 players on the field for Ohio State’s final play.

Wide left

College kickers, man.

Clemson bettors were the latest to feel the pain in a 31-24 overtime loss against No. 4 Florida State on Saturday.

Tigers kicker Jonathan Weitz missed a 29-yard try that would have given the Tigers, +110 underdogs at South Point, the lead with 1:45 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Weitz is a graduate student who quit the team during the preseason after serving as the backup kicker for four seasons, but returned when Clemson had issues in the kicking game during its first three games.

“Dabo (Swinney) said yesterday this is either going to be a great story, or terrible,” play-by-play announcer Sean McDonough said about the Clemson coach during the broadcast.

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Keon Coleman in overtime to take the lead, and the Tigers were unable to convert on fourth-and-2 when quarterback Cade Klubnik threw incomplete.

Seminoles linebacker Kalen DeLoach forced a fumble and returned it 56 yards for the tying touchdown with 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

Clemson had not lost to Florida State straight-up since 2014.

Lackluster Wolverines

No. 2 Michigan continues to underwhelm at the betting window.

The Wolverines pulled away in the second half for a 31-7 victory over Rutgers, but pushed as 24-point favorites after opening as 26-point chalk. Michigan has not covered the spread in any of its four games and needed an interception return for a score in the third quarter to help get the push against the Scarlet Knights.

Rutgers drove to the Michigan 19-yard line in 10 plays but turned over the ball on downs with 6:57 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines chewed up the remainder of the clock, reaching the Rutgers 22-yard line as time expired.

Saturday marked the first time the Wolverines have outscored the spread.

They beat East Carolina 30-3 in the opener as 36-point favorites in the opener, followed by a 35-7 win over UNLV when favored by 38 to 39 points. Last week, Michigan topped Bowling Green 31-6 as anywhere from 40- to 40½-point favorite.

Costly typo

There was a mistake on the South Point college football prop sheet involving the team to score the first touchdown in the 9 a.m. Pacific games.

Rutgers was incorrectly listed at 200-1 instead of 20-1, according to sportsbook director Chris Andrews on X, formerly Twitter.

The Scarlet Knights cashed when quarterback Gavin Wimsatt connected with receiver Christian Dremel for a 69-yard touchdown on the third play from scrimmage.

Andrews joked on X that he was the copy editor who didn’t catch the error. One bettor noticed the long odds and wagered on Rutgers, he said. They were paid at 200-1.

Army finds push

Of all teams, triple-option Army connected on an 80-yard touchdown pass with 2:32 remaining to get the push as a 13-point underdog in a 29-16 loss to Syracuse.

The Black Knights missed the ensuing two-point conversion that would have given bettors the cover.

Syracuse recovered the onside kick and drove to the 10-yard line but took two consecutive kneeldowns in a show of respect to the service academy.

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on X.

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Las Vegas handicapper Bruce Marshall is an analyst at VegasInsider.com. Each week, he provides the Review-Journal with NFL tech notes and trends.