Arizona State vs Fresno State :College football’s bowl season kicks off today with a handful of games, including one right here in Las Vegas. Coverschecks in on the action and line movement for all those contests, with insights from Derek Wilkinson, supervisor at The SuperBook at Westgate,
Las Vegas Bowl
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. No. 21 Fresno State Bulldogs – Open: -4.5; Move: -4; Move: -4.5; Move: -5; Move: -6
Fresno State went 10-1 SU and 8-3 ATS over its last 11 games to earn a spot in this 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff. The Bulldogs (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS) capped their run with a 19-16 overtime victory at Boise State as 1.5-point underdogs in the Mountain West Conference championship game.
Arizona State, in its first year under coach Herm Edwards, won four of its last five games to become bowl-eligible. The Sun Devils (7-5 SU and ATS) edged Arizona 41-40 as 1.5-point road favorites in the regular-season finale.
“We have quite a bit of action on that game, and we are heavy on Freson State,” Wilkinson said. “There was sharp money on Fresno, and we’ve got pretty big five-figure liability on the Bulldogs. We’ll definitely be rooting for Arizona State.”
Tulane Green Wave vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns – Open: +3.5; Move: +3; Move: +3.5; Move: +3
Tulane squeaked out a victory in its regular-season finale to become bowl-eligible at 6-6 SU (5-7 ATS). The Green Wave let all of a 21-3 lead slip away against Navy, falling behind 28-21, but got a late touchdown and went for the 2-point conversion, winning 29-28 as 5-point home faves.
Louisiana-Lafayette finished just above .500 at 7-6 SU (9-4 ATS) and reached the Sun Belt Conference final. In that contest, the Ragin’ Cajuns lost to Appalachian State 30-19, but cashed as 17.5-point road pups.
“We took one sharp bet at ULL +3.5, which brought the line down a little bit,” Wilkinson said of the day’s first game, a 1:30 p.m. ET start. “I don’t expect we’ll move off of 3. Our liability is on ULL. We need Tulane, but not for much.”
New Mexico Bowl
North Texas Mean Green vs. No. 21 Utah State Aggies – Open: -9.5; Move: -10; Move: -9.5; Move: -9; Move: -8; Move: -7.5; Move: -7
Utah State lost its season opener, then won 10 in a row (8-2 ATS) and had a shot to reach the Mountain West title game. However, the Aggies (10-2 SU, 9-3 ATS) came up short at Boise State in the regular-season finale, 33-24 as 2.5-point pups.
North Texas won six of its first seven games (4-3 ATS), then went 3-2 in its last five, failing to cover in all five contests. In the regular-season closer, the Mean Green (9-3 SU, 4-8 ATS) were laying 25 points at Texas-San Antonio and escaped with a 24-21 victory.
Despite the line tightening, The SuperBook expects to be a Mean Green fan in this 2 p.m. ET matchup.
“We’ve got a decent amount of action on this game, but it’s split both ways,” Wilkinson said. “Most of the wiseguy action, all the limit bets, are on North Texas. We took two significant bets from guys we really respect, at +9.5 and +8. All the public money is on Utah State. We need North Texas for a small amount, and we always like to be on the same side as the sharps.”
Eastern Michigan Eagles vs. Georgia Southern Eagles – Open: +1; Move: Pick; Move: -1; Move; -1.5; Move: -2.5; Move: -2; Move: -2.5; Move: -3; Move: -3.5; Move: -3; Move: -3.5; Move: -3
Georgia Southern put together a solid 9-3 SU and ATS season to earn a bowl bid. In the regular-season closer, Georgia Southern rolled over Georgia State 35-14 laying 10 points on the road.
Eastern Michigan won its last three games to claim a postseason berth. EMU (7-5 SU and ATS) wrapped up the regular season with a 28-20 win at Kent State giving 12.5 points.
“We actually have a lot of action on this game, a lot of money on Georgia Southern,” Wilkinson said of the 5:30 p.m. ET start. “We have slightly more action on that game right now than on the Las Vegas Bowl.”
Georgia Southern drew money at several points — +1, -1.5, -2, -2.5 – including some sharp play and some larger four-figure wagers.
“The only significant bet on Eastern Michigan was from a house player at +3,” Wilkinson said. “We’re definitely gonna be rooting for Eastern Michigan.”
New Orleans Bowl
Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders vs. Appalachian State – Open: -7.5; Move: -7; Move: -6.5; Move: -7; Move: -6.5; Move: -7; Move: -6.5; Move: -7
Sun Belt champion Appalachian State won 10 of its final 11 games, after taking Penn State to overtime in its season opener. The Mountaineers (10-2 SU, 8-4 ATS) beat Louisiana-Lafayette 30-19 as 17.5-point favorites in the conference title game.
Middle Tennessee went on a 5-1 SU and ATS run to cap the regular season, then stubbed its toe in the Conference USA title tilt. The Blue Raiders (8-5 SU and ATS) lost to Alabama-Birmingham 27-25 as 1.5-point home faves.
“Most of our liability is on Middle Tennessee State,” Wilkinson said of this 9 p.m. ET clash. “We got three $5,000 bets on Appalachian State -6.5 from house players, but we took $22,000 on Middle Tennessee from a house player, too.”