CBB Sharp Report: Wiseguys Betting Michigan-Illinois, 2 Other Thursday Games

CBB Sharp Report: Wiseguys Betting Michigan-Illinois, 2 Other Thursday Games article feature image

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Aaron Jordan and Romeo Langford

  • Wiseguys are betting three College Basketball games on Thursday night, headlined by Michigan-Illinois (8 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1).
  • Sharps are also getting down on Hofstra-William & Mary (7 p,m. ET) and Penn State-Nebraska (9 p,m. ET on ESPN2).
  • Using the tools available at The Action Network, we analyze how the pros are betting each game.

Wiseguys failed to secure reservations in Green Dot City last night, going 2-3 on their Wednesday plays. They’ll look to bounce back tonight by focusing on conference underdogs.

Historically, conference dogs bark the loudest, as the built-in familiarity and rivalry aspects level the playing field and lead to tighter games.

After examining today’s stacked 51-game college basketball slate using the betting tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, I’ve identified three games that sharps are targeting on Thursday night, starting at 7, 8 and 9 p.m. ET.

>> All odds as of 3:15 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time college basketball odds and track your bets

Betting Terms to Know

Steam Move: Sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the market caused by an overload of sharp action from respected players.

Reverse Line Movement: When the betting line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages. It’s a top smart money indicator.

Line Freeze: When one side is getting heavy betting, but the line won’t budge, indicating sharp liability on the other side.

Juice: The tax or commission that bettors must pay sportsbooks in order for them to accept your wager. A -115 juice means a bettor would have to wager $115 to win $100.

Full Sports Betting Glossary 

Sharp Betting 101: How to Track Professional Betting Action

Hofstra @ William & Mary

7 p.m. ET

Sharp angle: William & Mary (moved from +4.5 to +2.5)

Apparently sharps are big fans of old Cameron Diaz movies. There’s something about Mary … and William.

On paper this looks like a huge mismatch, as Hofstra boasts an impressive 13-3 record while William & Mary sits at just 7-9.

This game opened at Hofstra -4.5. Currently 56% of bets are on the road favorite, but 58% of dollars are on the home dog. That smart money discrepancy in favor of William & Mary has dropped the line down to -2.5. Some books are even posting -2.

The Tribe also match a profitable Bet Labs PRO system, Poor ATS vs. Great ATS (55.7% ATS since 2005).

Michigan @ Illinois

8 p.m. ET | Fox Sports 1

Sharp angle: Illinois (line has remained at +9)

Sharps are fearless, but they aren’t stupid. They bet games based on value, and the more disgusting a play looks, the more value it probably offers.

Take this Big Ten showdown for example. In the most lopsided bet game of the night, more than 80% of bettors are laying the points with powerhouse Michigan (15-0, ranked 2nd overall) against conference cellar dweller Illinois (4-11).

However, despite receiving overwhelming public support, the Wolverines have remained frozen at -9. Typically, heavy betting would push the number to -10 or -11, but the lack of line movement toward Michigan is evidence of sportsbooks having liability on the home dog.

Using our Sports Insights Bet Signals, we noticed a strong reverse line move on Illinois +9.5 without any conflicting plays (or buyback) on Michigan.

The Illini are getting only 19% of bets but 38% of dollars, and that minority backing fits them into the profitable Bet Labs PRO system, Fade the Public in Big Conferences (57.3% ATS since 2005).

Penn State @ Nebraska

9 p.m. ET | ESPN2

Sharp angle: Penn State (line has remained at +10.5)

Sharps are staying up late to sweat the Nittany Lions in this one.

Nebraska is 11-4 and a favorite on its home court. However, despite receiving 74% of spread bets, the Cornhuskers haven’t moved off the opening spread of -10.5. In fact, some books dropped briefly down to -10 before leveling back out at the opening number.

This sharp line freeze — with a hint of reverse line movement — indicates sharp action on Penn State (7-8) as books are reluctant to hand out additional points to sharp dog backers.

The Lions are also in a profitable historical spot. They’re road conference dogs on a big spread and fit the Bet Labs PRO system, Poor ATS vs. Good ATS teams (59.2% ATS since 2005).