Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 11:30 AM
After a few days off, the 2016 NCAA College Basketball Tournament returns to action Thursday night with Sweet 16 matchups in Louisville and Anaheim. The final two sets of Sweet 16 pairings will be Friday in Philadelphia and Chicago.
Let’s see how sharps have been betting Thursday’s four games. I’ll come back with you midday Friday to cover the second night of Sweet 16 festivities. Games are presented in tip-off order using the Nevada Rotation order of sites…
GAMES IN LOUISVILLE
VILLANOVA vs. MIAMI: 7:10 pm ET on CBS
Interesting that the opener of Villanova -4.5 has come down to -4. That’s against the usual flow caused by public action on favorites. The ACC has had a great tournament so far. Miami of the ACC is getting respect against the Big East regular season champs. Note that Xavier from that conference turned out to be over-seeded at #2, and Seton Hall ran out of gas after winning the conference tournament. Squares (the public) couldn’t find a reason to get excited about Villanova. That would have been easier if the Wildcats had been sent to the Philadelphia regional! Sharp dog lovers have caused the line to shade downward. The opening total of 142.5 has dropped two points to 140.5 because of quant influences. Miami tends to slow things down and disrupt opponents when things are going well for them. And, Villanova has played slower than realized this year too. Liking Miami usually means at least leaning to the Under too. Sharps saw it as more than a lean given the two-point move.
KANSAS vs. MARYLAND: 9:40 pm ET on CBS
Looks like a tug-of-war developing between Kansas -6 and Maryland +6.5. Kansas has been on an amazing cover run…so the general public isn’t afraid of laying points with them right now. Those who have shied away keep regretting it! But, there’s still some skepticism about Kansas and Bill Self dating back to prior Dances. That’s why Maryland gets support from Wise Guys at anything over the six. This Over/Under is also down two points, with the opener of 146 down to 144. Kansas has played a lot of Unders this year. Some sharps are kind of “rooting for Kansas” by betting the Under rather than laying the points.
GAMES IN ANAHEIM
OKLAHOMA vs. TEXAS A&M: 7:35 pm ET on TBS
Most of the country had penciled in Northern Iowa for this game against Oklahoma in the final moments of action last weekend. But, the Aggies scored the miracle come-from-behind victory, and now face their old Big 12 foe for a right to play in the Elite 8. Oklahoma opened at only -1.5, which was a bit surprising considering how badly A&M played in the first 39 minutes vs. UNI! The line is all the way up to -3 in some stores now because sharps and squares alike preferred the Sooners. Note that it’s been a down postseason for the SEC. Kentucky lost as a favorite to Indiana. Vanderbilt lost badly to Wichita State. Even in the NIT, no SEC teams reached the final four. Hard to find a reason to back the Aggies at the shortest prices. Though, the players have to feel like they’re playing with house money after last week. Monitor this price during the day to see if it settles on the three…or if a tug-of-war develops between A&M +3 and Oklahoma -2.5. The total is up from 145 to either 146.5 or 147 depending on the store. Squares will likely be more active with totals betting this week since the schedule is so much lighter. But, the public doesn’t bet totals “early.” So, the moves you’ve seen through the week are sharp.
OREGON vs. DUKE: 10:05 pm ET on TBS
Slight move up here from an opener of Oregon -2.5 to -3. Duke is usually a public team. But, squares lost with Duke vs. NC Wilmington, and barely won vs. Yale despite that huge lead. I hear that sharps are giving Oregon some credit for home turf, since they’re playing in their own time zone while Duke had to travel cross country. It’s not “home court” since the game is in California…but it’s much more in Oregon’s comfort zone given how often they play in California each season. That three is painted at the moment. We’ll have to see if more Duke money comes in before tip-off. The opening total of 155 is up to 157, suggesting a very entertaining game for viewers. You don’t often see short prices with totals that high in the same game. Quants have been much more active this week than they were last weekend in terms of hitting the openers.
I’ll be fairly active myself the next few days! You can purchase my NCAA tournament selections right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155 today during normal business hours.
Back with you Friday to look at sharp betting in North Carolina/Indiana, Wisconsin/Notre Dame, Virginia/Iowa State, and Syracuse/Gonzaga. Then I’ll have reports each day over the weekend to cover the Elite 8. The tournament’s been fun so far…but something tells me the real fireworks are just now about to started. Thanks for reading. Best of luck to you tonight. I’ll see you again around lunchtime Friday.