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Colorado, Sanders deal sportsbooks ‘ugly outcome’; $1M wager wins

Updated September 9, 2023 - 2:27 pm

Before kickoff of Saturday’s Nebraska-Colorado football game, “Colorado -2.5” was trending in sports on X.

The game featured a massive handle at Las Vegas sportsbooks, with Station Casinos reporting it had 40 percent more handle than the most-bet NFL game.

And the public loved the Buffaloes, who went off as 2½-point favorites at most sportsbooks. Caesars Sportsbook closed Colorado -3.

The public ended up on the correct side of the result, as No. 22 Colorado was hardly threatened in a 36-14 victory over the vastly overrated Cornhuskers.

A bettor at FanDuel, which does not operate in Nevada, won a $1 million wager on Colorado (-2½) to cover the spread.

“I’ve never seen a pros/public split like this Colorado/Nebraska game,” South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews wrote on X. “Of course I’ve only been doing this 44 years.”

The game stayed under the total of 56½.

“Ugly outcome for us,” Red Rock Resort sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said via text message. “Although sharps were clearly on the Huskers, public clearly outpaced them in straight, parlay and (money-line) play. Great game for the guests!”

BetMGM reported Colorado was the most-bet team in college football Saturday, with 85 percent of the tickets and handle. One bettor wagered $115,000 on the Buffaloes -2½ to win $100,000.

The Buffaloes (2-0) surpassed their win total from last season and are more than halfway to the bookmakers’ season win total of 3½. Colorado hosts rival Colorado State next weekend and is a 20½-point favorite at BetMGM before stepping up in competition Sept. 23 at No. 13 Oregon and Sept. 30 against No. 6 Southern California.

Rebel yell

There is an early candidate for bad beat of the year thanks to Mississippi’s 37-20 victory over No. 24 Tulane.

The visiting Rebels jumped to 12½-point favorites at the Westgate SuperBook and as high as -13½ at South Point after news broke Saturday that Tulane would be without injured starting quarterback Michael Pratt. No. 20 Ole Miss was 7-point chalk at the SuperBook on Friday.

Tulane held a 17-10 halftime advantage and the game was tied at 17 entering the fourth quarter before the Rebels took control. Ole Miss led 30-20 after a field goal with 1:56 remaining, and on the second play of the ensuing drive, Green Wave quarterback Kai Horton was sacked by Khari Coleman and fumbled.

Rebels defensive end Jared Ivey scooped up the loose ball and returned it 20 yards for a score and the cover with 1:25 on the clock.

Lucky push

Anyone holding a Utah -7 ticket is feeling fortunate to push. Anyone holding a Baylor money-line ticket might need something to take out their frustration on.

The No. 12 Utes trailed on the road late in the fourth quarter, but scored 14 points in the final 1:59 to escape with a 20-13 victory. Jaylon Glover’s 11-yard run with 17 seconds left put Utah ahead after Bears quarterback Sawyer Robertson was intercepted.

Baylor tried to let Glover score on purpose, but the Utes running back ran along the goal line wasting time and looked like he was going to go down to set up a game-winning field goal before he was pushed into the end zone by a defender.

The Utes tied the game at 13 when quarterback Nate Johnson scored on a 7-yard draw to cap an 88-yard drive. Utah played without starting quarterback Cam Rising, which impacted the line.

Baylor was as high as a +245 underdog at Circa sportsbook.

Points at premium in Iowa

Playing the under in the Iowa-Iowa State game has been like printing money for bettors for a decade. But they had to sweat before cashing this time.

The Hawkeyes rode their defense to a 20-13 victory, keeping the score under the consensus closing total of 35.

Iowa was stopped on third-and-1 and punted to the Cyclones with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter. But Iowa State, which closed as a consensus 3½-point underdog, was stuffed for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-1 from its own 40-yard line, and the Hawkeyes ran out the clock to give coach Kirk Ferentz his 200th career victory.

The Cyclones scored with 2:53 remaining to cut Iowa’s lead to 20-13 and put the under in jeopardy.

Unders have cashed in five straight Cy-Hawk games and 10 of the past 11 in the series.

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.