The public got off to a hot start today as BC (68% of spread tickets) knocked off Georgia Tech, 87-77, as a 3-point favorite. Will that winning start persist throughout the day? These three games should have a lot to say about that.

 

Coppin State at NC Central (-7.5)

6:30 p.m ET

As of now, NC Central is the only team in college hoops getting more than 80% of spread tickets tonight. The Eagles have drawn 81% of bets that have accounted for 95% of the spread money wagered on this game, moving the line from its opening number of -7 to -7.5.

Why the public loves NC Central: As we’ll likely see throughout March, public money has landed on a higher seed. In this case, bettors are probably also basing their wagers off NC Central’s far superior record. The Eagles finished the regular season at an even 15-15 to Coppin State’s 5-26.

Wake Forest at Syracuse (-4.5)

7 p.m. ET

In the final game of the ACC Tournament‘s first round, Syracuse has drawn plenty of public money. The Orange have accounted for 79% of spread tickets and 91% of spread dollars to this point, and like NC Central, their line has moved a half point since opening, from -4 to -4.5.

Why the public loves Cuse: Squares love big name schools and recognizable head coaches, especially in tournament play. Syracuse offers both. Cuse also enters the tournament as an 11-seed to Wake’s 14, which will automatically draw public attention at a relatively low spread.

 

Denver Nuggets (-6) at Dallas Mavericks

8:30 p.m. ET

Onto the big boys. In the most lopsided game at the pro level, Denver has received 81% of spread tickets to this point and 79% of spread dollars. As we’ve seen in both games above, this line has moved according to the money. The Nuggets opened as 4.5-point favorites but have since jumped to -6.

Why the public loves Denver: A better heading might be, “Why the public hates Dallas”, but you get the idea. The Mavs are 13th in the West at 19-45 and have lost three straight. Meanwhile, Denver is riding a two-game win streak and clinging onto a playoff spot by a half game at the moment, so you could say this game means a little more to them.

Photo: Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and guard Tyus Battle

Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Follow Danny Donahue on Twitter
@dannyjdonahue