Thursday’s Sharp Report: Seven CBB Games the Wiseguys Are Betting

Thursday’s Sharp Report: Seven CBB Games the Wiseguys Are Betting article feature image
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Feb 3, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; St. Mary’s Gaels center Jock Landale (34) reacts after a Gaels basket during the second half against the San Diego Toreros at Jenny Craig Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Thirsty Thursday is here! With only two NBA games tonight, the betting world will be laser focused on college hoops. Just the way we like it.

After breaking down all the lines and percentages, here are the seven college basketball bets the professional players are getting down on tonight.

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. Another sharp indicator is a Line Freeze: when you see heavy lopsided betting but the line doesn’t budge. This indicates liability and a reluctance to move the line and give sharps a better number. Example: Kansas is -7 against West Virginia and 70% of bets are on the Jayhawks, yet the line remains stagnant and doesn’t moved off of 7. That indicates sharp liability on the Mountaineers, with the books reluctant to give sharp contrarian bettors a +7.5 or +8.

Cincinnati at Houston (+3)

7 p.m. ET

Cincinnati is ranked fifth in the nation, boasts a 23-2 record and is only giving three points? If it looks too good to be true, it is. Houston is 19-5, on its home court and only getting 37% of bets, but it accounts for nearly half the money wagered in this game, a sign of smart money taking the home dog. After opening at +3.5, the Cougars have fallen to +3. It may fall even more to +2.5. This indicates sharp reverse line movement with the wiseguys grabbing the points, not laying them.

Temple at Wichita State (-12.5)

7 p.m. ET

In his debut Betting Brunch piece, Mark Gallant showed public Temple backers his Resting Brunch Face by highlighting the heavy sharp action on the home favorite Shockers. Wichita State, normally a public darling, is getting fewer than 50% of bets but two-thirds of the money. Plus we’ve seen the line move toward Wichita State (-11.5 to -12.5). In theory, the line shouldn’t move if the bets are relatively even. This movement was caused by an overload of wiseguy Shockers money at CRIS, one of the sharpest offshore books. Just like Auburn last night, the sharps will be fading the trendy dog.

Ohio State at Penn State (-1.5)

8 p.m. ET

The “Wake and Rake” kingpin PJ Walsh spotted this Pros vs. Joes showdown from a mile away. In the most heavily bet game of the night, the public is hammering eighth-ranked Ohio State. However, the line has moved from a pick’em to Penn State -1.5. Why would the oddsmakers give public Buckeyes bettors a free point and a half? Because wiseguys hammered the Nittany Lions as soon as the line came out, triggering four reverse line moves across the market.

Utah (-1) at Washington

9 p.m. ET

Utah is 15-9 while Washington is 17-8. So of course recreational bettors are taking the home team with the slightly better record. But the sharps like Utah. The game opened at a pick’em and wiseguys promptly hammered the Utes at ABC, BetUS and Pinnacle, causing the line to move to Utah -1. Washington is getting a higher share of dollars, which is normally a good thing but not when you’re with the public and the line is going the other way (it’s likely all square dollars).

Cal Santa Barbara at Long Beach State (-1.5)

10 p.m. ET

Public bettors saw 19-5 Cal Santa Barbara open at -1 or a pick’em and promptly pounded the Gauchos. But sharps see an upset brewing. While Long Beach (13-14) is only getting 33% of bets, they’ve moved from a pick’em to -1.5. This sharp movement was caused by a pair of bet signals on Long Beach at +1 (Heritage) and at pick’em (Pinnacle).

Oregon State (+6.5) at UCLA

11 p.m. ET

Public bettors love home teams, favorites and popular brands. So of course they see 17-8 UCLA at home and have no problem laying the points against 13-11 Oregon State. However, despite only getting 22% of bets, the Beavers have moved from +8.5 to +6.5 since opening, indicating big smart money is on their side. Sharps hit the Beavers at +9 (ABC) and +8 (CRIS), causing the entire market to drop the line.

Saint Mary’s at San Francisco (+8.5) 

11 p.m. ET

In one of the most lopsided games of the night, the public is pounding the 15th-ranked Gaels (83% of spread bets). However, sharp action has come down on the big home dog. Wiseguys hit San Francisco at +10 and again at +9, causing a pair of steam and reverse line moves at CRIS and BetUS. These bet signals are especially significant because San Fran is only getting 17% of bets. Will St Mary’s win the game? Probably. But sharps think it will be closer than the public thinks.

Thirsty for more game breakdowns and in-depth analysis? Sign up for a Sports Insights Pro trial and join our Live Betting Hangouts where we break down the entire board every weeknight 6:30-7 p.m. ET. The Pro membership also gives you steam and reverse line move bet signals.

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Cover photo via Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports