MLB Sharp Report: Pros Betting Cubs-Brewers, 2 Other Friday Games

MLB Sharp Report: Pros Betting Cubs-Brewers, 2 Other Friday Games article feature image

Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and shortstop Javier Baez. Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

  • Wiseguys are getting down on three MLB games on Friday, headlined by Chicago Cubs-Milwaukee Brewers (8:10 p.m. ET).
  • Sharps are also betting Cincinnati Reds-Pittsburgh Pirates and Minnesota Twins-Philadelphia Phillies (both at 7:05 p.m. ET).
  • Using the tools available at The Action Network, we analyze how pros are betting each game.

Wiseguys continued their torrid stretch yesterday, going 3-0 with their Thursday plays. Now it’s on to Fade the Public Friday.

Historically, Fridays are the best days to go contrarian because average Joes who are finishing their work week are more apt to get down on games, leading to increased ticket counts and a heightened contrarian edge.

After analyzing Friday’s 12-game slate using the betting tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, I’ve identified sharp action on three MLB games.

>> All odds as of 2:15 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 sportsbooks in order for them to accept your wager. A -115 juice means a bettor would have to wager $115 to win $100.

Cincinnati Reds @ Pittsburgh Pirates 

7:05 p.m. ET

Sharp angle: Under (moved from 8 to 7.5)

The Pirates beat the Reds 2-0 last night, giving contrarian under bettors a sweat-less win (only 25% took under 7.5). Casual bettors see Sonny Gray on the mound and that’s all they need to know. Hammer the over.

But once again, sharps are zigging while the public zags.

This NL Central grudge match opened with a total of 8. Currently 56% of bets are taking the over, but 75% of dollars are taking the under– a classic pros vs Joes bet discrepancy.

Using our Sports Insights Bet Signals, we tracked three separate steam moves on the under, with wiseguys crushing the under 8 once and then under 7.5 twice. This overload of smart money forced oddsmakers to drop the total down to 7.5.

Sharps love that the wind is blowing in from straightaway center at 4-6 MPH and James Hoye is behind the plate. Since 2005, the under has won +10.37 units with Hoye calling balls and strikes.

Minnesota Twins @ Philadelphia Phillies

7:05 p.m. ET

Sharp angle: Under (stayed at 8)

Sharps and squares (casual bettors who bet for fun) are on completely different sides of this Interleague Series over/under.

Recreational bettors see a relatively low total, a stacked Phillies lineup and the Twins facing Nick Pivetta (7.71 ERA) and say to themselves “give me the over all day.”

Not the sharps.

This total opened at 8. Currently 72% of bets are taking the over, but 60% of dollars are on the under, a clear indication that big pro wagers are banking on a low scoring game.

Meanwhile, the line has stayed frozen despite the heavy public over betting and the juice had actually flipped from 8 under -101 to 8 under -110, indicating under liability.

We tracked five separate steam and reverse line moves on the under 8.

This under also matches the profitable Bet Labs PRO system Contrarian Unders for Winning Teams (55.1%, +190.18 units won since 2005).

An added bonus: it’s not always sunny in Philadelphia, at least tonight. With rain, wind and raw temperatures expected, this is the worst rated hitter’s park tonight according to Fantasy Labs.

Chicago Cubs @ Milwaukee Brewers

8:10 p.m. ET

Sharp angle: Cubs (moved from +124 to +114)

Pro bettors love buying on bad news and selling on good news. It’s one of their founding philosophies. Why? Because it leads to increased value and allows them to capitalize on public recency bias.

This NL Central showdown is a perfect example.

The Cubs (1-5) just got swept by Atlanta and have now lost 5 in a row. Meanwhile, the Brewers (6-1) have won five straight and are at home tonight. Easy Brew Crew layup, right?

This line opened with Milwaukee as a moderate -134 favorite. Currently 63% of bets are laying the moneyline with the favorite, yet the line has fallen to -120. Why would oddsmakers drop the line to give out a better price to public when they’re already betting the Brewers?

Because sharps loaded up on the Cubs, creating big liability for the house.

We noticed wiseguys hammer Chicago at +120 and twice at +115, triggering three separate steam and reverse line moves. The Cubs are only getting 37% of bets but 57% of dollars, further evidence of smart money in their favor.

Chicago is also a road divisional dog with a high total (8.5 or higher), a profitable spot historically.

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