Late-Night Lookahead: Six Thursday Games the Public Will Love

Late-Night Lookahead: Six Thursday Games the Public Will Love article feature image

As we settle in to watch Nevada blow San Jose State out of the gym by less than 21, let’s take a look at a few games that could have sharps and squares on opposite sides tomorrow.

Hofstra (-1.5) at James Madison

7 p.m. ET

Why the public will love Hofstra: To a square bettor scrolling through tomorrow’s games judging teams they know nothing about simply by records, Hofstra should definitely catch the eye. The Pride are 17-11 overall and 10-6 in conference to JMU’s 9-19 and 5-10.

Laying only 1.5 points, you say? Easy winner.

Why sharps might like JMU: Don’t be too fooled by James Madison’s overall record. They’ve actually now won three of their last four, but even in their losses they tend to keep games very close. Despite being 9-19, their average game margin is just a 1.8-point loss.

Rider (-1.5) at Monmouth

7 p.m. ET

Why the public will love Rider: At 21-7 and 14-2 in conference, Rider is sitting pretty in first place in the MAAC, riding (see what I did there?) a 10-game win streak. At an almost non-existent spread against a 10-18 Monmouth team, this is a spot the public should hammer.

Why sharps might like Monmouth: Monmouth is another team whose record may not tell the whole story. They have three one-point losses (so that almost non-existent spread may play a role after all), and three losses to some powerhouse teams (Virginia, Kentucky, and Seton Hall).

If a line looks too good to be true, it probably is. And this one looks too good to be true.

Washington Capitals (-115) at Florida Panthers

7:30 p.m. ET

Why the public will love Washington: In general, the NHL doesn’t attract a ton of square bettors, which makes it a tough sport in which to identify sharp action. But this game should catch the eye of the public as they’ll have the opportunity to take the first place Caps, a team they see in the playoffs year after year, laying only a -115 against a team on which they probably can’t name a player.

Why sharps might like Florida: Yes, Washington is first in the Metro, but it’s by no means been a very impressive season for a team with such talent. Their goal differential is a measly +7, their road record is 14-10-5 (read this as 14-15 for betting purposes), and they’re just 4-4-2 (again, 4-6) in their last 10 games.

Meanwhile, the Panthers are playing decent hockey as of late, at 7-3-0 in their last 10. They’ve also played the fewest games in the entire NHL, making their point total of 58 slightly misleading.

No. 14 Arizona (-6) at Oregon State

9 p.m. ET

Why the public will love Arizona: See what it says in front of “Arizona”? That’s why. Squares flock to ranked teams playing unranked opponents, especially in cases where they aren’t laying a huge number. Throw in Oregon State’s not-so-impressive 5-9 conference record and the public should be completely sold on the Cats.

Why sharps might like Oregon State: Arizona is an impressive 21-6 overall this season, but they’ve struggled to cover despite their success. They’re now 10-15-2 against the spread this season, and, for what it’s worth, 2-10-1 ATS as a single-digit favorite.

Oklahoma City Thunder (-7.5) at Sacramento Kings

10 p.m. ET

Why the public will love Oklahoma City: OKC has just about everything a public bettor looks for. Their record is significantly better (33-26 vs. 18-39), they’re led by flashy star power, and bettors can take them laying a single-digit line.

Why sharps might like Sacramento: Similar to Arizona, the Thunder have been winning but not covering. They’re now 25-34 against the spread this season, 20-33 when favored, and just 7-18 when favored by six or more.

LA Clippers at Golden State Warriors (-11)

10:30 p.m. ET

Why the public will love Golden State: Steph. KD. Klay. Draymond. The Clippers don’t have Blake anymore. Avery Bradley is questionable.

Need I continue?

Why sharps might like LA: Heading into the All-Star break, the Clippers were hot. They’ve won five of their last six (all without Blake), headlined by their most recent 10-point victory on the road in Boston. They’re now 31-25 ATS this season, compared to Golden State’s 26-31-1.

Photo: Russell Westbrook

Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports