Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Monday, March 13, 2017 at 6:00 PM
We begin what’s going to be a true basketball blitz of sharp reports this week with a look today at how the Wise Guys have been betting the Tuesday and Wednesday play-in games in the 2017 NCAA Tournament.
Beginning Wednesday, look for DAILY coverage of sharp betting action through the Round of 64 and Round of 32. Then, we’ll pick up again next week with the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds.
Let’s take them in tip-off order. All four games are being played in Dayton, Ohio.
Mt. St. Mary’s vs. New Orleans (both #16 seeds, winner faces Villanova)
New Orleans opened at -1.5. Some early action drove the line to two in a few spots. But, underdog money did come in to bring that back down to one-and-a-half. This isn’t a game the public is going to bet early. Squares don’t know anything about these teams! I have to say most sharps are passing this game as well. Those who liked the short favorite laid the -1.5. Those who prefer dogs took two when they saw it. If anything gets out of line Tuesday, those two contingencies will bring the number back to where it is.
The Over/Under opened at 130. We’re now seeing 131.5. Both of these teams have poor offenses. The numbers guys thought oddsmakers undershot the mark with that opener. It’s possible that some sharps are lying in wait until game day. If you see a big totals move in the hours before tipoff…assume it’s a SHARP move because the public just isn’t going to get very involved in this matchup.
Kansas State vs. Wake Forest (both #11 seeds, winner faces Creighton)
An opener of pick-em…and a scenario where any move off pick-em brings the game right back to equilibrium. These teams represent the two best conferences in the country…and those conferences have betting contingencies in both sharp and square circles. Either side is happy to get +1. I would be surprised if we drifted far from pick-em between now and tipoff. This could be a really great game. If I was making the brackets, I would have had both teams better than #11 seeds. I think both would be favored on neutral courts over all the other #11 seeds! A crime they have to play each other just to get into the Round of 64.
The total opened at 152. It’s up a tick to 152.5…which doesn’t mean much considering how little money it takes to move a total. Let’s see what happens on game day. The public is more likely to pick a side here rather than a total. So, assume a big totals move is sharp.
North Carolina Central vs. Cal-Davis (both #16 seeds, winner faces Kansas)
The opener of NC Central -3.5 was bet up to -4 fairly quickly. Local sharps do know something of the California teams, even lesser lights like Cal-Davis. They wanted the favorite below four…but support pretty much dried up then. I would expect some dog lovers to come in if +4.5 comes into play.
Big move on the total…as the analytics guys really stepped in here. The opener of 129 was bet up to 132.5. Don’t overreact to the size of that move. The markets move quick when they sense sharps on a feeding frenzy. Games move this much (and more) all the time on college hoop totals. Over support has stopped for the time being. No sign yet of Under enthusiasm after that early surge higher.
USC vs. Providence (both #11 seeds, winner faces SMU)
Big move here on USC from the opener of pick-em up to -2.5 or -3. And, that’s not just from the Pac 12 and the LA schools having a lot of local square support in Nevada. Many of the math guys didn’t see Providence as Dance worthy. USC impressed enough last weekend in their tight loss to UCLA in the Pac 12 quarterfinals to inspire heavy interest at pick-em, -1, -1.5, and even -2. We haven’t yet seen dog interest at +3…but it would definitely come in at +3.5 I believe. For now, dog lovers are waiting to see how high it goes. Maybe they’ll have to settle for +3 in the hours before tipoff. Sharps who liked USC are very happy with their early positions.
The Over/Under opened at 140 and is holding steady.
That’s it for the first four. If you’d like some help finding value on the board tonight and every day through my favorite month of the calendar year, you can purchase my BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about longterm packages, call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Don’t forget that we have very busy schedules Tuesday and Wednesday in the NIT, CBI, and Insider tournaments!
Thanks for reading. See you again around midday Wednesday for a look at how sharps have been betting all 16 Thursday matchups in the Big Dance. I’ll do my best all through the tourneys to help you think like a sharp and bet like a sharp.