Illinois Victory Over Akron Delivers Bettors Big Win, But Sportsbooks Still Come Out on Top

Posted on: September 2, 2019, 11:23h. 

Last updated on: September 2, 2019, 02:14h.

The 42-3 win by the Illinois Fighting Illini over the Akron Zips Saturday delivered sports bettors a major victory. But casino sportsbooks still came out on top in week one of the college football season.

Illinois football odds college spread
The Illinois win in Champaign Saturday was a win for bettors across the country who took advantage of the 17-point spread oddsmakers placed on the game. (Image: Patrick Gorski/USA TODAY Sports)

Kicking off the first week of the college football calendar is traditionally a difficult task for oddsmakers because of numerous lopsided matchups. For seasoned sports bettors, the week presents a smorgasbord of attractive lines, and in 2019, the game they largely targeted was Illinois vs. Akron.

The Illini were 17-point favorites against the visiting Zips. CG Technology, which takes mobile bets in Nevada and operates the sportsbooks at the Venetian and Palazzo, Cosmopolitan, and Palms, confirmed it had taken a $55,000 bet on Illinois covering the spread that would net $50,000.

The Westgate SuperBook printed a similar $30,000 wager on the point spread, which of course also won following Illinois’ easy handling of Akron.

Casinos Still Win

Despite the large losses on the Illinois victory, casinos managed to emerge on week one of the college football season with the upper hand. In fact, they nearly set all-time marks.

Caesars was also a victim of Illini action – the casino telling ESPN that it suffered a six-figure loss on the Akron defeat – but the casino still managed to post one of its best college football weeks ever. The sportsbook said it was just a Vanderbilt touchdown short from having its best Saturday in two years.

Oddsmakers won because of a miserable Saturday for the SEC, largely considered the best conference in the game. Aside from national championship contenders No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia, which both easily took care of their foes, several SEC game day favorites lost, including Ole Miss to Memphis, South Carolina to North Carolina, Tennessee to Georgia State, and Missouri to Wyoming.

SEC Losses

Ole Miss – Favored by 5.5 points

South Carolina – Favored by 11 points

Tennessee – Favored by two points

Missouri – Favored by 17 points

Alabama covered its 33.5-point spread by taking down Duke 42-3, and Georgia managed to cover its 22.5-point spread by knocking off Vanderbilt, 30-6.

Looking Ahead

Week two of the college football season will see some more appropriately matched teams square up.

Two games will feature Top 25 programs going head-to-head, with the headliner being No. 1 Clemson playing at home against No. 12 Texas A&M. The top-ranked team in the nation has opened as a heavy favorite, as the Tigers are spotting the Aggies 19 points.

I like being the underdog,” Texas A&M offensive lineman Jared Hocker said of the game. “You always have something to prove, so I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

Asked if that makes Clemson ripe for an upset, the junior answered, “Yes, it does. There will be an upset.”

The other game of the week pits No. 6 LSU at No. 10 Texas. The host Longhorns are 4.5-point favorites over the Tigers.