Bettors are in for a treat today as we have a jam-packed Friday betting menu filled with 45-plus college basketball games, 9 NBA games and 3 NHL games. For an updated breakdown of Friday's action, including the top line moves, systems plays and sharp contrarian bets, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 12:30 p.m. ET. I will also be joining The Lombardi Line with Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher at 1:30 p.m. ET to offer a market update.
In the meantime, let's discuss a trio of Friday college hoops matchups receiving notable line movement...
7 p.m. ET: Richmond at Saint Louis
This Atlantic 10 showdown features two opponents trending in opposite directions. Richmond (13-5) has won two straight and four of their last five, including a 79-65 win over UMass their last time out, easily covering as 9-point home favorites. Meanwhile, Saint Louis (11-5) has dropped two straight, falling to VCU and Dayton despite being favored in both games. This line opened with Saint Louis listed as a 5-point home favorite. Respected money has pounced on Richmond getting points, which has forced oddsmakers to drop this line from 5 to 4.5. Richmond has value as a short road conference dog with a line move in their favor. Ken Pom has Saint Louis winning this game by three points, which provides actionable value on Richmond at the current number. Ken Pom has these teams practically dead even, with Richmond 54th in the country and Saint Louis 51st.
7 p.m. ET: Purdue at Penn State
This Big Ten grudge match looks like a layup on paper. Purdue (15-8) has won two straight and three of their last four, beating Michigan State and Nebraska and covering in both games. On the flip side, Penn State (8-12) had lost four straight games before posting a win over Nebraska 86-83 their last time out, although they failed to cover as 6.5-point road favorites. This line opened with Purdue listed as a 1-point road favorite. Right off the bat, this opening line speaks volumes. If Purdue is the better team with a far superior won-loss record, why are the Boilermakers only favored by one point? Talk about a fishy line. If it looks too good to be true, it almost always is. The public is racing to the window to lay the point with Purdue, yet we've seen this line completely flip to Penn State -1. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the Nittany Lions, who are contrarian in a heavily bet game with wiseguy "dog to favorite" line movement. Pros eyeing PSU might rather take the moneyline instead of the spread. That way a 1-point win cashes instead of pushes. Big Ten home favorites in conference play are 58-19 (75%) straight up on the season. Penn State is 6-4 at home this season. Purdue is 4-6 on the road.
9 p.m. ET: Georgia State at South Alabama
This late night Sun Belt matchup features the top two teams in the East division. Georgia State (12-5) is riding a four-game win streak, most recently beating App State 85-71 and easily covering as 6.5-point home favorites. South Alabama (16-8) is just as hot if not hotter, having won eight straight games including the last three on the road. This line opened with Georgia State listed as a short 1-point road favorite and we've seen the line jump up to -1.5 or even -2 at some shops, signaling respected money backing Georgia State. This line movement is significant because the betting public has virtually zero interest in this game. It's the epitome of an under the radar matchup, which means the line movement is almost exclusively driven by pros with an edge. Ken Pom has Georgia State winning by one point, so bettors might prefer going Georgia State on the moneyline instead of laying the points. Ken Pom has Georgia State ranked 143rd in the country. South Alabama is ranked 204th.
More Friday Moves
Niagara -1.5 to -1 vs Canisius
Tulane + 6 to + 5.5 at Cincinnati
Drexel + 2.5 to + 2 at James Madison
George Washington + 15 to + 14.5 at St. Bonaventure
Arkansas State-Texas Arlington Under 142 to 141
North Texas-Marshall Over 140.5 to 142.5
Montana State-Idaho Over 137 to 139
Florida Atlantic PK to -1.5 at Southern Miss
Utah Valley -2 to -2.5 vs UT Rio Grande Valley
Northern Iowa -2 to -3 at Illinois State
Long Beach State + 8 to + 7.5 at Hawaii