Hot Reads: New Times and Lines As We Inch Towards Football Season
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Hot Reads: New Times and Lines As We Inch Towards Football Season

May 31, 2019

Yesterday was a busy one on the Nebraska news front for a Thursday at the end of May. New lines, kickoff times for 41.7% of the season, a quick mini-tour from Bill Moos and the NU coaches. Here are a few quick thoughts on two of those topics.

Good Job, FPI

With the Golden Nugget's release of opening college football lines yesterday we now have a spread on three more Nebraska games. The Ohio State game opened at Buckeyes -10, just like it did the day before with the CG Technology lines. We've had plenty of time to digest how the oddsmakers view Ohio State and Nebraska at this point, it's the new data points that are of particular interest.

At the Golden Nugget, Nebraska opened at -6 against Northwestern (Oct. 5), +1 against Wisconsin (Nov. 16) and pick 'em against Iowa (Nov. 29). Those were all within 1.5 points of the lines I tried to project using a basic home-field adjustment and FPI's initial ratings for teams.

I don't mention that to say "good job by me." I didn't do anything except a little bit of addition/subtraction with a home-field factor. Rather I mention it because it looks like FPI is hewing pretty close to what we're seeing from Vegas. So, if yesterday's additional lines weren't enough to tide you over for a while and you really want, say, the South Alabama line it's worth taking a look back at that projected spread chart. FPI is doing an adequate job so far (though it is lower on Ohio State than Vegas has been).


Speaking of South Alabama, Nebraska will open the season with an 11 a.m. kickoff.  That will feel a little bit strange. Nebraska hasn't kicked off its season opener earlier than 2:30 p.m. this decade and the last three (including Akron) have all been night games.

The general view is that those night games offer the most visibility, but 11 a.m. on ESPN won't be bad by any means. Right after Lee Corso does whatever he's going to do on College GameDay, you go straight to Lincoln. All of those bars across the country that have GameDay on will go straight to Lincoln (until someone asks them to change it to whatever local game they prefer, of course). That's an entirely different discussion than the amenability of that time slot for those attending the game, but from a TV perspective it's not bad.

The 2:30 kickoff at Colorado was a good draw for the Huskers, too. Better that than a night game for a variety of reasons.

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