Thursday Sharp Report: Pros Betting Cubs-Pirates, Three Other Games

Thursday Sharp Report: Pros Betting Cubs-Pirates, Three Other Games article feature image

Jon Lester. Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

  • Professional bettors are pounding four of Thursday's games, headlined by tonight's Chicago Cubs-Pittsburgh Pirates (7:05 p.m. ET) matchup.
  • The only moneyline attracting sharp action is Washington Nationals-St. Louis Cardinals (7:15 p.m. ET), while the other two plays focus on over/unders.

Wiseguys finally took down the mighty Red Sox last night, as the Phillies won, 7-4, and cashed as a +103 dog for the sharps. Unfortunately, the Orioles and Padres couldn’t come through and professionals finished the night 1-2 with their Wednesday plays.

With a small slate of games today, sharps will look to bounce back and capitalize on high ticket counts and increased contrarian value.

After analyzing Thursday’s 10-game slate using Sports Insights’ Sportsbook Insider Pro betting tools, I’ve pinpointed four MLB bets that professionals are focusing on, starting at 7:05 p.m., 7:15 p.m., 7:35 p.m., and 8:05 p.m. ET.

>> All data as of 2:45 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets.

Betting Terms to Know

Steam Move: Sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the market caused by an overload of sharp action from respected players.

Reverse Line Movement: When the betting line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages. It’s a top smart money indicator.

Line Freeze: When one side is getting heavy betting but the line won’t budge, indicating sharp liability on the other side.

Juice: The tax or commission that bettors must pay the sportsbook in order for them to accept your wager. A -115 juice means a bettors would have to wager $115 to win $100.

Full Sports Betting Glossary

Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates 

  • Sharp angle: Under 8.5
  • First pitch 7:05 p.m. ET

Jon Lester has been scuffling as of late, posting a 10.32 ERA in his five starts since the All-Star break. With Lester facing Ivan Nova (4.42 ERA), public bettors see an easy Over.

But sharps are eyeing a contrarian Under play. The Over is getting 78% of bets, making it the most lopsided total of the day, yet the line has remained frozen at 8.5.

The fact that the heavy Over betting hasn’t pushed the total to 9 shows liability on the Under, with oddsmakers reluctant to raise the total and hand out a better number to wiseguy Under backers.

Three separate bet signals have been triggered on the Under across the market from GTBets, CRIS and SIA, with no conflicting Over plays.

The wind is blowing in at roughly 5 mph, and the Under is getting more money (33%) than bets (22%), another indicator of sharps banking on a low-scoring game.

Washington Nationals at St. Louis Cardinals

  • Sharp angle: Cardinals -120
  • First pitch 7:15 p.m. ET

The Cardinals are riding an eight-game winning streak and the Nats have lost four in a row. The public says the Cards are due for a loss and the Nats are due for a win, so 57% are grabbing Washington at plus money (+111) tonight.

But wiseguys are fading the trendy dog. St. Louis is getting only 43% of bets but 68% of dollars, indicating smart money in its favor.

Despite nearly 60% taking the Nats, the Cards have remained frozen at -120. This indicates liability on St. Louis, with the books afraid to drop the line and hand out a better number to sharp Cards backers.

Pro players at Pinnacle and the Greek both hammered STL -120.

>> Follow Josh Appelbaum in The Action Network App to get free alerts on all his college football bets during the season.

Colorado Rockies at Atlanta Braves

  • Sharp angle: Under 8
  • First pitch 7:35 p.m. ET

The public sees two mediocre pitchers (Jon Gray 4.81 ERA and Julio Teheran 4.33 ERA), a plethora of sluggers (Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon) and that’s all they need to know. Easy Over.

Not the wiseguys. Currently 71% of bets are going Over, yet the total has fallen from 8.5 to 8 across the market.

This reverse line movement was caused by three separate bet signals on the Under 8.5 by pro players at Carib, BetUS and 5Dimes.

The wind is blowing in at 5 to 7 mph, and the Under also matches the profitable Bet Labs system Contrarian Unders for Winning Teams (+174.77 units since 2005).

Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers

  • Sharp angle: Under 11
  • First pitch 8:05 p.m. ET

This is an example of classic Pros vs. Joes disagreement. Currently 60% of bets are on the Over, but 73% of dollars are on the Under.

After opening at 11 Over -113 at Pinnacle, the total has moved to 11 Under -113, indicating Under liability despite the heavy Over betting.

Some books have already fallen to 10.5. Sharps at Pinnacle and CRIS have all hammered the Under 11, triggering a trio of steam and reverse line moves.

One big factor the sharps are leaning on: the wind is blowing in heavily from center field at nearly 10 mph. It doesn’t hurt that Mike Trout and Adrian Beltre will be out of the lineup as well.


All bets risking one unit, not to win one unit. All plays Listed Pitcher, not Action.

Looking for more in-depth betting analysis? Sign up for a Sports Insights Pro trial and join our Live Betting Hangouts where we break down the board every weeknight from 6:30-7 p.m. ET.

How would you rate this article?