Updated on 09/16/2011 8:27AM

Lions-Bears game a hot item


The professional bettors who take part in the Stardust "lottery" on Sunday nights - when the opening numbers are posted for the next weekend's games - are faring much better on the NFL games than on the colleges so far this season (see the accompanying box for details).

This week's big move in the lottery came on the Lions vs. the Bears. Offshore books opened the line at Bears -3, so when the Stardust opened it -3 1/2 (even-money), bettors were looking to take the Lions. The Stardust attached the money line so the Lions bettors would have to pay the extra juice (at -120) to get the additional half-point. And they did. The line then moved to Bears -3 (with -110 each way), and the bettors kept betting the Lions until the Stardust put a -120 price on the Lions +3.

Other NFL teams to attract early action were the Vikings (who rallied to beat the Lions on Sunday for their first victory) vs. the Jets, the Texans vs. the Browns, and the Steelers vs. the Colts next Monday night. If the early bettors stay hot, those are teams to consider.

In the college ranks, the most action came in on the Iowa-Indiana, which might surprise you since the chart says the line moved only a half-point. Actually, the Hawkeyes opened as a 13-point favorite and the first big bet dropped the line to 12 1/2. It then got bet again, down to 12, before money came back on Iowa to raise it back to 12 1/2.

The two biggest college games of this coming weekend saw early action. Iowa St., visiting No. 2-ranked Oklahoma, was bet from a +9 underdog down to 8 1/2, while Air Force was bet from a 1 1/2-point favorite over Notre Dame to -2.

Early football line moves


Took moneyOpenBet ToOpponent


Iowa St.+9+8.5OKLAHOMA


San Diego St.-4.5-5.5WYOMING

USC -7-7.5Washington

TULANE -3-3.5Ala.-Birmingham

OKLAHOMA ST. +7+6.5Nebraska

Arizona St. +11.5+11OREGON

ALABAMA -7.5-9Mississippi

San Jose St. +7+6.5NEVADA

Army +14.5+14HOUSTON

AIR FORCE -1.5-2Notre Dame

CONNECTICUT +3+2.5Temple

UL-Lafayette +11.5+11MID-TENNESSEE ST.

Ohio +11+10KENT ST.

MARSHALL -19-20Troy St.

ARKANSAS ST.+9+8.5North Texas


Took moneyOpenBet ToOpponent

Vikings +3+3 (-120)JETS

LIONS +3.5 (-120)+3 (-120)Bears

Texans +10+9BROWNS


Cowboys-Cardinals under3736

Colts-Steelers under4645

Home Team in CAPS

Last week: College line moves went 7-11 last week, including losses by the biggest moves of the week: Rutgers, Kentucky and Nevada). For the season, college line moves are 55-72 (43.3 percent). NFL line moves have been much more reliable. Last week, they were 5-1 (only losing with the Raiders-Rams over) heading into the Monday night game, in which the Seahawks saw early action, getting bet from +4 1/2 to +3 1/2. For the season, NFL line moves are 23-17 (57.5 percent).