Thursday Sharp Report: Wiseguys Teeing Off on Kansas State-Kentucky

Thursday Sharp Report: Wiseguys Teeing Off on Kansas State-Kentucky article feature image

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Sharp Report readers are in for a treat today. Not only do we have a trio of Sweet 16 wiseguy plays to discuss, but more importantly, they’ll be brought to you by the dynamic duo of Wake and Rake Kingpin PJ Walsh and Josh “Action” Appelbaum. Sports betting history may never be the same after today.


After examining all percentages, line movement and bet signals for Thursday’s 6-game slate, here are three college basketball bets that professional players are focusing on, including picks on tonight’s Loyola Chicago-Nevada (7:07 p.m. ET) and Kansas State-Kentucky (9:37 p.m. ET) matchups.

All data as of 1:30 p.m. ET

Loyola Chicago-Nevada Over 143

7:07 p.m. ET

Recreational bettors have a psychological bias toward betting Overs. Why? Because it’s more fun to watch a high-scoring, entertaining game instead of rooting for missed baskets, blocks and shot clock violations. In the rare instances that the public loads up on an Under, it creates unique contrarian Over value for sharp bettors.

Nearly 60% of bets are taking the Loyola Chicago-Nevada Under, however, more than 60% of dollars are on the Over. This massive bet vs. dollar discrepancy indicates Average Joe money on the Under, with smart money going Over.

Using our Sports Insights Bet Signal tools, we tracked a pair of profitable steam moves on Over 143.5 at BetUS and Over 143 at 5Dimes. These moves are especially meaningful because they’re a combined +78.4 units won this season (two of the best signals in all of college hoops). That means if you put $100 down every time both books hammered a total this season, you would be up $7,840 right now.

Kansas State (+5) vs. Kentucky, and Under 137

9:37 p.m. ET

In the most lopsided game of the night, nearly 70% of bets are laying the points with powerhouse Kentucky. Not the wiseguys. They see an under-the-radar contrarian play with Kansas State. Despite getting only 32% of bets, K-State has moved from +6 to +5. Why would the books drop the Kentucky line and give recreational bettors an easier number to cover? No, they’re not being charitable. Oddsmakers moved the line because sharps got down hard on K-State, creating big liability.


Wiseguys at SBG hammered K-State +6, causing market-wide reverse line movement that dropped the dog down to +5. Kansas State is also getting a higher share of dollars vs. bets, another smart money indicator.

Not only are sharps on the spread, but they’ve also jumped all over the total as well. This number opened at 138.5 across the market and sportsbooks have taken a steady diet of professional under money, highlighted by two separate Steam Moves, including the high-powered 5Dimes play.

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.

Cover Photo via Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Pictured: Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari speaks with media during the practice day