Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Monday, March 5, 2018 at 4:00 PM
If you were paying attention to the college basketball markets this past weekend, you noticed that the impact of the general public was influencing the line in big games. Squares (the public) love betting favorites. Prominent favorites were pounded before LOSING OUTRIGHT in a few spots.
*Squares (and some sharps) were fading Michigan hard Saturday and Sunday in the Big 10 tournament. Too many people figured the Wolverines were going to hit a wall having to play so many back-to-backs. Chalk lovers lost badly with Michigan State Saturday, and then again with Purdue Sunday. Credit to the oddsmakers for openers that reflected Michigan’s improved play. It was a strike against many of the quants that they jumped in early the other way.
*Squares (and some sharps) were fading Cincinnati hard Sunday at Wichita State. An opener of Wichita State -1.5 was bet up a bucket before tip-off. This despite the fact that Cincinnati is a very good team that had revenge off a home court loss not too long ago. Again, the oddsmakers were better with their opener than subsequent bettors were. The public can’t resist cheap-looking high profile favorites.
Because this coming week will have a lot more high-profile matchups, you need to plan your betting strategies accordingly in the major conferences.
*Squares are going to bet on any high-profile favorite that looks cheap. And, they ALL look cheap at neutral court prices! If you, yourself are looking to bet these teams (say, you like Kansas to have a big weekend, or Duke or Arizona), you need to bet the openers before the public gets involved.
*If you’re looking to bet underdogs against ranked teams laying points, give the public time to gift you a better number. There’s no reason to jump in at +3.5 if you have a good chance of getting +5 before tipoff. The same is true at cheaper prices, or even if an opener of +7.5 is going to rise to +8.5 or +9. Every little bit counts in tournaments because so many neutral court games end up close to the number.
*Remember the power of “playing the market” in these situations that sharps have exploited for years. You can set up middles that really magnify your profit potential. Let’s say you’re looking to risk about one unit on the underdog in a big game. You can actually bet the FAVORITE at the opening line for one unit, then come back with TWO units on the underdog at the higher price. Overall, you’re still risking one unit…but you now have the potential to win THREE if the game lands in the middle.
Bet one unit on Favorite -5.5
Bet two units on Dog +7
The most you can lose is one unit (with some extra vig). You can win THREE units if the game lands right on six. If the game lands on seven, you actually pick up a unit because the dog bet pushes while the favorite bet wins.
Don’t be the late arriving square who actually lays -7 in that game! Talk about getting the worst of it. Use the market to your advantage with solid preparation and proven betting strategies.
Other keys to remember this week…
*Squares like betting “rested” favorites who are facing a team that had to play the day before. Sometimes oddsmakers have to add in an extra point for that. Many dogs have no trouble playing back-to-backs. If anything, the team with the head start is better prepared to play a great first half. There are no “first-game jitters” any more. There’s usually some underdog motivational mojo working for the “tired” team. Only bet on favorites who are likely to exploit a late-game fatigue collapse from underdogs that lack depth. Don’t be afraid to bet a quality dog in a back-to-back if the team has depth, or plays at a slow pace.
*Veteran coaches at big-time programs have learned that it’s better to save something for the Big Dance. That means many of the superpowers will be going at 75% or 80% speed this weekend rather than all out. Look for spots where opposing underdogs are going to bring 100% intensity to spring the upset. That may have been part of Michigan State and Purdue fairing so poorly in New York last weekend. It’s often behind some of the upsets we’ve seen in the ACC, Big 12, and Big East in past seasons. I’m not suggesting coaches are losing “on purpose.” But, discretion is the better part of valor if you’re goal is to win the NATIONAL championship rather than just continuing to beat up on the same conference rivals you’ve already defeated.
I love handicapping conference tournaments, and I’m really looking forward to this week. You can purchase my nightly BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. I don’t release “locks” or “Games of the Year.” You get my best shots every day as I do my best to make you a winner.
Thanks for reading. Back with you at the end of the week to talk about how sharps have been betting early action in all the major conference tournaments. See you then.