Openers: Buckeyes get early money as road faves at Oklahoma

The Buckeyes have annihilated two weak opponents, while the Sooners began the year with a deflating loss. Find out where the line for Saturday's huge nonconference game opened and where it might go by kickoff in our Opening Line Report on marquee college and NFL games.

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Way back in May, the South Point sportsbook in Las Vegas opened for betting its college football Games of the Year. Oklahoma was a 9-point favorite over Ohio State.

Flash forward to today and most books reopened the Buckeyes as 2.5-point favorites for their Saturday night visit to Norman, Okla., in perhaps the year's biggest nonconference game.

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"Thank goodness we finally get to see an early-season test for the Buckeyes, but this is probably a test they can pass," said Scott Cooley, odds consultant for, which opened at Ohio State -2 and moved to -2.5 off early Buckeyes' money.

"The Game of the Year spread Vegas put out for this matchup was somewhat amusing because even if Oklahoma wins in Week 1, we would've have lined the game at Sooners -3 or less. We feel very comfortable making the road team a favorite in this one."

No. 3 Ohio State has destroyed Bowling Green and Tulsa by a combined 125-13. No. 14 Oklahoma lost outright as a double-digit favorite to Houston before whipping Louisiana Monroe 59-17.

With early action on Ohio State, don't be surprised if the line hits 3 soon.

Here's a look at opening numbers for other marquee college and NFL games, with insight from Cooley and Jason Simbal, vice president of risk for CG Technology sportsbooks. Odds are from a Covers Consensus of major sportsbooks.

No. 2 Florida State at No. 10 Louisville (+3.5), Sat., noon ET

"Great litmus test to weed out a potential contender in this matchup," Cooley said. "Deondre Francois was nervous and inconsistent in his first meaningful game before settling down, but he can?t afford a poor start here. We know the public will be on Florida State, but we're anticipating sharp money on the home dog." opened at FSU -2.5, then a sharp bettor hammered the Seminoles.

No. 1 Alabama at No. 19 Ole Miss (+9.5), Sat., 3:30 p.m. ET

"You're going to hear a lot about Alabama's revenge angle and motivation, but that really doesn't mean anything," Cooley said. "The road squad is a flat-out better team and absolutely deserves to be sizable chalk. This is a great opportunity for Ole Miss to eliminate that opening loss, but don't count on it."

At, a small sharp play on Ole Miss caused the book to drop to Alabama -9. But SportsInsights is confident this line will move to 10. The Crimson Tide are drawing about 70 percent of the early bets.

No. 12 Michigan State at No. 18 Notre Dame (-7.5), Sat., 7:30 p.m. ET

"Public perception was certainly in mind when setting this line as the Irish will always have enormous support in our business," Cooley said. "But with Michigan State off a bye and ranked higher, some might expect a lower number. Look for this spread to fall before it rises."

Packers at Vikings (+2.5, 44.5), Sun., 8:30 p.m. ET 

"It was either 2.5 or 3 for us, not 2.5 or 2," Simbal said. "And the first bet we took was actually on the Vikes, so that made us think 2.5 was the right number.

"You figure the Packers are about 6-7 points better and you've got to give maybe 3.5 points for Minnesota being at home and opening a new stadium, the crowd is going to be ridiculous. Their defense was awesome, but they were playing the Titans. Offensively they couldn't do anything. Maybe Sam Bradford can at least throw the ball around a little bit.

"I didn't think the Packers looked good at all," he said. "I think 2.5 is the right number. I'm pretty sure the public will pile onto the Packers."

Meaning, if you want Minnesota, wait and see if you can get a field goal.

Colts at Broncos (-6), Sun., 4:25 p.m. ET

CG Technology -- which runs eight sportsbooks including at the Venetian, Palms and Hard Rock, -- opened a bit low at Broncos -4.5 and immediately took Denver money. Simbal said he could see this line hitting 6.5, but not 7.

Despite the early action on Denver, Simbal believes the offense-loving public will eventually come in on the 0-1 Colts.

"I'm still not convinced the public is going to back the Broncos and Trevor Siemian," he said. "They didn't bet 'em in any playoff game last year, including the Super Bowl, and they didn't bet 'em in Week 1. At some point that's going to have to turn if they keep winning."