Submitted by Richie B. Oddsmakers Consensus on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 11:00 AM
We’ve had some time for weekend lines to settle. Here’s a look at how sharps (professional bettors) have been attacking Saturday and Sunday action. Many did VERY well with underdog bets Thursday and Friday. In retrospect, openers were shaded too much against anticipated public action on favorites. Some very good dogs this season.
Games are presented in order of tipoffs at each site.
12:10 p.m. ET: Maryland vs. LSU (-2.5)
2:40 p.m. ET: Wofford vs. Kentucky (-5.5)
LSU was bet up from an opener of -1 to -2 on Friday. Then it blew up to -2.5 Saturday morning with many stores testing -3. Dog lovers will take three when they see it. If LSU hadn’t been dealing with so many distractions off the court recently, it would have been getting more sharp respect in game lines and on the futures board. A lot of talent on that roster. Kentucky’s been hopping between -5 and -5.5. I can tell you that Wofford impressed a lot of people the other night. But, hanging with Kentucky is tougher than pulling away late from somebody like Seton Hall. Possibly a tug-of-war between those numbers Saturday…though I wouldn’t be shocked if squares decide Kentucky’s just too cheap, bringing six into play.
5:15 p.m. ET: Florida vs. Michigan (-6)
8 p.m. ET: Minnesota vs. Michigan State (-10.5)
Michigan opened at -7, so sharps have pulled the number down. That’s always an important sign when a number drops at least a point because the public generally wants favorites. This went against the flow. So, we have to assume there was both sharp and square action on the Gators at +7 and +6.5. Will the public buy the Wolverines on the six? Not much action yet in the nightcap. That’s a high line to lay in the second round. I’ve talked to a few sharps who are worried about Minnesota’s inconsistency this season. Old school pros will take double digits whenever they’re offered…so those guys will be on Minnesota +10.5 or better. The fact that it’s a relatively late tip should create action in the hours before tipoff. Probably important that important money hit Florida, but didn’t hit Minnesota.
6:10 p.m. ET: Murray State vs. Florida State (-4.5)
9 p.m. ET: Villanova vs. Purdue (-3.5)
Sharps really liked Murray State at the opener of +6 vs. FSU. The Racers very much looked “for real” in crushing Marquette. Conference colleague Belmont also impressed in its two games. Pro bettors like that dark horse at +5 or better. Purdue was nudged up from the opener of -3.5 to -4 Friday, but that’s come back down to -3.5 Saturday morning. You’ve probably noticed that the Big East has been a JOKE so far in the Big Dance, no covers yet from Villanova (except at a very late line), Marquette, St. John’s, and Seton Hall.
SALT LAKE CITY
7:10 p.m. ET: Baylor vs. Gonzaga (-14)
9:45 p.m. ET: Kansas vs. Auburn (-2)
Another double digit line here in the first game. Though, in this case there’s quant interest on a Gonzaga team that wins a lot of blowouts. They also have some three-point shooters, which means they can launch over the Baylor zone. The opener of -12.5 was bet up hard (despite the tendencies of old-school Wise Guys). The public loves betting this favorite too. Baylor will try to slow down Gonzaga the way St. Mary’s did in the West Coast Conference championship game played here in Las Vegas. Auburn was bet up from an opener of -1 to -2. That surprised me a little because Auburn didn’t look very good vs. New Mexico State while Kansas crushed Northeastern. Maybe sharps are thinking that was a “hangover” game for Auburn after winning the SEC this week, and the Tigers will bounce back. Kansas faded badly in the Big 12 finals vs. Iowa State too. Might take 2.5 to bring in dog money.
12:10 p.m. ET: Iowa vs. Tennessee (-8)
2:40 p.m. ET: Washington vs. North Carolina (-11.5)
Tennessee has been painted -8 since it went up. Iowa is like Minnesota in that sharps aren’t comfortable asking the team to play well twice in a row vs. quality opposition. And, this game is in Big 10 country! I think dog lovers are waiting to see if they can get +8.5 or more after public betting. Squares have been hitting the top seeds so far. No action yet in the second game either. Similar story, as dog lovers would rather wait to see what they can get against a power seed. Old school guys will definitely take double digits.
5:15 p.m. ET: Central Florida vs. Duke (-13)
7:45 p.m. ET: Oklahoma vs. Virginia (-11.5)
Duke is up from the opener of -12.5, as the public wants to bet Zion and doesn’t know much about Central Florida (there’s a really tall guy they should pay attention to!). Virginia is also up a tick from an opener of -11. Both favorites here are #1 seeds capable of winning blowouts. Sharps are waiting to properly time their value bets on the underdogs when the dust starts to settle.
6:10 p.m. ET: Buffalo vs. Texas Tech (-3)
8:40 p.m. ET: Ohio State vs. Houston (-5.5)
Hey, some close games to handicap! Many stores are testing Texas Tech -3.5 early Saturday. So, we know where that game’s headed. Squares are looking for a cheap favorite on this board. Sharps have lingering respect for Buffalo after its strong performance last year. The Wise Guys will take +4, and might decide +3.5 is the place to jump in. Houston is up from -5 to -5.5. Very impressive showing in the first round…and they’ve had a lot of those in recent action. Ohio State goes on the list of inconsistent Big 10 underdogs who are hard to trust to play well a second time in a row.
6:10 p.m. ET: Liberty vs. Virginia Tech (-9)
8:40 p.m. ET: Cal-Irvine vs. Oregon (-5.5)
Not much interest yet in either game. You know the TV networks were hoping for more marquee value than this. Some stores are testing the five in Oregon/Irvine…which is a sign of respect for that underdog. Remember that most pro bettors are based out West, and they know those smaller conference teams pretty well. The Wise Guys didn’t see public sentiment on this favorite (which was clear with so many others on the Sunday card), so they started taking +5.5 very late Friday night and early Saturday morning.
Be sure you monitor the markets all weekend to get a read on influential money. I have a few games I’m very excited about for my paying customers. You can purchase my 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. Be sure you ask about packages that go all the way through March Madness.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back again Thursday morning to recap how the sharps attacked the Sweet 16 schedule.