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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, March 23, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Thursday Night’s action left many sharps licking their wounds. The general consensus on Wisconsin and the Over worked out for the Wise Guys. But, they typically zigged when they should have zagged on the other totals, and support for Michigan State and Marquette at the earliest numbers turned out to be misguided as both of those teams lost outright by double digits.

Sharps obviously aren’t happy about that. But, this is a 365-day-a-year grind for them, and that’s a grind that’s gone for many years for the veterans. It’s just one day. Losing days are going to happen when you’re betting for value in hopes of reaching a success rate of 53-54% within a high action model. Here are what professional wagerers are thinking in Friday Night’s action.

 

TONIGHT’S GAMES IN ATLANTA

XAVIER AT BAYLOR

The only interest here was on the total, as an opener of 140 has been bet up to 142. We saw a lot of defense Thursday, with the slow Wisconsin/Syracuse game actually being the second highest scoring game of the night! Sharps are expecting tempo and scoring production in this Xavier-Baylor matchup.

The team side line opened Baylor -6 and stayed there. It’s been very clear in this round that sharps are hitting the favorites immediately when they like them. This DIDN’T happen here…so there’s no support for Baylor. This would suggest Xavier would get some interest were the public to move the line to +6.5 or +7. Will the public bet Baylor? The Bears are a favorite, but not a public team on a night where powers like Kentucky, North Carolina, and Kansas are all playing.

This will probably be the least bet game on the night in Vegas (it’s also the earliest starter). We may not see any more movement unless there’s an injury announcement or some other major development in the afternoon. Sharps will be rooting for Over 140 and 141.

INDIANA AT KENTUCKY

The sharps like Kentucky here. They’ve hit the Wildcats at -8, -8.5, and even -9. We’re seeing a line of -9.5 right now. Kentucky’s hopes sure weren’t dimmed by that very impressive Florida result Thursday Night. It became a lot less scary to lay a medium-high number with Kentucky against Indiana when Florida won by double digits over Marquette. And, Wisconsin also had to shoot lights out to stay with Syracuse. If Indiana has to shoot lights out vs. Kentucky, sharps are going to bet on the great defense with its hand by the light switch.

No interest on the total yet. The fact that sharps didn’t hit the Over here when they have in so many other games is probably a sign that they’d bet the Under if the public came in on the Over.

 

TONIGHT’S GAMES IN ST. LOUIS

OHIO AT NORTH CAROLINA

Sharps have played a wait and see game here because of the injury to Kendall Marshall. The best assumption is that he won’t be able to play tonight, and probably not this weekend. In any other situation, he’d be out for the season. But…kids who are great athletes will try to do the impossible during March Madness. Sharps will wait until there’s some sort of confirmation before committing their money.

That’s why the line has stayed stable this week. Sharps don’t want to lay -10.5 with Carolina if Marshall can’t go. They don’t want to take +10.5 with Ohio if it turns out Marshall is going to pull a Willis Reed moment and inspire his team. We can be sure that sharps will “bet the news” the minute it becomes known. So, keep an eye on that this afternoon.

NC STATE AT KANSAS

The most interest here was on the Over, as an opener of 141.5 was bet up to 142.5 or 143. Sharps may regret their love affair with Overs this year when the Dance is in the books. The lack of overtime games sure hasn’t helped their cause.

Slight interest on Kansas at the opener of -8. We’re seeing some places move to -8.5 here on game day. There is a chance some of that is public money though since squares have been in Vegas now since Thursday. We’ve been burning up the phone lines to help us discern any sharp/square dynamic on Friday morning. We used “slight” interest because a relative handful of sharps are involved in this move. Our sense is that most are looking to take NC State as a dog if the public comes in hard on name favorite Kansas throughout the day.

That’s it for the four games on Friday. We have scheduled a special report for around lunchtime Saturday to discuss sharp interest Syracuse-Ohio State and Louisville-Florida. We’ll do the same thing Sunday at around the same time for the games involving Friday Night’s winners.

Don’t forget that guidance from the best handicapping minds in Las Vegas is just a few clicks away here at the VegasSportsmasters website. Wayne Root has his Sweet 16 Game of the Year going tonight. It looks like Jim Hurley’s Network also has a Game of the Year release. Kelso Sturgeon won his 50-unit play on Louisville last night and is coming back locked and loaded. They’re the biggest names in the industry for a reason! Big play monsters from living legends are always available for credit card purchase right here at the home of the masters…the VegasSportsMasters!

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