Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 2:06 PM
Two days ago we talked about a few games in the NBA, and the sharps came through very well on the first night of action in the second half of the season. Today, we’re going to talk about college basketball. But, instead of trying to run through a zillion small line moves amidst a busy schedule, we’re going to give you the general outline of what sharps are doing in college hoops here in the early days of March. That will help set up future reports where you see these themes come to life.
Here’s a brief listing:
*Sharps are still betting injury news. All starters have value, even if it’s worth a half a point or a quarter of a point. If you bet QUICKLY on injury news, you’re generally going to have the best of it over the long haul. The key is betting against the opener or a very early number that wasn’t yet influenced by the injury news. The public doesn’t bet much basketball at the moment…but when they bet injuries in football it’s often after the line has already moved and taken away the value. If you’re reading the tea leaves each day RIGHT NOW, and you see a line move two points off an injury…then you’re probably too late. But, if you get news of an injury, and the line hasn’t moved yet…the sharp approach is to bet against the shorthanded team for value on the assumption you’ll make a profit over the long haul.
*Sharps are betting underdogs in games where both teams care. We’ve seen a lot of half point and full point moves in matchups like this the past few days. A favorite of -4 drops down to -3.5 of -3. A favorite of -5.5 drops down to -5. Subtle things…but something that sharps do all the time for value. This isn’t like early season college football where sharps may drive a line 2-3 points. Openers are reasonable solid. Sharps squeeze out value by taking well-positioned underdogs.
*Sharps are being a bit more aggressive with the value approach in games with low totals. There are A LOT of teams this year who either play great defense or at slow tempo’s. If you’re seeing a number in the 110’s or low 120’s, then points will be at a premium, and a value underdog will make even more sense.
*Sharps are betting home underdogs if the road favorite has a shaky ATS history this year away from home, AND is a team that’s already locked into the Big Dance. We’ve seen a few examples of that combination showing up this week. Powers often have trouble getting up for final week road games when the important tournament action is just a few days away.
*Sharps do bet favorites, but they’re generally pretty picky about that. The most common favorite bet we’re seeing is on strong home teams laying points to questionable road teams. A favorite may jump from -6 to -7 if the road team has travelled poorly this year. There are definitely some home/road splits out there that can be exploited. This is the last weekend where you have a chance to do that! Most games will be neutral site games next week…where you cans till fade bad road teams but there won’t be many strong home teams to back.
*You’ve probably heard that a lot of sharps really attack Over/Unders in college basketball. That’s much truer early in the season than it is late. Oddsmakers do get their bearings eventually. But, we are likely to see some decent totals moves during tournament play. Sharps generally like to bet Unders with competitive teams, particularly if both are tired from having played the day before, or if both have good defenses. Sharps used to make A KILLING with this approach, but lines have adjusted some in recent years. If you’re handicapping the conference tournaments this week and next, be sure you devote some time to finding logical under spots…then do your best to be available to legally bet the openers when they go up.
Our market reports aren’t just designed to report on what sharps are doing…but the most important goal is to get YOU to think like a sharp and bet like a sharp. We believe the elements we’ve outlined today will help you do that…and will help you understand line moves you see in the colleges in the coming days.
We plan on running market reports about three times a week here at VSM. We’ll be focusing more on the colleges during tourney time, then transitioning to the NBA as the NCAA Tournament winds down. Stay on the lookout for reports as they go up about every other day.
If you’d like some help picking winners from some of the sharpest minds in Las Vegas, make a few clicks here at the website for the best plays of the day! The VegasSportsMasters know how to hit vulnerable lines, and how to play back when a line has moved too far. Check out today’s ads for details on the hottest handicappers and the biggest features. See you next time!