Week 5 College Football Opening Line Movers




 

Minnesota (-10) vs. Purdue - opened at -7.5

With former OC Kirk Ciarocca back after a two-year sabbatical, the Minnesota rushing attack is not only averaging over 200 YPG for the first time in almost a decade, but is ranked 2nd in the nation averaging 294 yards per game. (FWIW - Air Force ranks 1st with a jaw-dropping 412 rushing YPG) Unsurprisingly with a near complete control of the line of scrimmage, the Gophers have been almost unstoppable offensively scoring 46 points per game which ranks 11th nationally. Consider how effective Minnesota has been on offense, then add in the fact they rank 2nd nationally in allowing just 6 points per game and are coming off an absolute thrashing of Michigan State, holding the Spartans to 38 rushing yards and 240 total yards in the 34-7 evisceration. For their part Purdue just held on to win a 28-26 nailbiter against FAU behind backup QB Austin Burton where they were outgained by the Owls 419-to-354 total yards. Starting QB Aidan O'Connell sustained an undisclosed injury in their last game and his status for the game is unknown at this point. The Boilermakers hung tight in losses to Penn State (35-31) and Syracuse (32-29), but if O'Connell can't play it could be the death knell for Purdue against this stout Minnesota defensive unit since they rank 87th in rushing performance but 30th in explosiveness. Minnesota is a lock if O'Connell is out, but it's still a nice play even if they decide to trot out a potentially still impaired quarterback.

Louisville (-17) over @Boston College - opened at -13.5

As stated above, the Eagles are reeling after losing their first three FBS contests to Rutgers, @VT and @FSU by a combined score of 93-45. The departure of former OC Frank Cignetti Jr, who is now at Pitt and a rebuilt offensive line that lost four all-conference caliber linemen has exposed some of QB Phil Jurkovec's flaws, as the former five-star Notre Dame prospect has failed to live up to expectations, posting replacement-level PFF offensive grades of 50 and 50.7 in the Eagles' last two losses while throwing two interceptions against the Seminoles despite a meager ADOT of 3.0 yards. Clearly new OC John McNulty, who incidentally comes from Notre Dame like Jurkovec, spending the last two years as the TE coach in South Bend, has lost confidence and doesn't feel comfortable trusting him as the QB is averaging 117 passing yards with a 1-to-4 BTT-to-TWP rate over his last two games with a scaled back gameplan. On the other side, Louisville may be 2-2 but they rebounded from an opening week loss to Syracuse to shackle John Rhys Plumlee in the second-half to beat UCF and lost a one-score decision to a FSU team that just crushed a disoriented BC on Saturday. I think the line hits 17.5+ by game time, which means i'd grab it at Draft Kings/PointsBet for -16.

LSU (-7) at Auburn - opened at Auburn -1.5

The sharks are circling at Auburn, with rumors of HC Bryan Harsin's imminent departure causing a downward spiral in Auburn. Despite a pretty manageable opening slate against Mercer, San Jose State, Penn State and Missouri, the Tigers have been limping through games. Despite a respectable 50% success rate (29th in FBS), Auburn ranks 84th nationally scoring 1.8 points per drive and are now starting raw backup quarterback Robby Ashford who transfers over from Oregon and steered Auburn's unsightly 17-14 overtime victory over Missouri on Saturday where the Tigers scored a pair of first quarter rushing touchdowns before not scoring again for the remainder of regulation right up until a game-winning field goal in the extra session. The dual-threat former MLB draftee was trusted to throw just 18 passes as the neophyte signal caller was making his first career start in relief of injured starter TJ Finley. Ashford got banged up himself throwing a lead block on a running play which injured his shoulder and briefly pressed true freshman Holden Geriner into service. Auburn could barely move the ball, accruing just 217 total yards while averaging 1.8 yards per rush and converting 3-of-16 third down opportunities. Give credit to a rebuilt Mizzou front-seven that has turned around their rush defense and is allowing a strong 31.5% success rate (16th overall). Now Auburn faces HC Brian Kelly and and LSU team that ranks 29th in EPA/Play while allowing a strong 6.3 yards per pass after dropping a heartbreaking one-point decision to Florida state in their opener. Since then LSU has been Mauling teams, easily dispensing New Mexico and Southern in addition to a 31-16 statement victory against a very respectable Mississippi State team, holding air-raid maestro HC Mike Leach's team to just 216 passing yards. LSU ranks top-25 countrywide averaging 199 rushing yards per game with 5.5 YPC behind an offensive line that has paved the way for 13 rushing touchdowns, 8th most nationally. With LSU on the upswing and Auburn HC Harsin rumored to be on the chopping block and could be fired any week, i'm expecting this line to rise to around 10 by game time.

Wake Forest (+6) at Florida State - opened at +2

FanDuel is hanging the line at -4.5 right now and is the industry outlier, with Draft Kings opening the line at 12.14PM EST at the same -2 it had been in look-ahead betting. The line was at -4.5 by 2:03 PM and then -5.5 by 4:08PM before settling at 6. Florida State is riding high at 4-0 and is coming off a dominant 44-14 victory over BC where they outgained the Eagles 530-to-235 total yards and QB Jordan Travis threw for a career-high 321 yards. Wake just lost a tough double-overtime road game against ACC powerhouse Clemson where they hung 45 points on the Tigers' vaunted front, but a leaky secondary gave up 559 total yards while creating zero turnovers thanks to both teams dealing with major attrition in their respective defensive backfields. I'm more in line with FanDuel capping this line at 3.5 points and think the market is overcorrecting based on Florida State beating a floundering Boston College. Take the 6 points with Wake Forest in spite of some injury issues.

Other notable movers:

Alabama (-15.5) at Arkansas - opened at -19

Texas (-10) vs. West Virginia - opened at - 13.5

Clemson (-6.5) vs. NC State - opened at -13

Arizona (-18) vs. Colorado - opened at -10.5

USC (-24) vs. Arizona State - opened at 17.5

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