Thursday’s Sharp Report: Three NCAA Tournament Bets Pros Are Making

Thursday’s Sharp Report: Three NCAA Tournament Bets Pros Are Making article feature image

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Sean Miller

The Round of 64 is unique in that professional bettors have the luxury of four to five days to monitor, analyze and get down on the best numbers the market has to offer. Additionally, an exponential increase in public money flowing on these games can offer even more valuable opportunities than normal regular-season slates.


After examining percentages, line movement and bet signals, here are three NCAA Tournament bets that professional players are focusing on today, including games that start at 12:15, 4:00 and 9:40 p.m. ET.

All data as of 9:30 a.m. ET

#10 Oklahoma vs. #7 Rhode Island Under 157

12:15 p.m. ET opened this total at 161.5, and sharp action has hit the under multiple times throughout the week. Our Bet Signals — available to all Sports Insights Sportsbook Insider Pro subscribers — have triggered two Steam Moves on this total, the first at under 159.5 on Monday and another at 158 on Wednesday.

Despite the potential for Trae Young (pictured above) to go off, the under is clearly the sharp side in this matchup, and oddsmakers have reacted by dropping the total down to the current number of 157.

#12 South Dakota State vs. #5 Ohio State Under 147

4 p.m. ET

Not only is the South Dakota State spread a favorite play of public bettors, but sharp action has also come down on this game. While 59% of tickets are on the over, professional bettors steamed the under 148.5 at CRIS earlier in the week.

CRIS is a market-setting sportsbook that accepts high-limit wagers from professional bettors, revealing that the drop from an opener of 149.5 to 147 is largely the result of wiseguy action.

#13 Buffalo (+8) vs. # 4 Arizona

9:40 p.m. ET

This matchup has developed into your classic sharps vs. squares showdown. Sixty-six percent of tickets and 62% of dollars are laying the points with Arizona, yet the line has dropped from Wildcats -9.5 to -8. Our Bet Signals have triggered two Reverse Line Moves on Buffalo, explaining why its price has gotten shorter despite the majority of public money backing Arizona.

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.

Thirsty for more in-depth betting analysis? Sign up for a Sports Insights Pro trial and join our Live Betting Hangouts where we break down the entire board every weeknight from 6:30-7 p.m. ET.

The Pro membership also gives you a fully customizable live odds page with lines from 50+ books, the number of bets on every game, best bet picks, steam and reverse line moves, Sharp Action Report, weather, injuries, line watcher, line predictor and more.

Top Photo: Arizona coach Sean Miller; credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports