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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 12:26 PM

This is it…the day we’ve been waiting for. The 2012 NCAA Tournament reaches its grand finale tonight when the best team in the country, Kentucky, tries to finish a run at history with a victory over a very strong Kansas team.

Sharps (professional wagerers) had a very big day on Saturday. If you were with us back then, you’ll recall that the general themes of dogs and Unders were in play for professional wagerers in the Final Four. And, dogs and Unders it was!

Louisville barely covered the opener at +8 in a low scoring loss to Kentucky. Kansas won outright over Ohio State in the nightcap.

Aren’t you glad we explained the concept of “position-taking” again on Saturday? That very much came into play because early money on Kentucky pushed at -8, while all the late sharp money on Louisville won at +8.5 or better. If only sharps were betting, this would have been a game that nobody lost (except sportsbooks!). Plenty in the public bet Kentucky at -8.5 though because powerhouse favorites are irresistible to squares.

And, that very theme could come into play again Monday.

 

Team Side Line

Offshore Opener: Kentucky -5

Vegas Opener: Kentucky -6

Current Line: Kentucky -6.5

Sharps new that the public wanted to bet Kentucky, so they hit the offshore line of -5 right away, and even the Vegas line of -6. As was the case Saturday, some sharps did like Kentucky at -5 or -6, and bet what they could as the lines went up. Sharps who liked Louisville kept waiting for a better number. Whenever a store Sunday would move to Kentucky -7, the dog money would come in at +7 and bring the line right back down to favorite by 6.5. So, we have a very clear understanding of sharp sentiment here:

Sharps like Kentucky at -6 or better

Sharps like Louisville at +7 or better

Equilibrium will be at 6.5 when sharps are the major influence on the line. Now, the public may come in very strong on a team late in the day Monday and move the number in a way that makes the sportsbooks beg for additional sharp money on the dog. We’ll see. But, these website features are about what the SHARPS are thinking. The sharps have made it clear. And, the sharpest of the sharps got down on Kentucky early then came back over the top on Louisville at +7 in a way that allows them to make a good score if the game lands on either 6 or 7 (or, 5-6-7 for those with access to offshore numbers).

 

Over-Under Line

Offshore Opener: 140

Vegas Opener: 139

Current Line: 137.5

The Sharps won their Unders on Saturday…and they won those Unders because the winners played fantastic defense. So, when the first numbers went up at 140 offshore and 139 in Vegas, you had to figure they’d be coming in on the Unders again (it’s a surprise that oddsmakers didn’t anticipate this properly). We’re now seeing a 137.5, where the total has settled after heavy Under betting. The public will bet Overs when they bet totals…but there’s not guarantee there will be a lot of interest in this total. Squares that love Kentucky may prefer to have all of their money on Kentucky.

So, once again, it’s a dog and Under show for sharps. That doesn’t mean Kansas is a sure thing to get there in a low scoring game. Over the long haul though, it’s a pretty sure thing that sharps will earn a profit with this general approach. And, the ability of sharps to bet early and take positions is something that can’t be overlooked. When they’re right…they’re right. When they’re wrong…they’re wrong. When the game lands close to the number, they’re in position for a big payoff while you’re sweating your bet!

We hope our study of the markets through the NCAA Tournament has helped you make good choices round by round. It wasn’t all sunshine for the sharps on a daily basis by any means. But, Saturday’s sweeps have sharps in the black again.

The greatest minds in sports handicapping are dealing with the game-day lines for you right now here at VegasSportsMasters. Be sure to check the ads on the home page to see which of your favorites is stepping out with big money plays. We’ll have at least one report later this week dealing with the NBA or Major League Baseball as we transition to an emphasis of sharp analysis of those two sports. The sharps bet year round…and make a lot of money in the Spring and Summer while too many of you are waiting for football. Make a commitment in 2012 to think like a sharp and bet like a sharp!

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