College football line movement: Impact of Rolovich saga?

·4 min read

Week 8 of the college football season is upon us. It's been a bizarre season with a lot of surprising results. In a quest to find out what sharp minds are thinking, let's take a look at some of the early week 8 line movement at BetMGM.

Is the Rolovich situation causing a Washington State fade?

Washington State parted ways with head coach Nick Rolovich this week after a vaccine mandate was put into place for all state employees in Washington State. The former Cougars' head coach refused to get vaccinated and it cost him his job despite the fact his team was on a three game winning streak.

The Cougars opened as 1-point underdogs against BYU, which was proper respect to the current form of Washington State. However, with Rolovich's termination now official, the Cougars currently sit as 4-point underdogs.

Perhaps as important as Rolovich's departure is the fact that four other assistant coaches were terminated as well. This is a major upheaval in Washington State's coaching staff midway through a season that had turned around for the better. 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT -  SEPTEMBER 25 : Nick Rolovich head coach of the Washington State Cougars talks with officials during their game against the Utah Utes September 25, 2021 at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Bettors are fading Washington State after they fired head coach Nick Rolovich for refusing to get vaccinated. (Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

In terms of on-field performance, Washington State really began to turn things around and had three straight wins over California, Oregon State and Stanford. On the other side, BYU has lost back-to-back games to Boise State and Baylor. 

Will those trends continue with Washington State's coaching staff undergoing major change? Bettors don't think so. 

Washington, Michigan and Texas A&M getting love

We know all about Michigan, Texas A&M and Washington. They are some of the bigger programs in the country. Most weeks, these teams are significant favorites and this week is no different. However, all three of these schools have seen the line move two points in their favor despite the fact that they already opened as massive favorites. 

Michigan currently finds itself a 23.5-point favorite against Northwestern. Despite the fact that Northwestern beat Rutgers last week, it's been a very down season for the Wildcats. Usually Northwestern stays competitive and gives team fits, but that hasn't been the case for most of this season.

After opening as a 15.5-point favorite, Washington is now a 17.5-point favorite over Arizona. Arizona is yet to win a game this season. Outside of their opener against BYU, the Wildcats haven't been particularly competitive either. They lost by 24 to San Diego State, 22 to Oregon, 18 to UCLA and 34 to Colorado. 

Texas A&M is still riding the high from their win against Alabama. After opening as 18.5-point favorites, the Aggies are now 20.5-point favorites against South Carolina. The Gamecocks almost lost to Vanderbilt last week and that should tell you all you need to know about the state of their program. 

Tennessee the side to back?

Not often do we see lines move against Alabama, but that's exactly the case for this weekend. The Crimson Tide opened as 27.5-point favorites against Tennessee, but that number is currently down to just 25.5-points.

Alabama dominated Mississippi State last weekend, but it'll take bettors a while to forget their loss two weeks ago against Texas A&M. We saw Alabama was mortal and that gives some people the confidence to bet against them. 

Tennessee's offense has been good under first-year coach Josh Heupel. There's hope that quarterback Hendon Hooker will be able to go after suffering an injury late in the game against Ole Miss. Maybe the Vols will be able to score enough to stay within this massive number. 

Pre-Saturday line movement

We're reaching that point of the college football season where we're seeing mid-week action more consistently. The week gets started tonight, and we see games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. Some of this week's early games have seen some line movement.

Coastal Carolina opened as a 3.5-point favorite, but now they find themselves as a 5-point favorite. The total is also up from 59 to 61. 

The total for Louisiana vs. Arkansas State is up to 70.5 after opening at just 66.5 points. Louisiana is a 17.5-point favorite, up from the opening line of 16-points. 

The total for Colorado State-Utah State is also up significantly. After opening at 55, the total is now up to 58.5-points. Colorado State has gone from a 2.5-point favorite, through the key number and now sits as a 3.5-point favorite. 

Other line movements

Mississippi State opened as a 23-point favorite against Vanderbilt, but in a rare display of Commodores' support, that line is down to just 20.5-points.

The biggest total movement of the week has come in the Fresno State-Nevada matchup. The total currently sits at 65-points after opening at just 60.5. 

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