Nine conference tournaments are getting underway Wednesday, so square bettors should continue coming out of the woodwork as there’ll be plenty of action to keep fans occupied throughout the day and night. Here are the three sides that are shaping up to be the biggest public plays of the night.
Vanderbilt vs. Georgia (-2)
7 p.m. ET
Georgia has dominated the betting in the opening game of the SEC tourney. Getting 78% of spread tickets and 85% of spread dollars, Georgia has been attracting public bettors since it opened as a 2.5-point favorite. But despite their heavy backing, the Bulldogs have dropped to -2.
Why the public loves Georgia: UGA enters the tournament seeded slightly higher than Vandy (12 vs. 13), and their overall record is considerably better (16-14 vs. 12-19). Laying just two points, the public will take the higher seed every time.
This game is also attracting plenty of sharp action, as highlighted in Josh Appelbaum’s Wednesday Sharp Action Report.
Ole Miss vs. South Carolina (-3)
9:30 p.m. ET
Wednesday’s other SEC first-round matchup features the most lopsided ticket percentages for any sport tonight. South Carolina has received 85% of spread tickets to this point, accounting for 93% of spread money. But, like Georgia, South Carolina has seen its line fall a half point from the opening number.
Why the public loves South Carolina: This is almost an identical case of public money landed on a higher seed with a better record. Throw in the fact that every casual fan saw the Gamecocks make a run to the Final Four last year, and this has lopsided bets written all over it.
Depaul vs. Marquette (-5.5)
9:30 p.m. ET
In the second of tonight’s two Big East first-round matchups, 10-seed Marquette has attracted 81% of bettors as a 5.5-point favorite. That 81% has only accounted for 39% of the spread money wagered on this game, dropping the line from its opening number of 6.
Why the public loves Marquette: Public bettors have watched Marquette have a solid season in the Big East this year. The Golden Eagles have knocked off Seton Hall (twice), Georgetown (twice), Creighton, and Providence, and have given both Villanova and Xavier a serious run for their money. Meanwhile, Depaul enters the Big East tournament as the lowest seed, making a 5.5-point spread feel like a gimme.
With all of these lines trending toward the contrarian side, don’t be surprised to see a couple show up in tonight’s Sharp Action Report.
Photo: South Carolina guard Wesley Myers
Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports