Wednesday Sharp Report: 4 College Basketball Bets Attracting Wiseguy Action
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Sharp bettors kicked off March Madness in style yesterday, cashing a massive cover (and straight-up win) by St. Bonaventure over UCLA. The Bonnies checked off every box that sharps look for: low bets (39%), higher dollars (52%), and smart money line movement (+3 to +2.5).
The Madness doesn’t truly start until tomorrow. But wiseguys aren’t punting on today’s board. After examining all the percentages, line movement and bet signals for Wednesday’s 19-game slate, here are four college basketball bets that professional players are focusing on today, including games that start at 7:00, 9:10 and 10:00 p.m. ET.
All data as of 4:00 p.m. ET
Harvard-Marquette Under 147
7:00 p.m. ET
Sharps and squares are on completely different pages when it comes to this NIT First Round total. Nearly 60% of bets are taking the Over, but more than 70% of dollars are on the Under. This indicates predominantly Average Joe money on the Over, with big sharp wagers going Under. Wiseguys at BetUS steamed the Under 149, causing the entire market to drop the total down to 147.
Miami Ohio-Campbell Under 144
7:00 p.m. ET
It’s a misconception that wiseguys and Average Joes are never on the same side. It’s rare, but it does happen. Take this total for instance. More than 70% of bets are on the Under, but it’s also received heavy wiseguy steam as well. Sharps at 5Dimes (+65.2 units, best bet signal in all of college hoops) got down hard on Under 147.5. This big Under liability forced the market to move the line down to 144.
Arizona State (-2) vs Syracuse
9:10 p.m. ET
We’re seeing a repeat of last night’s St. Bonaventure-UCLA play-in game. In the most heavily bet game of the night, the public is siding with the big name school (nearly 60% on Syracuse). However, sharps see an undervalued spot with Arizona State.
The Sun Devils have lost five of their last six and are getting only 43% of bets, yet we’ve seen sharp reverse line movement in their favor. The game opened at a pick’em, and wiseguys at Pinnacle pounced on Arizona State, triggering a market-wide steam move that pushed the Sun Devils to -2.
BYU (+2.5) at Stanford
10:00 p.m. ET
Recreational bettors love betting favorites and teams with better rankings. So it’s no surprise that Average Joes are heavy on 3-seed Stanford as a short home favorite against 6-seed BYU in this NIT first-round showdown. However, even though nearly 70% of bets are on the Cardinal, the line has remained frozen on Stanford -2.5. In fact, it’s even dipped to -2 throughout the day, a sign of sharp reverse line movement. The fact that the oddsmakers refuse to move to -3 shows that the books are reluctant to hand out the extra half point to sharp contrarian BYU bettors. The Cougars also received the game’s only bet signal: a profitable reverse line move at SBG (+18.9 units, the best spread bet signal in college hoops).
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 the 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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If you have any questions about Sports Insights, the Betting Hangouts, or betting concepts in general, you can find me on Twitter @Josh_Insights
Cover Photo via Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: Arizona State Sun Devils guard Remy Martin dunks against the Stanford Cardinal