Wake up with VSiN Daily Morning Bets, a quick 15-minute podcast posted at 7 a.m. ET highlighting the top games and biggest line moves of the day. For a full breakdown of Thursday's betting action be sure to catch the VSiN Market Insights Podcast at 3 p.m. ET.
You can also track the VSiN Betting Splits for every game.
In the meantime, let's examine where smart money is leaning for Thursday's Sweet 16 action...
6:30 p.m. ET: Michigan State (-1.5, 137.5) vs Kansas State
Michigan State (21-12) is the 7-seed and just took down Marquette 69-60 in the second round, winning outright as 3.5-point dogs. Meanwhile, Kansas State (25-9) is the 3-seed and just upset Kentucky 75-69 in the second round, winning outright as 3-point dogs. This line opened at a pick'em. Right off the bat, this opener speaks volumes. Shouldn't Kansas State be favored due to their superior record and seeding? The public is is all over Kansas State. However, despite 65% of bets backing the Wildcats, we've actually seen this line flip to Michigan State -1.5. It even reached -2 throughout the week. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the Spartans, with pros embracing the fishy contrarian side and throwing their support behind Tom Izzo. Michigan State is -125 on the moneyline. Pros have also hit the under, dropping the total from 139.5 to 137.5. This drop is notable because 63% of bets are on the over yet the total fell, which is evidence of smart under money. Michigan State plays at one of the slowest tempos in college basketball (64.8 possessions per game). Unders are 35-17 (67%) in March Madness thus far.
9:45 p.m. ET: Gonzaga vs UCLA (-1.5, 145.5)
Gonzaga (30-5) is the 3-seed and just edged TCU 84-81 in the second round but failed to cover as 4.5-point favorites. On the other hand, UCLA (31-5) is the 2-seed and just outlasted Northwestern 68-63 in the second round but failed to cover as 7.5-point favorites. This line opened with UCLA listed as a short 1.5-point favorite. The public is split down the middle and doesn't know who to back. However, a closer look at the line move shows liability on UCLA, as the line has either stayed the same or risen in their favor throughout the week, touching -2 at times. UCLA is only receiving 50% of bets bet 65% of money, further evidence of smart money in their favor. Ken Pom has UCLA winning by three points (76-73). UCLA also enjoys a one-day rest and game-plan advantage, having last played on Saturday while Gonzaga played on Sunday. UCLA also has the superior defense (allowing 60 PPG vs 73 PPG). UCLA ranks 2nd in college basketball in defensive efficiency. UCLA is -125 on the moneyline.
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