Sharp bettors are sweating almost as much as Buzz Williams right now, but they were ultimately able to cash their Virginia Tech tickets in the most heavily bet game of the night. Behind only 25% of bets, the Hokies pulled off a straight-up victory over Duke as a 5-point dog.
That’s enough looking back … let’s take a peak at six games on tomorrow’s college hoops slate that might have wiseguys and squares in disagreement.
Missouri at Vanderbilt (pk)
7 p.m. ET
Why the public will love Missouri: The Tigers are currently in seventh place in the SEC at 8-8 in conference and 18-11 overall. Compare that to last place Vanderbilt’s 5-11 and 11-18 records, and the public should be more than happy to take the Tigers at a pick’em.
Why sharps might like Vandy: Sure, the Commodores are just 11-18 overall, but those 11 wins all have one thing in common: They were played at home. Vandy is now 11-6 at Memorial, with a handful of those wins coming against some decent competition (Florida, Miss State, Georgia, TCU, Bama). To me, Mizzou fits right in with that quality of team, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone if Vandy comes out on top tomorrow.
Ball State at Central Michigan (pk)
7 p.m. ET
Why the public will love Ball State: In a similar spot to Mizzou, Ball State has a significantly better record than its host. At 10-6 in MAC play, a pick’em seems too easy against a team on a three-game losing streak, sitting at the bottom of standings (5-11 in conference).
Why sharps might like Central Michigan: Two games in and I’m already starting to sound like a broken record, because yes, CMU is tough to beat at home. Match up its 9-5 home record with Ball State’s less-than-impressive 5-8 road record, and suddenly a pick’em starts to look like an appropriate spread.
No. 14 Auburn at Arkansas (-2)
9 p.m. ET
Why the public will love Auburn: A top-15 team getting points against an unranked opponent has public money written all over it. Auburn also lost its most recent game, and square bettors are often fooled into thinking that teams with high win percentages are unlikely to lose a second consecutive game.
Why sharps might like Arkansas: Wiseguys might be looking to take advantage of that gambler’s fallacy if they back yet another strong home squad. The Razorbacks are 14-2 at home on the year, and with their biggest game of the year coming on senior night, home-court advantage should be apparent.
Depaul (+8.5) at Creighton
9 p.m. ET
Why the public will love Creighton: Comparing the records of these two Big East teams, I’d be surprised if this doesn’t end up as one of the most lopsided games on tomorrow’s slate. Creighton is 20-9 overall and 9-7 in conference, while Depaul’s respective records are 11-17 and 4-12. As a single-digit favorite at home, Creighton should attract a ton of public action.
Why sharps might like Depaul: The Blue Demons may be second-to-last in the Big East, but they’ve been profitable for bettors this season. At 15-12-1 against the spread, they’ve got a slight edge over Creighton (14-14). Depaul was also able to manage just a one-point loss when these teams met less than three weeks ago.
Davidson (+3) at St. Bonaventure
9 p.m. ET
Why the public will love St. Bonaventure: These two are tied atop the A-10 at 12-4 apiece, but the Bonnies have a significant edge in overall record at 22-6 to Davidson’s 17-10. Add in the Bonnies’ home-court advantage and 3 points will seem like an easy winner to the public.
Why sharps might like Davidson: Davidson has been hot as of late, winning seven of its past eight games. The Wildcats have also covered fairly consistently at 15-11 ATS this season, compared St. Bonaventure’s 13-13. The last time these teams met, Davidson won by a comfortable 10 points at home, so sharps may see some value in taking the points on the road.
Boise State at San Diego State (-3)
11 p.m. ET
Why the public will love Boise State: This is another case where square bettors will compare records and come to a fairly easy decision. Boise State is 22-6 overall and 12-4 in conference, while SDSU is 17-10 and just 9-7 in the Mountain West. Give public bettors three points, and they should be all over the Broncos tomorrow night.
Why sharps might like San Diego State: We’re going back to home/away records for this one. The Aztecs are an impressive 11-2 at home, while Boise State is just 6-4 on the road. It’s also worth noting that all of San Diego State’s wins on its current four-game streak have come by double digits.
Photo: Creighton guard Marcus Foster (right) and DePaul guard Brandon Cyrus (4). Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports