After being treated to four days of nonstop NCAA Tournament action, sports bettors are back to scavenging through late-season NBA and NHL games, as well as the various minor college tournaments whose acronyms I don’t know the full names of.
Here are the three plays that have attracted the most public attention tonight:
Jacksonville State (-2.5) at Central Arkansas
6:30 p.m. ET
The first college hoops game tonight is also the most lopsided, as 76% of bettors have taken the road team in this CBI matchup. That heavy backing has made Jacksonville State a 2.5-point favorite in a game that opened as a pick’em.
Why the public loves Jacksonville State: I’m guessing most fans don’t know much about either team in this one, but a quick look at records gives J-State a fairly significant edge. They’re 22-12 to Central Arkansas’ 18-16, making the short spread worth a gamble to public bettors.
Milwaukee Bucks-Cleveland Cavaliers Over 224.5
7:00 p.m. ET
Despite an eight-game NBA slate, no betting play has eclipsed 70% of bets. This one comes the closest, though, as 68% of bettors have taken the over, and have helped move the total from 222.5 to 224.5 to make it the highest on the board tonight.
Why the public loves the over: Overs are obviously more fun to root for, so more often than not, they’ll have the public on their side. But in this particular game, bettors might be relying on some recent trends when taking a shot on the high total.
Both of these teams have winning “over records” on the season, and the total has gone over in eight of the last 10 meetings between the two, including all three meetups this season.
Nashville Predators (-245) at Buffalo Sabres
7:00 p.m. ET
This is the most lopsided game across all sports tonight, with the Preds getting 83% of betss despite their steep price. At -245, this line has actually increased from its opening number of -235 thanks to the heavy Nashville support.
Why the public loves Nashville: It’s a matchup of best in the West vs. worst in the East. The Predators could be -400 and I think they’d still attract the majority of bets in this one.
Photo: LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo
Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports