Friday Sharp Report: Which Sweet 16 Matchups are Attracting Wiseguy Action?
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
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Yesterday was a solid day for sharp bettors. They lost the Loyola Chicago Over but cashed a massive cover with Kansas State (30% bets, 66% dollars, +5.5 to +5) and also hit the K-State-Kentucky Under (45% bets, 51% dollars, 138.5 to 137).
After examining all percentages, line movement and bet signals for Friday’s four-game slate, tonight’s Clemson-Kansas (7:07 p.m. ET) and Texas Tech-Purdue (9:57 p.m. ET) matchups are becoming the focal points of wiseguy action.
All data as of 2:00 p.m. ET
Clemson-Kansas Under 142.5
7:07 p.m. ET
Kansas is one of the highest-scoring teams left in the tournament. The Jayhawks have averaged 81.4 ppg this season and are coming off an 83-79 win over Seton Hall in the Round of 32. So it’s no surprise that nearly 65% of bets are taking the Over here (the most lopsided public Over play of the night). Not the wiseguys. They see a buy-low, contrarian Under play.
Despite two out of three bets going Over, the total has fallen from 143 to 142.5. Why would the books drop the total if public bettors are already going Over? Because they have big Under liability. Sharps at ABC hit the Under 143, causing market-wide reverse line movement. The Under is also getting a slightly higher share of dollars, another smart money indicator.
So far, Unders have gone 33-22 (60%) in the 2018 NCAA Tournament. Since 2005, Unders getting less than 50% of bets have gone 53-38 (58.2%) in the Sweet 16, per our Bet Labs software.
Texas Tech-Purdue Over 138
9:57 p.m. ET
After opening 137.5 at Pinnacle, this number didn’t move all week until a massive wave of sharp money hit the market Friday morning. At first glance, action appears to be balanced, with 51% of tickets taking the Over. However, The Action Network’s dollar percentages tell a different story, reporting that 75% of dollars are playing the Over.
According to Sports Insights’ Bet Signals — which track sharp money in real time across the market — professionals steamed Over 137.5 at Pinnacle around 11:10 a.m. ET today, revealing that wiseguy action is responsible for this line movement.
A few reminders:
- A really high bet percentage is usually a clear indicator of who public bettors (aka the guys who don’t do this for a living) are taking. And breaking news: The majority of public bettors aren’t successful over the long haul.
- To help locate which games the pros are on, focus on the money percentage metric. If a team is getting a much higher share of dollars compared to bets, that’s a good sign that the wiseguys are on them.
- Don’t blindly bet games based on percentages. You also have to look at the line movement. One of the best sharp indicators is Reverse Line Movement: when the betting line moves in the opposite direction of the team the public is betting. Example: Duke is getting 75% of spread bets vs. North Carolina but you see the line move from Duke -1 to +1.5. That’s a sure sign the wiseguys are on UNC.
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Cover Photo via Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: Purdue Boilermakers forward Matt Haarms (32) reacts to defeating the Butler Bulldogs in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament