Market Insights: 'Big' finish for last day of regular season

March 7, 2020 11:52 PM

Welcome to the final day of the college basketball regular season. This truly is the best of the year for college hoops bettors. Starting tomorrow, we have wall-to-wall conference tournaments. A week from today is Selection Sunday. Then we get to fill out brackets and sweat the Big Dance. 

Saturday was a mixed bag for college hoops bettors in terms of the top prime-time games. Of the four most heavily bet games yesterday, the popular side went 2-2. 

Duke dismantled North Carolina 89-76. Pros and Joes were both on North Carolina, which received two-thirds of bets but moved from + 11.5 to + 10.5. The public beat the sharps with Kentucky. The Wildcats received three-out-of-four tickets, but wiseguys pushed Florida from -3 to -4. The Gators were covering well into the 2nd half, but fell apart late and lost 71-70. Pros also got down hard on Texas Tech, which only received one-third of tickets but took in sharp reverse line movement + 3.5 to + 3. However, Kansas eked out a 66-62 win. The biggest sharp hit of the day was West Virginia. The Mountaineers moved from -1 to -1.5 against Baylor despite only receiving one-third of bets. Country Roads rolled 76-64.

Sharps and contrarians really cleaned up on the second tier of popular games. Utah State came up huge for the wiseguys, upsetting San Diego State 59-56. The Aggies only receiving one-third of bets but moved from + 6 to + 5. 

Contrarian bettors cashed bigly on Georgetown. The Hoyas lost to Nova 70-69 but covered + 8.5. Only one-out-of-four bets took Georgetown and the points. 

The house also cleaned up with Oklahoma State (+ 3.5) beating Texas 81-59, St. John's (+ 3) edging Marquette 88-86, Northwestern (+ 7) shocking Penn State 80-69 and Miami (+ 2) beating Syracuse 69-65. All four dogs received a third or less spread bets but won outright.

For more sports betting analysis and updates, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 9 a.m. ET to 11 a.m. ET on The Lombardi Line. We'll be breaking down all the latest moves and sharp betting angles leading up to today's games. 

Today's action includes 16 college basketball games, 11 NBA games, 7 NHL games and 2 XFL games. Let's discuss a handful of Sunday games receiving sharp action from respected bettors. 

College Hoops

12 p.m. ET: Michigan (19-11, ranked 25th) at Maryland (23-7, ranked 9th)

This Big Ten showdown features two ranked teams trending in different directions. Michigan is 6-2 in its last 8 games, most recently crushing Nebraska 82-58 as a 17.5-point favorite. Maryland, on the other hand, has dropped two in a row and three of its last four, including a 78-67 loss to Rutgers last time out. Still, the public believes in the Terps (better record, higher ranking) and sees a bounce back spot at home. This line opened with Maryland listed as a 4-point home favorite. More than two-thirds of bets are laying the points with Maryland yet this line has remained frozen at 4. Some books have even dipped down to 3.5. This signals some sharp liability on Michigan + 4. The Wolverines have value as a conference road dog. Ken Pom has Maryland winning this game by 3 points (71-68). Ken Pom ranks Michigan as the 13th best team in the nation and Maryland 14th.

4:30 p.m. ET: Ohio State (21-9, ranked 19th) at Michigan State (21-9, ranked 16th)

Both of these Big Ten powerhouses are peaking at the right time and riding four-game winning streaks. Ohio State just beat Illinois 71-63 as a 5.5-point favorite while Michigan State took down Penn State 79-71 as a 2-point favorite. Public bettors are split and don't know who to take. They love Ohio State getting points but are also wary of Sparty at home. This line opened with Michigan State laying 7 points. The line hasn't budged but seen some books adjust the juice slightly to the Buckeyes, indicating some road dog liability. Ken Pom has the Spartans winning by four points (72-68), which creates some value on road conference dog OSU getting seven. Ken Pom ranks Ohio State as the 8th best team in the country and Michigan State the 7th best. 

More sharp action

South Dakota -5.5 to -6 vs North Dakota 

College of Charleston -1 to -1.5 vs Delaware

Omaha + 5 to + 4.5 vs Oral Roberts

Nebraska + 16 to + 15.5 at Minnesota

NHL

10 p.m. ET: Colorado Avalanche (40-19-8) at San Jose Sharks (29-34-5)

Talk about polar opposites. The Avalanche has the fifth-most points in the NHL and is bound for a playoff run while the Sharks have the fourth-fewest points and are ready for golf season. Colorado is + 46 in goals for vs goals against while San Jose is -39. The Avs are 23-10-2 on the road and the Sharks are just 17-16-2 at home. This line opened with Colorado listed as a -155 road favorite and the line is already creeping up to -160. The Avalanche look to bounce back after two straight losses. Road favorites off a loss are 58% since 2005 and non-division road favorites are 57%. The Avs also hold a big rest vs tired advantage as the Sharks are on the second leg of a back-to-back. Favorites off a loss with 2-4 days off against teams on a back-to-back are 65% this year and 63% since 2005. 

 

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