2019 NCAA Tournament Sharp Report: Pros Betting Virginia vs. Oklahoma, 2 Other Sunday Games
Photo credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Virginia basketball
- Wiseguys are betting three March Madness games on Sunday, headlined by Iowa-Tennessee (12:10 p.m. ET on CBS).
- Sharps are also getting down on Liberty-Virginia Tech (7:10 p.m. ET on TBS) and Virginia-Oklahoma (7:45 p.m. ET on truTV).
- Using the tools available at The Action Network, we analyze how the pros are betting each game.
Wiseguys had an up-and-down Saturday, cashing the Maryland spread and Maryland under, but then losing both the Gonzaga and Kansas unders. Sharps will look to rebound and finish the Round of 32 by picking off inflated spreads and soft totals.
After analyzing Saturday’s 8-game NCAA Tournament slate using the betting tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, I’ve identified three games receiving 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. Tennessee
12:10 p.m. ET | CBS
Sharp angle: Iowa (moved from +8.5 to +8)
Iowa, 23-11 and a 10-seed, is coming off an impressive 79-72 upset over Cincinnati in the first round. Meanwhile, Tennessee (30-5) barely held off Colgate, 77-70, in the opening round.
Nevertheless, the public sees a higher-seeded team with a better record and can’t lay off the Volunteers.
Tennessee opened as an 8-point favorite. Heavy public betting (69% of tickets) pushed the Vols to -8.5. That’s when wiseguys hammered Iowa at +8.5, triggering market-wide reverse line movement.
This overload of sharp action forced oddsmakers to drop Iowa back down to +8. Essentially we are seeing a sharp line freeze, with the liability clearly on the Hawkeyes despite the heavy public Vols betting.
Iowa matches a profitable Bet Labs System based on slow-paced March Madness dogs. Since 2005, dogs that play at a pace of 70 or below have covered 58.1% of the time.
Liberty vs. Virginia Tech
7:10 p.m. ET | CBS
Sharp angle: Under (moved from 126 to 124.5)
Pros and Joes (casual bettors who bet for fun) are on completely different sides of this East Region Second Round over/under.
The total opened at 126. Currently 65% of bets are taking the over, yet 71% of dollars are taking the under. This massive bet-vs.-dollar discrepancy indicates heavy smart money banking on a low-scoring game.
Using our Sports Insights Bet Signals, we noticed sharps get down hard on the Under 126 at two separate sportsbooks. This wave of respected money forced oddsmakers to drop the line down to 124.5. We haven’t seen a single conflicting over move (or buyback) at the time of publication.
Virginia vs. Oklahoma
7:45 p.m. ET | TruTV
Sharp angle: Under (moved from 128 to 126)
This over/under is a bit of a head-scratcher for the public. The 9-seed Sooners (20-13) just hung 95 points on Ole Miss in the opening round. Sure, 1-seed Virginia (30-3) is the top defensive team in the country (allowing 55.1 points per game), but this total is so low it has to go over, right?
The total opened at 128. Currently 59% of bets are taking the over, but 70% of dollars are taking the under. This signals average $5 bets from casual bettors on the over, with the under taking in the big money from pro players.
This influx of smart under money created big liability for the books, forcing them to drop the total down to 126.
This under matches the Slow Pace Bet Labs System. When two teams playing at a pace of 65 or less square off (in both regular and postseason), the under has hit at a 61.5% clip since 2005.