2019 NCAA Tournament Sharp Report: Pros Betting Wisconsin-Oregon, 2 Other Friday Games

2019 NCAA Tournament Sharp Report: Pros Betting Wisconsin-Oregon, 2 Other Friday Games article feature image

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Ethan Happ

  • Wiseguys are betting three NCAA Tournament games on Friday, headlined by Iowa-Cincinnati (12:15 p.m. ET on CBS).
  • Sharps are also getting down on Colgate-Tennessee (2:45 p.m. ET on CBS) and Oregon-Wisconsin (4:30 p.m. on TBS).
  • Using the tools available at The Action Network, we analyze how the pros are betting each game.

Wiseguys swept the board for the third consecutive day yesterday, cashing all three of their Thursday plays (UVM spread, Florida spread and Kansas under).

The March Madness market is flooded with recreational money, providing increased contrarian value and softer than usual lines: a perfect storm for professional bettors with an edge.

After analyzing Friday’s 16-game NCAA Tournament slate using the betting tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, I’ve identified three games receiving sharp action from professional bettors.

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.

Iowa vs. Cincinnati

12:15 p.m. ET | CBS

Sharp angle: Iowa (moved from +4.5 to +4)

In this South Region First Round early game, casual bettors take one look at the seeds and win-loss records for each team (plus the short spread) and that’s all they need to know.

Cincinnati is the higher seed (7) and boasts a superior record (28-6) compared to 10-seed Iowa (22-11). Bearcats all day, right?

Not so fast.

Despite receiving nearly 70% of bets, Cincy has fallen from -4.5 to -4 since opening. Using our Sports Insights Bet Signals, we noticed sharps hammer Iowa +4.5, triggering sharp reverse line movement in their favor.

Iowa is also in a highly profitable historical spot. The Hawkeyes match two separate Bet Labs PRO Systems: NCAA Tournament Contrarian (60.8% ATS since 2005) and NCAA Tournament Slow Paced Dogs (61% ATS).

Our Director of Predictive Analytics Sean Koerner has this spread at Cincinnati -0.5 based on our Bracket Simulator. .

Colgate vs. Tennessee

2:45 p.m. ET | CBS

Sharp angle: Under (moved from 151 to 148)

The public doesn’t know which way to go with this South Region First Round over/under. But sharps have taken a clear side.

This total opened at a relatively high 151. Over/under bets are split right down the middle, but the line has fallen down to 148. In a vacuum, a line shouldn’t budge if the tickets are even, aside from a slight juice adjustment. So what caused the movement?

According to our betting trends data, nearly 70% of dollars are coming in on the under, evidence of big smart money from pros with an edge.

Wiseguys hammered the under 151, under 150 and under 149, triggering four separate steam and reverse line moves. We haven’t seen one conflicting over move (or buyback).

Oregon vs. Wisconsin

4:30 p.m. ET | TBS

Sharp angle: Wisconsin (moved from -1 to -2)

Average Joes love betting favorites. In the unique situation that they load up on a dog, it creates rare contrarian value for sharps to buy low and back an unpopular favorite. This is called “fading the trendy dog.”

That’s exactly what’s happening in this South Region First Round game.

Wisconsin (23-10, 7-seed) opened as a short 1-point favorite and nearly 65% of bets are fading the Badgers. However, despite the public backing trendy 12-seed Oregon (23-12), the lined has moved further toward Wisconsin (-1 to -2), a dead giveaway that the Badgers are the sharp play.

Wisconsin is only getting 37% of bets but 47% of dollars, a profitable smart money discrepancy. We also noticed sharps crush the Badgers at -1, big reverse line movement in their favor.

Wisconsin matches two Bet Labs PRO systems: Fading Trendy Underdogs (61% ATS since 2005) and NCAA Tournament Contrarian (61% ATS).

Koerner’s Bracket Simulator has this game pegged at Wisconsin -5.5.