In the meantime, let's discuss several "fishy" lines for March Madness. Remember, the public will lean largely on higher seeds and teams with better records. So if we spot a team with a worse record or higher seeding designated as a favorite that speaks volumes. The public will look to back the "trendy" dog in these spots, while pros will look to back the contrarian favorite. If it seems fishy, there's a reason behnd it...
Michigan vs Colorado State
This the first round of the South Region. Michigan (17-14) enters as the 11-seed and is coming off an early second round exit in the Big Ten tournament, falling to Indiana 74-69 and losing outright as a 3-point favorite. Meanwhile, Colorado State (25-5) enters as the 6-seed and just fell to San Diego State 63-58 in the Mountain West semifinals, failing to cover as 2.5-point dogs. This line opened with Michigan listed a short 1-point or 2-point favorite. Some shops opened closer to a pick'em. Regardless of the opening number, the line has moved all the way to Michigan -2.5, signaling pro money laying the points with the Wolverines. Why is the 11th-ranked team favored over the 6th ranked team? Shouldn't it be the other way around? If it looks too good to be true, it almost always is.
Loyola Chicago vs Ohio State
This is the first round of the South Region. Loyola Chicago (25-7) is the 10-seed and just won the MVC, beating Drake 64-58 to punch their ticket to the Big Dance. On the flip side, Ohio State (19-11) is the 7-seed and just fell to Penn State 71-68 in the second round of the Big Ten tournament. This line opened at a pick'em. We've seen respected money back Loyola Chicago, steaming the Ramblers up to a 1-point or 1.5-point favorite. Why is the 10-seed favored over the 7-seed? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Ken Pom has Loyola Chicago winning by one point (69-68). He has Loyola Chicago ranked 24th and Ohio State 32nd. Loyola Chicago is -115 on the moneyline.
Memphis vs Boise State
This is the first round of the West Region. Memphis (21-10) enters as the 9-seed and lost to Houston 71-53 in the AAC championship game. On the other hand, Boise State (27-7) just won the Mountain West, beating San Diego State 53-52 in the championship game. This line opened with Memphis listed as a 1.5-point favorite. Wiseguys have laid the points, steaming Memphis up from -1.5 to -2.5. Once again, why is the 9-seed favored over the 8-seed? Shouldn't it be flipped? It's important to remember that the public would deem this an "upset" if Memphis wins because they have the worst seeding. However, it wouldn't be an upset based on the betting line since Memphis is favored. Also, brackets offer bonus points for upsets, which is based on seeding. So this game could be a "value" play for bracket players.