Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at 1:31 PM
It’s very important right after the NBA All-Star Break to pay attention to early day line moves. The sharps won’t only be announcing who they like each day, but they’ll be giving you some very strong hints about the teams they expect to play well over these next several days.
With that in mind, we’re going to jump back into providing market reports for you here at the website. We appreciate that so many of you read these reports during the NFL season. We’re set for updates a few times a week from now through March Madness at the very least (we know how much you like knowing what the sharps are doing in the Big Dance!). We may continue beyond that depending on readership and response.
Here were the notable line moves from sharps in Tuesday pro hoops action:
*SACRAMENTO got a lot of support at home against Utah. An opener from oddsmakers of Kings -1 jumped all the way to Sacramento -3.5. Normally a move that big is caused by a personnel issue. That may be in play here. But, we’re hearing from a few sources that the Kings are a team that sharps are watching in the second half of the season. They played A LOT more road games than home games in the first half of the season. And, de-emphasizing the role of Jimmer Fredette seemed to help them on offense, defense, and overall team play. (In other words, the selfish veterans played better when they weren’t afraid Jimmer was going to take their shots!). Keep an eye on prices for the Kings and the Jazz this week. Utah will host Houston Wednesday in a back-to-back spot. The potential for a flat spot here before that important home game may be an influence in today’s move as well.
*NEW JERSEY received big dog support at Dallas. The Mavs opened at -11.5, but were bet down to -10.5. There are definitely personnel issues in play here, as Lamar Odom has been scratched from the first two games after the Break because of personal issues. Delonte West is still out too. But, we’re hearing that sharps in general aren’t afraid of taking the cellar dwellers right after the break because teams like that are often helped by time away from each other. Also in play here, the fact that Dallas may not run up the score since they have to play again Wednesday, and the general weakness of the Mavs bench this year when the team has big leads. Sharps are saying New Jersey can cover this number clean, or in garbage time.
*WASHINGTON is another ugly team that saw a line move of at least one point. They opened at +8.5 at Milwaukee, but are now down to +7.5. We’re definitely seeing a theme right out of the gate where ugly teams are being bet for value. The sentiment on Sacramento is bigger than just value though given the magnitude of that move.
*TOTALS: We’ve seen some very dramatic totals moves through the first half of the season because oddsmakers were caught flatfooted all over the league. That’s calmed down lately, and totals were certainly calm today. There were a few moves of a point or so…but those don’t really qualify as major moves given the normal volatility with totals. Nothing important to note today…but we do want to encourage you to study the Wednesday moves hard. There are a lot of teams showing Over or Under tendencies in back-to-back spots…and oddsmakers just aren’t up to speed with those individual team trends.
There was one major sharp move in the colleges early Tuesday, as Connecticut opened at -3 at Providence, before surging up to -5 as we went to press. There were indications that -5.5 or even more were possible. So, the sharps really like UCONN in a must-win spot bubble-wise.
Also in the colleges, it was interesting to see early support for Michigan State -2 at Indiana in the marquee game of the day. You might think Indiana would be a popular home dog given their performances this year. Sharp sentiment didn’t hit Indiana though. The money that did come in was on the Spartans…enough to move the line to MSU -2.5. Not a flood. But, even a trickle in a game like this can be meaningful. Michigan State has earned the respect of sharps with their very strong play of late.
The Horizon League tournament starts Tuesday Night. The most significant sharp move early in that event was a total…as an opener of 116.5 in Wright State/Butler was bet up to 118.
We’re planning to pop up periodically to keep you posted on the sharp mindset in both college and pro hoops. Be sure you’re monitoring early line moves in both sports from today through the month of March (the public doesn’t bet early…so early moves are sharp moves!). Sharps love this time of year…which means you should be trying to learn how to think like a sharp!
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