CBB Sharp Report: Wiseguys Betting Utah State-Houston, James Madison-Fordham

CBB Sharp Report: Wiseguys Betting Utah State-Houston, James Madison-Fordham article feature image

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Houston Cougars head coach Kelvin Sampson and forward Fabian White Jr.

  • Pro bettors are getting down on two college basketball games Thursday night: James Madison-Fordham (7 p.m. ET on ESPN+) and Utah State-Houston (8 p.m. ET on ESPN3).
  • Using the tools at The Action Network, we analyze how wiseguys are betting both games.

Sharps swept the board last night, cashing all three of their Wednesday plays. 

Tonight, casual bettors see a small seven-game slate and seem to only be interested in the big Texas Tech-Duke showdown at Madison Square Garden. But wiseguys have their sights set on a pair of under-the-radar matchups.

After consulting the betting tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, it’s clear that sharps are getting down hard on James Madison-Fordham (7 p.m. ET) and Utah State-Houston (8 p.m. ET).

>> All odds as of 2:30 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

James Madison @ Fordham

7 p.m. ET | ESPN+

Sharp angle: Over (moved from 128 to 129.5)

Sharps and squares (recreational bettors who bet for fun) seem to be on the same page with this over/under.

The total opened at a low 128. Currently, 69% of bets and 72% of dollars are taking the over, signaling moderately heavy public support but also smart money.

Using our Sports Insights Bet Signals, we noticed two separate steam moves on the over. Professional bettors hammered it at 128.5 and then came back for more at 130.

The fact that Goodfellas hit it again even though the number got worse signals supreme wiseguy confidence in a high-scoring game.

We haven’t seen any conflicting under moves (or buyback).

Utah State @ Houston

8 p.m. ET | ESPN3

Sharp angle: Utah State (moved from +5.5 to +5)

Casual bettors don’t put much stock into betting percentages, Bet Signals or line movement. In fact, they either ignore them entirely or don’t know they exist.

Instead, Average Joes bet games based on gut instinct, gravitating toward home teams, favorites and teams with better records and rankings.

Houston checks off all the boxes for the public tonight. It’s a home favorite ranked 21st overall and boasts a perfect 10-0 record. And only laying a handful of points? Cougars all day!

But sharps aren’t taking the bait.

Houston opened as a 5.5-point favorite. Despite receiving nearly 80% of bets, the Cougars have fallen from -5.5 to -5.

Why would the oddsmakers drop the line to make it easier for public Cougars backers to cover? Because they got hit with an overload of smart money from respected players, forcing them to adjust the line in favor of the road dog.

We noticed three separate steam and reverse line moves on Utah State, with no conflicting plays on Houston.

Utah State (9-2) also enjoys a massive smart money discrepancy — the Aggies are getting only 26% of bets but 45% of dollars, further evidence of wiseguys grabbing the points, not laying them.

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