12/09/2002 12:00AM

Money flying in on bowl games


LAS VEGAS - Betting was fast and furious Monday morning as the Stardust posted its opening numbers for the college bowl games. Of the 28 bowls, 16 sides and 13 totals moved within the first hour of betting.

In the marquee national title game - Ohio St. vs. Miami (Fla.) in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3 - the underdog Buckeyes were bet from +13 to +12 1/2. It should be noted, however, that this line has actually been up for several weeks at most books around town. The Stardust opened Miami as a 10 1/2-point favorite several weeks ago and had raised it to 13 before putting up the rest of the bowl matchups at 10:15 a.m. Monday. Joe Lupo, who was overseeing the release of the college bowl lines for the last time before taking a senior management position at The Borgata in Atlantic City, said a lot of that line movement has been "on air" - meaning Lupo adjusted the odds based on the opinion on the matchup of he and his staff, as opposed to having the betting move the line.

"There really hasn't been a lot bet on it so far," Lupo said. "We've actually gotten balanced action at every number, but just adjusted based on how the teams were playing."

But money was what drove all of Monday's line movements. Several games saw an avalanche of cash, as eight sides and four totals were double moves, meaning they moved once and then drew enough action to have the Stardust adjust the line a second time.

The steam sides were North Texas, bet from +10 to +9 1/2 to +9 in the New Orleans Bowl Dec. 17; Kansas St., bet from -15 1/2 to -16 to -17 in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27; Minnesota, bet from +9 1/2 to +9 to +8 1/2 in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30; Boise St., bet from -8 1/2 to -9 to -9 1/2 to 10, before getting bet back down to -9 1/2 in the Humanitarian Bowl Dec. 31; Purdue, bet from +4 1/2 to +4 to +3 1/2 in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31; Maryland, bet from +2 1/2 to +2 to +1 1/2 to +1 in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 31; and Georgia, bet from -1 1/2 to -2 to -2 1/2 to -3 in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

The totals in the Kansas St. and Boise St. games also picked up a lot of steam. The Holiday Bowl between Kansas St. and Arizona St. opened with a total of 56 1/2 and got bet to 57 1/2, 58 1/2, 59 1/2, 60, 60 1/2 and finally settling at 61, a huge 4 1/2-point move. The Humanitarian Bowl with Boise St. and Iowa St. opened at 65 and steamed through 66 and 67 before landing on 67 1/2.

The New Mexico-UCLA Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 25 and the Purdue-Washington Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 were the other two double moves in totals betting.

NFL lottery moves to Mondays

Betting was just as intense when the Stardust put up its opening NFL lines for this weekend's action at 8:15 a.m. Monday as seven sides and three totals took enough one-sided action to move.

At this time of year, the Stardust moves its NFL lottery from Sunday night to Monday morning for a variety of reasons. During the season, most of the early betting is on the colleges, so with the college regular season over there's not as much of an incentive to post the numbers right away on Sunday night. In addition, with injuries starting to take their toll and weather playing more of a factor, the oddsmakers need the extra time to pull all that information together.

This week's moves saw early money come in on five underdogs (Seahawks, Chargers, Bengals, Panthers, and Packers) and two favorites (Broncos and Giants). Both favorites are at home, while the Bengals are the only home dog in the bunch.

The Chargers-Bills and Ravens-Texans games saw money come in on the under, while a rare over move (at this time of year, with inclement weather) was on the Panthers-Steelers game, though it should be noted that some offshore books had this total as high as 40 1/2.