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Market Insights: A lesson in betting the inflated line

Betting against the public isn't just about identifying where all Average Joes are and going the other way. It's also about taking advantage of inflated lines. This means locating the most heavily bet and most lopsided bet games of the day and buying low on a contrarian side after the line has been artificially inflated by heavy public betting. 

Last night's Maryland-Seton Hall game was a perfect example. First off, it was the most heavily bet game of the night. Second, nearly three-out-of-four bets laid the points with Maryland. Why? Because the Terps had a superior won-loss record and were ranked 7th overall against an unranked Seton Hall squad. But the key is the inflated line. 

With such heavy betting on Maryland, the line moved from Terps -5 to -7. Therefore, Seton Hall received an inflated line of 2 points. Remember, betting is all about value. There is no value on betting Maryland after the public moves the line two points in their direction. However, betting the unpopular Seton Hall side at 7 after they opened at 5 is a clear value play. As Warren Buffet always says: buy low, sell high. 

Seton Hall won outright 52-48. 

You can't take advantage of inflated lines in every single game. It's only valuable in the most heavily bet games of the day garnering the most public action.

The Friday schedule features 10 NBA games, 4 NHL games, and 21 College Basketball games. For an updated breakdown of all of Friday's sharpest plays, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Now let's continue our bowl game prep by discussing another post-Christmas game receiving smart money. 

Dec. 28 at 12 p.m. ET: Memphis (12-1, ranked 17) vs. Penn State (10-2, ranked 10)

The Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic features two ranked teams: one from the American Athletic Conference and the other from the Big Ten. Memphis finished the season with eight straight wins, including a 29-24 win over Cincinnati to win the conference championship (but failing to cover as 9-point dogs). The Tigers' only loss came in mid-October, losing to Temple 30-28 as 3.5-point favorites. Memphis went 7-5-1 ATS on the season, averaging 40.54 PPG on offense and giving up 24.38 PPG on defense. Penn State started 8-0 and went just 2-2 in their final games, ending the season with a 27-6 win over Rutgers but failing to cover as 39-point favorites. The Nittany Lions' only losses came at the hands of Minnesota 31-26 as 6.5-point favorites and Ohio State 28-17 as 20-point favorites. Penn State went 6-6 ATS, averaging 34.33 PPG on offense and giving up only 14.08 PPG on defense.

The line opened with Penn State listed as a 7.5-point favorite. Despite two-thirds of bets laying the points with the Nittany Lions, the line has fallen down to 6.5. This signals sharp reverse line movement on Memphis with pros grabbing the points, not laying them. Bowl dogs are 53% ATS since 2005 and 70-50 ATS (58.3%) over the last 3 years. When two ranked teams go head-to-head in a Bowl game, the dog has gone 69-57 ATS (55%) since 2005. The total is 60.5. The forecast calls for low 60s and 10-12 MPH winds. The over is 8-5 in Memphis games but the under is 7-5 in Penn State games. 

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