Chris Andrews has nearly 30 years of Nevada bookmaking experience under his belt, but this will be the Vegas veteran's first college football weekend back behind the counter in over a decade.
"I always say that I'm really not worried about one thing over another," Andrews told me with chuckle. "I'm worried about everything."
Now the sportsbook director at the South Point Casino, Andrews is lopsided on the season win totals for Miami, Arizona State, Buffalo and Florida International. He's overloaded with Ohio State money on his early line for the Week 3 showdown between the Buckeyes and the Oklahoma Sooners, and the pesky sharps are relentless and continually keep him guessing. Relax, Chris, we're guessing you'll be just fine.
We can offer these points of assurance:
• According to Nevada Gaming Control, the state's sportsbooks are up $1.3 billion on football since 1989.
• The books have not suffered a losing month during football's regular season since November 2012.
• Overall, Nevada sportsbooks have come out ahead in 36 consecutive months, with their last loss in July 2013.
• The books have never had a losing September since gaming control began archiving sports betting revenue numbers in 1988.
Here are a number of gambling tidbits ("Chalk points" in our parlance) that will guide you entering college football season:
• The worst-case national champion for Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technology to start the season? The plucky Iowa Hawkeyes.
Opening as 100-1 longshots, the Hawkeyes are now 20-1, after a customer backed Iowa with a series of notable four-figure futures bets at 75-1 and at 60-1. Iowa's odds to win the Big Ten also have shortened, improving from 7-1 to 3-1 at CG Technology. The Westgate SuperBook also took a four-figure bet on the Hawkeyes to win the national title at 80-1.
• The money on the odds to win the national championship is divided between six teams. More money has been bet on Clemson to win the title than any other team at William Hill and MGM sportsbooks, and Alabama is a close second at both books. But at Westgate, LSU has attracted the most money. "There has been a lot of decent-sized wagers on LSU, even at crazy low odds," said SuperBook assistant manager Ed Salmons. Ohio State, Florida State and Michigan have seen a similar amount of support, both in terms of money and overall bets.
• On Aug. 2, William Hill took a $10,000 bet on Clemson to win the national championship at 9-1.
• Top five teams to win the national championship by money bet at the Westgate SuperBook
4. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
• Top five teams to win the national championship by number of bets at the SuperBook:
2. Ohio State
5. Florida State
• Alabama was a 6-point favorite over Clemson in last year's national championship game. Asked what the line would be on a rematch between the two teams played this week, Salmons said, "Alabama -2.5."
• Top five teams in Salmons' power rankings:
2. Ohio State
4. Florida State
• Utah State has zero tickets and is the only team listed in the SuperBook's national title odds without a bet. Cincinnati, Kentucky and Temple each have attracted one $5 bet.
• Auburn has fallen from 30-1 to 80-1 to win the national championship at the SuperBook.
• Baylor has fallen from 12-1 to 50-1 to win the national championship at the SuperBook.
• The SuperBook took a four-figure bet on Oklahoma State at 100-1 to win the national championship.
• As of Sunday, four times as much had been bet on the odds to win the Super Bowl than the odds to win the college football national championship at the SuperBook.
• Salmons, a Vegas veteran who is considered by his peers to be one of sharpest college football oddsmakers in town, placed futures bets on these teams to win the national championship: Florida State, Tennessee, Washington and TCU.
• "Right now, LSU is our worst-case scenario," said Treasure Island sportsbook director Tony Nevill, regarding his odds to win the national championship.
• At Station Casinos' sportsbook, Texas A&M is the worst-case national championship scenario.
• At MGM's sportsbook, Texas Tech is the worst-case national championship scenario.
• William Hill took a pair of $5,000 futures bets on July 30: one on Nebraska (60-1) and one on Georgia (40-1).
• The SuperBook took a $400 bet on Kansas State to win the national championship at 1,000-1.
• William Hill took a $1,000 bet on Utah (125-1) to win the national championship on Aug. 25.
• Two days later, William Hill took a $1,000 bet on Arkansas (125-1) to win the national title.
• The South Point sportsbook is offering on a prop bet in which you can either take a group made up of Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson, Washington and Michigan or the field to win the national championship. Each side is -110. "Good two-way action," Andrews said.
• At the MGM sportsbook, the ticket count on the Alabama-USC game was even; the money was not. As of Tuesday, 15 times as much money had been wagered on the Crimson Tide than the Trojans. Included in that one-sided money was an $11,000 bet on Alabama -11, placed Monday. Alabama was an 11.5-point favorite at most books in the middle of the week.
• The largest bet William Hill U.S. had taken on a Week 1 game as of Monday was $44,000 on the Texas Longhorns +4 vs. Notre Dame.
• On Monday at CG Technology, Clemson's opener at Auburn was the most-heavily bet game of Week 1. The ticket count was 2-1 in favor of Dabo Swinney's Tigers. The money count was 15-1 in favor of Clemson.
• To start the week, the most-heavily bet Week 1 game at the SuperBook was Thursday's Appalachian State-Tennessee game. "We had a house player make a decent-size wager on Tennessee," Salmons said. "It's kind of skewing [the handle]." The trendy Volunteers are 20.5-point favorites over Appalachian State.
• On Monday, a bettor at William Hill, likely clad in orange, put down $40,000 on the Tennessee money line at -1,300 to beat Appalachian State. If the Vols prevail, the bettor would net $3,076.90.
• Top five candidates to win the Heisman Trophy by money bet at William Hill U.S.:
1. Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
2. LSU RB Leonard Fournette
3. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson
4. Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield
5. Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
• College football favorites covered the spread in more games last year during the regular season than any other regular season in the last 11 years. Favorites went 423-385 (52.35 percent) last season. It was only the third time in the last 11 seasons that favorites covered the spread in more than 400 games ( it has happened three of the last five regular seasons). Overall, since 2005, favorites are 4,074-4,029 ATS, according to sports betting database BetLabs on SportsInsights.com.
• In 2015, $1.69 billion was bet on football, both college and the NFL, at Nevada's regulated sportsbooks. The books kept $82.5 million of the amount bet.
• In 2015, the NFL attracted 58 percent of the money bet on football at the Westgate SuperBook. That's in line with estimates at other books.
• Top three teams in South Point sportsbook director Chris Andrews' power ratings:
• The lowest-ranked team in Andrews' power rankings is North Texas.
• Best ATS records over last 5 years:
1. Georgia Southern 20-8
2. Stanford 44-24
3. Houston 42-23-1
4. Baylor 40-23-1
5. Arkansas State 40-24-1
• Worst ATS records in last 5 years:
1. UConn 20-39-2
2. Eastern Michigan 22-37-1
3. Kansas 22-37-1
4. Virginia Tech 24-40-2
5. Kentucky 23-37-0
• Coach Nick Saban is 7-1 ATS in season openers at Alabama.
• Alabama is 3-12 ATS after a straight-up loss under Nick Saban.
• For his career, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is 37-9 ATS with more than one week to prepare, including 8-3 ATS in season openers.
• Ohio State is currently a 5-point underdog in its Week 3 game at Oklahoma. Urban Meyer is 19-5 ATS as an underdog in his career.
• Approximately 95 percent of the money wagered on the Ohio State-Oklahoma game at South Point's sportsbook is on the Buckeyes.
• In the last five seasons, teams are 19-33 ATS in their next game after playing Ohio State.
• Ohio State is currently a 5-point home favorite over Michigan in their Nov. 26 meeting.
• Notable Games of the Year lines at South Point:
Stanford at Washington (-4), Sept. 30
Tennessee at Georgia (-1), Oct. 1
Oklahoma (-10.5) vs. Texas, Oct. 8
Alabama (-2.5) at Tennessee, Oct. 15
Stanford (-3) at Notre Dame, Oct. 15
Clemson at Florida State (-2.5), Oct. 28
Michigan (-4) at Michigan State, Oct. 28
Alabama at LSU (-2.5), Nov. 5
Michigan (-4) at Iowa, Nov. 12
USC at UCLA (-3), Nov. 19
Florida at Florida State (-11), Nov. 26
Auburn at Alabama (-15.5), Nov. 26
Army vs. Navy (-12), Dec. 10
• Since returning to coach Kansas State in 2009, Bill Snyder is 18-9 ATS off a straight-up loss.
• Since 2009, Bill Snyder is 42-19-1 ATS in Big 12 play.
• Kentucky is 7-17 ATS in SEC play under coach Mark Stoops.
• Nearly 70 percent of Indiana's games under coach Kevin Wilson have gone over the total, including a 10-2-1 over/under mark last season.
• There have been 4,007 unders and 3,692 overs in the regular season since 2005. Last season, there were 412 unders and 400 overs.
• Scoring in college football continues to trend up. In 2015, FBS teams averaged 29.6 points per game. In 2010, it was 27.9, and in 2005, 26.8.
• Alabama and Michigan each have nine draft-eligible NFL prospects, the most of any schools, according to Todd McShay's preseason rankings.
• Baylor is 24-7 ATS at home in last five seasons.
• Oregon is 19-3 ATS on the road over the last five seasons.
• Army is 4-20-1 ATS on the road over the last five seasons.
• South Alabama is 7-19 ATS over the last five seasons.
• At the South Point, Andrews posted win totals on each of the 128 FBS teams, from Air Force (8.5 -145 over) to Wyoming (3.5 -120 under), with Kansas (2 -125 under) in between. The most lopsided action has been on the over on Miami, Fla. (8 -130 under) and the over on Arizona State (6.5 -130 under). Bettors also have sided with the under on Buffalo (4.5 -115 under) and the under on Florida International (5 -130 under).
• Top 5 teams ATS after a straight-up loss in last five seasons:
1. Louisville 12-4
2. Stanford 12-3
3. Missouri 16-6
4. Kansas State 12-5
5. Michigan 14-6
• California is 9-25 ATS after a straight-up loss in last five seasons.