Wednesday Sharp Report: Xavier-Georgetown Total Drawing Heavy Action
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Sharp bettors never favor one bet type over the other. It’s all about capitalizing on soft lines. One night they might get down on five sides and one total. The next night it could be five totals and one side. It’s totally dependent on which bet type is offering the most value. Tonight looks to be totals night, with wiseguys hammering a plethora of unders and bypassing most of the sides.
After breaking down all the lines and percentages, here are the seven college basketball bets (one starting at 6:30 p.m, one starting at 7 p.m., one starting at 8:30 p.m., and four starting at 9 p.m. ET) the professional players are getting down on tonight.
For a full glossary betting of terms, plus the sides getting the highest percentage of tickets and money, check out the bottom of the article.
All data as of 3:45 p.m. ET
Xavier-Georgetown Under 159.5
6:30 p.m. ET
In this early Big East showdown, public bettors and sharp bettors are on completely different sides when it comes to the total. More than 70% of bets are on the Over, but it accounts for less than half the dollars. This indicates heavy Average Joe money on the Over. Sharps also triggered a trio of steam and reverse line moves on the Under. First they hit Under 162 at SBG, then 161 at Pinnacle, then 160 at YouWager. Even though the number got worse, they kept hitting it. This overload of sharp action has caused the total to drop from 161 to 159.5
Michigan-Penn State Under 134
7:00 p.m. ET
When betting totals, the public always defaults to the following premise: if the total is high, go under. If the total is low, go over. However, sharp bettors know that you should never bet a game based on that strategy. With a Big Ten total in the mid-130s, of course the public likes the Over. However, despite 74% going Over, the total has fallen from 136.5 to 134. Why would the books drop the total to give public Over backers free points? Because smart money is heavy on the Under (26% bets, 49% dollars). Wiseguys at CRIS pounded the Under 136.5 early this morning, then hit the Under again at 135.5. But it didn’t stop there. Sharps got down again on Under 135.5 at Pinnacle and Under 135 at 5Dimes. Best of all? No conflicting bet signals on the Over.
Depaul-Villanova Under 154.5
8:30 p.m. ET
Are you sensing a theme tonight? Another conference showdown, another sharp Under. Nova is the top-scoring school in the nation (87.4 ppg). So of course recreational bettors aren’t worried about the high total. Nearly 70% of bets are on the Over, but more than 50% of dollars are on the Under, indicating a Pros vs. Joes O/U bet split. After opening at 156, the total has fallen to 154.5. This was caused by a steam move on Under 156 at Bovada. Despite being a square book, Bovada’s O/U steam move has gone 54-41, +6.6 units this season. Translation: sharps who have accounts there (and haven’t been kicked out yet) are quietly picking their spots and winning at a 57% rate. As Larry David would say: pretty, pretty, pretty good.
Wake Forest (-9.5) at Pittsburgh
9:00 p.m. ET
In a matchup between the two worst teams in ACC, the public sees 10-17 Wake against 8-20 Pitt and says “might as well grab the home team getting big points.” But sharps are fading the trendy dog. How do we know? Because Wake is only getting 38% of bets but 52% of dollars and the line has moved in their favor. At noon ET, wiseguys got down hard on Wake -9 at Heritage, triggering a pair of steam and reverse line moves that pushed Wake all the way to -10.5. Pitt buyback has since showed up, bringing the line down to -9.5.
Duke-Louisville Under 154.5
9:00 p.m. ET
Death, Taxes and PJ Walsh Wake and Rake winners. I haven’t seen someone this hot since Tim Tebow flipped the sports world upside down and won six in a row with the Broncos in 2011. As PJ noted earlier today, sharps have been all over this Under. It’s getting a slight majority of bets (56%), but almost all the money (83%), indicating big, sharp wagers all got down on the Under. After opening at 157, it’s been steamed down to 154. First the sharps hit Under 156 at Pinnacle, then they crushed Under 155 at 5Dimes before late buyback showed up when it bottomed out at 154. The 5Dimes move is the #1 bet signal play in college hoops (588-490, +44.6 units). This means that if you put $100 down every time the sharps at 5Dimes steamed a college hoops total this year, you would be up $4460. Does PJ Walsh have a 5Dimes account? I can neither confirm nor deny.
Boise State at Colorado State (+7), Under 144
9:00 p.m. ET
Boise State carries name recognition, which leads to increased public bias (especially when it’s a small conference matchup). Nearly 60% are laying the points with the road favorite, but the line has fallen away from Boise. Why? Because Colorado State is getting all the smart money (42% bets, 79% dollars). Sharps at Pinnacle pounced on Colorado State +8, which caused the entire market to drop to +7.
Meanwhile, only 19% of bets are taking the Under but it accounts for 60% of dollars. This massive bet vs. dollar discrepancy indicates big, smart money on the Under. Wiseguys hammered Under 145 at 5Dimes, causing a steam move that forced the market to drop the total down to 144.
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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.
Cover Photo via Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports
Pictured: Georgetown guard Jagan Mosely (4) drives to the basket against the Xavier guard Quentin Goodin (3)