Find Value by Fading the Public in Wednesday’s Power Conference Games
The most popular game on Wednesday’s slate among gamblers is No. 2 Virginia at Florida State. It’s early, but this ACC matchup is garnering twice as many bets as No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Ohio State and No. 1 Villanova vs. St. John’s.
Not only is this the most heavily-bet game but the public has a strong opinion on which team will cover, leading to lopsided action. Is that the sharp bettors music I hear? Here is how contrarian bettors will attack UVA-FSU as well as a handful of tonight’s key matchups.
At the time of publication, 74% of spread tickets have been placed on Virginia. UVA (22-1, 11-0) enters Wednesday’s game on a 14-game winning streak, which includes a 9-2-1 ATS mark during that stretch (two of the games weren’t lined). Meanwhile, after starting the season 11-1, Florida State has faded, going 6-5 in ACC play.
It seems like an easy bet, at least to squares. Tony Bennett’s team is not only playing at a high level but is also a small favorite (opened -3) vs. an unranked team.
What casual gamblers might not know is that Florida State is 10-1 in Tallahassee this year and has won 32 of its last 33 games at home. The Noles have gone 21-6-2 (77.8%) ATS in its last 33 homes games (four weren’t lined). While not currently ranked in the AP Poll, FSU is 23rd in KenPom’s rankings and 18th in offensive efficiency.
When the public zigs, contrarian bettors zag. UVA is the popular side in tonight’s matchup, which means smart money will take Florida State as a home underdog.
Fade the public in big conference games: betting teams getting less than 25% of spread bets in power conference showdowns has gone 537-411-21 (57%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $9,912 following this betting strategy.
We are on Florida State tonight, but this isn’t the only game from a major conference with lopsided action. Each of the following contests feature a team getting less than 30% of spread tickets and should be monitored as potential system matches.
No. 1 Villanova vs. St. John’s
St. John’s hasn’t beaten Nova since 2011, but we know the Red Storm has the potential to pull the upset after shocking No. 4 Duke 81-77 on Sunday. Still, only 28% of bets are on St. John’s as 16.5-point underdogs against the top-ranked team in the country.
No. 3 Purdue vs. No. 14 Ohio State
Ohio State is top 25 in offensive and defensive efficiency and 73% of bettors like the Buckeyes +9.5. While Chris Holtmann’s team is good, Purdue is even better. The Boilermakers are the top-scoring team in the conference and third in scoring defense. Purdue has the longest winning streak in the country (17) and hasn’t lost in Mackey Arena in 21 tries.
No. 25 Miami vs. Wake Forest
Only 22% of bets are on Wake Forest (+8.5). The reason, the Demon Deacons have lost eight of nine and 10 of their last 12. Don’t let that scare you. Remember being a contrarian bettor means backing ugly dogs.
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