NCAA Tournament Sharp Report: How the Pros Are Betting Duke-Virginia Tech, Kentucky-Houston

NCAA Tournament Sharp Report: How the Pros Are Betting Duke-Virginia Tech, Kentucky-Houston article feature image
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Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mike Krzyzewski

  • Wiseguys are betting two March Madness games on Friday, headlined by Virginia Tech-Duke (9:39 p.m. ET on CBS).
  • Sharps are also getting down on Houston-Kentucky (9:59 p.m. ET on TBS).
  • Using the tools available at The Action Network, we analyze how pros are betting each game.

Wiseguys swept the board on Thursday, going a perfect 5-0 with their Sweet 16 plays. Whether they go undefeated or get taken to the woodshed, the blueprint never changes for the sharps, especially this time of year. They’ll continue to look to exploit an NCAA Tournament market flooded with public money.

After analyzing Friday’s Sweet 16 slate using the betting tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, I’ve identified sharp action two Friday night games: Duke-Virginia Tech and Kentucky-Houston.

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.

Virginia Tech vs. Duke

9:39 p.m. ET | CBS

Sharp angle: Virginia Tech (+7.5 to +7)

Sharps and squares are on opposite sides of this East Region spread.

Top seeded Duke (31-5) opened as a seven point favorite against 4-seed Virginia Tech (26-8). Currently 57% of bets are laying the points with Duke, but 66% of dollars are taking Virginia Tech to cover the spread, indicating sharp money on the dog.

Meanwhile, despite receiving the majority of bets, Duke has fallen from -7.5 to -7. This reverse line movement signals smart money on the Hokies.

Virginia Tech also fits the profitable Bet Labs PRO system NCAA Tournament Defensive Teams (57% ATS since 2005).


Houston vs. Kentucky

9:59 p.m. ET | CBS

Sharp angle: Houston (+3 to +2.5)

Recreational bettors don’t know what side of this Midwest Regional spread to take. But wiseguys have taken a clear position.

Two seed Kentucky (29-6) opened as a short 2.5-point favorite. Early public betting pushed Wildcats to -3. That’s when wiseguys got down hard on the Cougars at an inflated +3.

Currently spread bets are split around 50/50, but nearly 62% of dollars are grabbing the points with underdog Houston (33-3). This glaring bets-vs.-dollars discrepancy indicates sharp money on the Cougars.

Houston also matches two Bet Labs PRO systems: NCAA Tournament Defensive Teams (57% ATS since 2005) and NCAA Tournament Slow Paced Dogs (61% ATS).

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