Caesars Sportsbook on Friday reported that 95% of the money bet on the point spread in Michigan was on Ohio State. The action was similarly lopsided at most sportsbooks entering the weekend.
Yet, around 9:30 a.m. ET, Friday, the line moved from Buckeyes -8 to -7 at Circa Sports, a Las Vegas-based sportsbook known to cater to professional bettors. By Friday night, the line had dropped around the nation, with Ohio State down to a consensus 7.5-point favorite.
Bookmakers often will move the line after taking a bet from a respected customer, even if more money has been wagered on the other side.
"Right now, you've got some very influential books offshore and in Nevada that are at [Ohio State] -7," John Murray, executive director of the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas, told ESPN on Saturday.
Murray said his oddsmaking team initially had Ohio State as only a 6-point favorite over Michigan, but after the Buckeyes blew out Michigan State 56-7 last week, the SuperBook reopened the line at -8. On Saturday, 75% of the bets and 91% of the money wagered on the spread was on Ohio State, Murray said.
As expected, the game was attracting heavy betting action. At BetMGM sportsbooks, more money had been bet on Ohio State than had been bet on any other team playing Saturday. Michigan had attracted the second-most money of all the teams.
"It will eclipse the biggest college handle for a single game for sure come kickoff and will certainly handle more than a number of NFL games this Sunday," Craig Mucklow, director of trading for Caesars Sportsbook, said.