CBB Sharp Report: Pros Betting St. Joseph’s-VCU, Two Other Friday Games

CBB Sharp Report: Pros Betting St. Joseph’s-VCU, Two Other Friday Games article feature image

John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Virginia Commonwealth Rams guard Marcus Evans (2).

  • Wiseguys are betting three college basketball games on Friday, headlined by St. Joseph's-VCU (9 p.m. ET on ESPN2).
  • Sharps are also getting down on Austin Peay-Belmont (8 p.m. ET on ESPNU) and Manhattan-Canisius (9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3).
  • Using the tools available at The Action Network, we analyze how pros are betting each game.

Wiseguys got back to their winning ways on Thursday, cashing the SMU spread and Troy-App State under en route to a 2-1 day. The SMU play was particularly rewarding as it fit the pro player model to a T.

Since 2005, conference road dogs receiving less than 25% of bets with at least 1.5-points reverse line movement are now 59.8% against the spread (ATS).

After analyzing Friday’s loaded 27-game slate using the betting tools available at Sports Insights and The Action Network, I’ve identified three games receiving sharp action from professional bettors.

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.

Austin Peay vs. Belmont

8 p.m. ET | ESPNU

Sharp angle: Under (moved from 165 to 160)

Sharps are all over this Ohio Valley Conference Semifinal total.

Belmont is an offensive machine, ranking second in the country in points per game (88.3). Austin Peay is no slouch either, averaging 82.7 PPG (17th overall).

Add those two numbers up and you get 170 points, which is well above the current total. So the over is layup, right?

This over/under opened at a super high 166. Sharps immediately steamed the under, then came back for more at Under 163. This overload of sharp action created big liability for the books, forcing them to drop the total all the way down to 160.

More than 70% of bets and dollars are on the under. On the surface this looks like both a public and sharp play. However, we’ve only tracked 338 bets on the game. So this under action isn’t coming from average Joes, it’s almost purely wiseguys with an edge.

An added bonus: this game will be played on a neutral court. According to Bet Labs, when the total is 150 or higher and the game is played on a neutral court, the under has hit 56.3% of the time, winning more than 90 units and produced an 8.4% ROI.

St. Joseph’s @ VCU

9 p.m. ET | ESPN2

Sharp angle: St. Joseph’s (moved from +12.5 to +11.5)

VCU leads the Atlantic 10 conference with an impressive 24-6 record and enjoys home-court advantage. However, wiseguys are buying low on a St. Joseph’s (13-17) squad that has played well as of late, winning two of its past three games.

This line opened at VCU -12.5. Spread bets are split right down the middle 50/50, yet the line has fallen a full point toward St. Joes. In a vacuum, a line shouldn’t move at all, aside from a slight juice adjustment, if the percentages are dead even.

What caused the line to move? Follow the money.

St. Joes is receiving 50% of bets, but nearly 70% of dollars– indicating big sharp wagers in their favor. We also tracked one steam move on St. Joes at +11.5, with no conflicting plays on VCU.

The Hawks are also in a historically profitable buy-low value spot as they fit the Bet Labs PRO System Poor ATS vs Good ATS Teams (58.6% ATS since 2005).

Manhattan vs. Canisius

9 p.m. ET | ESPN2

Sharp angle: Under (moved from 126 to 124)

Sharps cashed the Manhattan under last night and they’re going back to the well tonight.

This MAAC Quarterfinal over/under opened at 126. This might seem very low, but for wiseguys who have followed Manhattan totals all season, this is actually on the higher end (typically they are in the 115 to 118 range).

As soon as this total was posted, sharps hammered the Under 126 and then doubled down on the Under 125. The fact that wiseguys kept hitting it despite the line falling tells you how confident they are. We haven’t seen a single conflicting move (or over buyback).

The under is receiving more than 70% of bets and dollars — but we’ve tracked less than 200 bets on the game, which means this lopsided action is coming from predominantly pro players, not casual bettors.

This is another neutral court under spot as well. Neutral courts benefit unders as the unfamiliar surroundings and lack of a true “home crowd” for either side historically lead to lower scoring games.

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