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In the meantime, let's examine where early smart money is leaning for the Sweet 16...
Arkansas vs Connecticut (-4, 139.5)
This West Region showdown features 8-seed Arkansas (22-13) against 4-seed Connecticut (27-8). Arkansas beat Illinois 73-63 in the first round and then took down Kansas 72-72 in the second round. Meanwhile, Connecticut beat Iona 87-63 in the opening round and then brushed aside Saint Mary's 70-55. This line opened with Connecticut listed as a 4-point neutral site favorite. A slight majority of public bets (55%) are laying the points with the Huskies. However, we've seen this line remain frozen at Connecticut -4 or even dip to -3.5 at some shops. This signals smart money grabbing the points with Arkansas, triggering a sharp line freeze and some reverse line movement in favor of the Razorbacks. We've also seen some over money, raising the total from 139 to 139.5. The over is receiving 57% of bets but 84% of money, a sharp over bet discrepancy.
Michigan State (-1, 137.5) vs Kansas State
This East Region clash pits 7-seed Michigan State (21-12) against 3-seed Kansas State (25-9). Michigan State beat USC 72-62 in the opening round and then upset Marquette 69-60 in the second round. Meanwhile, Kansas State started the tournament with a 77-65 win over Montana State and then followed that up with a 75-69 win over Kentucky. This line opened at a pick'em. Right off the bat, this opening line speaks volumes. Shouldn't Kansas State be the favorite due to their superior record and seeding? Currently 61% of bets are backing the obvious play in Kansas State. However, we've actually seen this line move to Michigan State -1. This indicates smart money buying low on the Spartans. Michigan State is receiving 39% of bets but 60% of money, a massive sharp contrarian bet discrepancy. Pros have also leaned under, dropping the total from 138.5 to 137.5. Unders are 35-17 (67%) so far in March Madness. Michigan State is one of the slowest paced teams left in the tournament (64.9 tempo).
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