Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 11:00 AM
Sharps weren’t very happy about the first result on the board Thursday night…when Wichita State lost badly to Notre Dame after being bet up two points. But, big Wise Guy moves (from earlier in the week) on Wisconsin and the Over vs. North Carolina paid off thanks to a big free throw parade in the final moments for the Badgers. Sharps know a winner is just around the corner even when a result or two doesn’t go their way.
Four more games for sports bettors to attack Friday night. Sharps have already made their presence felt in a few spots. But, we don’t have any major, dramatic moves like we saw earlier this week for the Thursday matchups. Maybe those will happen in the hours leading up to tip-off. Be sure you monitor line developments through the afternoon just in case.
Once again today, I’ll go in rotation order for locations, but tip-off order at each location.
GAMES IN SYRACUSE
NC State vs. Louisville (7:35 p.m. ET, 4:35 p.m. in Las Vegas)
The market was very down on Louisville heading into the Cardinals’ game last weekend with Northern Iowa. But, Rick Pitino’s bunch came through as an underdog to reach the Sweet 16 again. Very interesting that the first meeting between these teams saw Louisville close at -10.5 on their home floor. That would be about -7 on a neutral floor. This game opened at -2, and was bet up slightly to -2.5. Stores that have tested the three have seen buyback on the Wolfpack. So, we may be set up for a tug-of-war between Louisville -2.5 and NC State +3. Note that State won that first meeting on the road 74-65.
The Over/Under opened at 129. Most stores are now showing 130. I believe most quants made it 130. The Wise guys would fade any move off the 130.
Michigan State vs. Oklahoma (10:05 p.m. ET, 7:05 p.m. in Las Vegas)
Similar situation here in the nightcap in that early money was on the favorite…but now a tug of war is shaping up. Michigan State money is on Sparty at -1.5. Oklahoma money hits the board at +2. Though, as bad as the Big 12 has looked in this event…that money may not show much passion in the hours before tipoff. The Sooners are the last Big 12 team alive after West Virginia got throttled by Kentucky last night. Horrible month for that league.
Clear move on the total from an opener of 133.5 up to 135. We saw last night that Over/Unders tend to move up at first in advance of expected public money (squares usually bet Overs in TV games). The strongest total sentiment of the night was the Over in this matchup…at least to this point in the process.
GAMES IN HOUSTON
Gonzaga vs. UCLA: (7:15 p.m. ET, 4:15 p.m. in Las Vegas)
Not much happening at all in this game. Gonzaga’s still sitting on the opener of -8.5. You regulars know that means that sharps are either leaving the game alone, or are hoping to bet UCLA at +9 if the public takes the favorite. Things might be a bit different here because the public (particularly locals) may want to show support for UCLA. Still, it’s odd for sharps to wait THIS long to tip their hand if they like the favorite. For now, still looks like a “dog or pass” situation to me. The total mostly hasn’t budged off the opener of 144.5. Though, some stores are testing a half point either way just to see if that encourages people to bet. Too much local interest for this one to stand pat all the way until tip-off.
Duke vs. Utah: (9:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 in Las Vegas)
A tug-of-war developing here, as Duke has received support at the opener of -5, but Utah money comes in fairly confidently when +5.5 goes up on the board. The public and some Wise Guys think the Blue Devils match up well with a Utah team that lost to Oregon two weekends ago at the MGM Grand. But, Duke does have a tendency to fall apart in this event when the other team doesn’t blink. Sharps thinking that way are happy to get +5.5 in what they see as a potential nailbiter.
The total has dropped a half-point from the opener of 135 down to 134.5. It’s only a half-point…but it’s meaningful because it went against the usual flow of Over/Under betting in big TV games. This is the showcase TV game of the night because Duke is involved…yet the total went down anyway.
You can purchase my personal selections for Friday basketball right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about extended service, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 during normal business hours. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to ask about my NBA and MLB packages. We only have 11 games left in the NCAA Tournament! But March, April, and May are all great betting months here in Las Vegas.
Back again early Saturday to look at the Elite 8 games in Cleveland and Los Angeles. Then we’ll do the same thing the next day for Sunday’s action in Syracuse and Houston. Thanks for reading. I hope night two of your “Round of 16” is SWEET!
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