Wednesday Sharp Report: Pros Take a Side in Syracuse-Boston College
Feb 21, 2018; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim motions to a referee in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
For sharp college hoops bettors, this is the best time of year. The regular season is coming to an end (sadly), but conference tournaments are getting started, followed by the ultimate pot of gold at the end of the wiseguy rainbow: March Madness.
After examining all the percentages and line movement for Wednesday’s 35-game slate, here are 10 college basketball games that professional players are focusing on tonight, covering contests that start at 7, 8, 9 and 11 p.m. ET.
For a full glossary betting of terms, plus the sides getting the highest percentage of tickets and money, check out the bottom of the article.
All data as of 4:30 p.m. ET
Fordham (+8) at George Washington
7 p.m. ET
In a battle between two A-10 cellar-dwellers, more than 60% of bets are on the home favorite with the better record (GW 13-16, Fordham 9-19). However, sharps see value in the road dog. Fordham enjoys a valuable bet vs. dollar discrepancy, a sign of smart money grabbing the points, not laying them. Sharps at BetOnline steamed Fordham +9, causing the market to drop the Rams to +8.
Dayton (+2.5) at La Salle
7 p.m. ET
Another conference battle between sub-.500 teams. Another spot where the public likes the home favorite but the sharps like the road dog. Dayton is only getting 27% of bets (but 58% of dollars) and the line has moved in their direction (+3 to +2.5) despite more than 70% of bets taking La Salle. This reverse line movement was triggered by wiseguys at ABC getting down hard on Dayton +3.
Robert Morris (+5.5) at Mount St. Mary’s
7 p.m. ET
Robert Morris enjoys one of the best bet vs. dollar discrepancies tonight. The road dog is only getting 38% of bets but 78% of dollars, a sign that the smart money is grabbing the points in this NEC matchup. Meanwhile, despite receiving more than 60% of bets, Mount St. Mary’s has fallen from -6.5 to -5.5. Why would the books drop the line to give public bettors a better number? Because sharp bettors at Pinnacle steamed RMU, causing the line to fall. Wes Reynolds also noted a revenge spot for Robby Mo.
Sharps also like the Under. They got down hard on Under 135 at BetOnline and again on Under 135.5 at JustBet.
Mississippi (+9) at Kentucky
7 p.m. ET
We’re looking at a classic Pros vs. Joes matchup here. Nearly 80% of bets are taking Kentucky, but the sharps like Mississippi to cover the big spread. How do we know? Because Ole Miss is only getting 21% of bets (but 27% of dollars) and the line moved big in their direction (+12 to +9). Sharps hammered the Rebels at +11 (Greek) and again at +10 (Pinnacle), causing market-wide reverse line movement. Wes Reynolds also noted a possible Fat and Happy letdown spot for Kentucky.
Rutgers (+1) at Minnesota
8 p.m. ET
Sharps really love Rutgers tonight. In the first game of the Big Ten Tournament (neutral court), nearly 70% of bets are on Minnesota but the Gophers have moved from -2.5 to -1. What caused this massive movement toward the contrarian dog? Wiseguys got down hard on Rutgers +2 at Pinnacle, +1 at ABC and a pick’em at Sportsbook, causing four steam and reverse line moves that pushed the Scarlet Knights all the way to -1.5. Late Minnesota buyback has leveled the line back to Gophers -1.
Air Force (+9.5) at Wyoming
9 p.m. ET
Air Force is 11-17 and Wyoming is 18-11. So naturally recreational bettors have no problem laying big points on the home favorite. However, sharps like Air Force to lose by single digits. The Falcons are only getting 39% of bets but 83% of dollars, a massive bet vs. dollar discrepancy. Meanwhile, AF has fallen from +11.5 to +9.5 since opening, signaling sharp reverse line movement. John Ewing noted that Air Force also fits a profitable Bet Labs system that is 60% ATS since 2015-16: money disparity causes line move.
Florida State (+3.5) at Clemson
9 p.m. ET
Another Pros vs. Joes matchup. More than 60% of bets are on 21-7 Clemson, but the line has moved a full point toward 19-9 Florida State. Why do public players like Clemson? Because FSU is coming off a 20-point blowout against NC State and is 0-5 ATS in their last five games. Public bettors remember who burned them, creating good buy-low value for sharp FSU backers. The Seminoles are getting more money than bets (37% vs. 42%) and received the game’s only bet signal thus far: a reverse line move from Sportsbook which dropped FSU from +4.5 to +3.5 around the market.
Syracuse at Boston College (-2)
9 p.m. ET
Square bettors love big-name schools, so naturally they’re heavy on Syracuse. However, sharps really love Boston College tonight. The Eagles are only getting 33% of bets but it accounts for 61% of dollars, indicating smart money on the home team. We’ve also seen huge line movement in BC’s favor. Wiseguys hammered BC +1 at Pinnacle and BC -1 at SBG. This caused Boston College to move from +1 all the way to -2. Sharps also triggered a pair of steam moves on the Under.
Butler at St. John’s (+2)
9 p.m. ET
Butler (19-10) has won two straight while St. John’s (14-15) has lost two straight. So of course recreational bettors are loading up on road favorite Butler laying a short spread. But the sharp money is on the home dog. The Red Storm are only getting 24% of bets (but more money) in a late, heavily-bet game, creating great contrarian value for sharp bettors. Meanwhile, despite the heavily-lopsided Butler betting, the line hasn’t moved off -2. This line freeze indicates liability on St. John’s. The books don’t want to give out a +2.5 to the wiseguys.
Nevada at UNLV (+2)
11 p.m. ET
Nevada is 25-5, ranked 21st overall and only opened at -3 against unranked UNLV? Lay the points. Lock of the century. Not so fast. Despite only getting 36% of bets, UNLV (19-10) has moved from +3 to +2, indicating sharp reverse line movement on the Rebels. This was caused by an overload of sharp action on UNLV +3 at Pinnacle, one of the sharpest offshore books.
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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.
Cover Photo via Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim