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Market Insights: College hoops, boxing on busy menu

February 22, 2020 06:49 AM

Welcome to another huge College Basketball Saturday. We have a massive slate of 132 games from which to choose. However, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow remains the Wilder-Fury heavyweight bout, which takes place tonight at 11 p.m. ET at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. 

In yesterday's newsletter, we broke down the tale of the tape. Over the last 24 hours, the bigger bets have sided with Wilder. According to Ben Fawkes of ESPN, five of the six biggest bets at BetMGM have come in on Wilder. Thomas Gable, the Borgata Sportsbook director, told me via text message that "any money we respect has been on Wilder."

Wilder opened at -115 and has been bet up to -120. Fury has gone from -105 to even money (%plussign0).

At yesterday's weigh in, Wilder (42-0-1) checked in at 231 pounds, the heaviest of his career. In his first bout with Fury, Wilder checked in at 212.5 pounds. Wilder told reporters "I don't really care about weight. This just indicates that I'm in a better state and a better mind than the last time, and I've come for the pain." 

Fury (29-0-1) weighed in at 273 pounds, the third heaviest of his career. He weighed 256.5 for the first Wilder-Fury fight. "I've been holding that weight for the last three months in training camp," Fury said at the weigh-in. "I've been sparring every day with it, training every day, so weight is not a problem... 273 pounds of pure British beef. It's no secret. I'm looking for a knockout of Deontay Wilder."

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

Until then, let's discuss a trio of Saturday college hoops games receiving sharp action. 

12 p.m. ET: Kansas (23-3, ranked 3rd) at Baylor (24-1, ranked 1st)

Of all the Saturday showdowns, this Big 12 matchup between top five teams takes the cake. Both teams are riding prolonged win streaks with Kansas winning 11 games in an row and Baylor winning 23 straight. This game opened with Baylor listed as a 2-point home favorite. The public doesn't know who to take. Bets are split down the middle, but most books are juicing up Kansas to +2 at -115, signaling liability on the road dog and a likely move down to 1.5. When two top 10 teams go head-to-head the dog is 6-3 ATS (67%) this season and 55% ATS since 2005. When two top 5 teams in conference face off, the dog is 57% since 2005. This is a revenge spot for Kansas. The Jayhawks lost to Baylor 67-55 in a revenge spot on Jan. 11. We've also seen smart money target the under, dropping the total from 129.5 to 128 since opening. Both teams have been profitable to the under, with Kansas 17-9 to the under and Baylor 15-10. Ken Pom has Baylor winning this game 64-63.


2 p.m. ET: West Virginia (19-7, ranked 17th) at TCU (14-12)

On paper, this Big 12 grudge match looks like a layup for the Mountaineers. West Virginia has a far better record and ranking. Meanwhile, TCU has lost seven of eight games. These teams faced off on January 14 and West Virginia crushed TCU 81-49. This game opened with the Mountaineers listed as 5.5-point road favorites. Despite two-thirds of bets rushing to the window to lay the points this line has fallen down to 5 or even 4.5 at some shops. This sharp reverse line movement signals wiseguys buying low on TCU at home. The Horned Frogs have value as a conference dog and and a "bad" ATS team (8-17) against a "good" ATS team (14-12). Pros have also targeted the over, pushing the total up from 126.5 to 127.5. 


2:30 p.m. ET: Villanova (20-6, ranked 12th) at Xavier (17-9)

Every so often the oddsmakers set a line that looks way too good to be true. This Big East matchup is a perfect example. Villanova has a better won-loss record and is ranked inside the top 15. Meanwhile, Xavier is unranked. So why did the oddsmakers open this game at a pick'em? The public can't believe the line is so low and is hammering Nova. However, despite more than four-out-of-five bets backing the Wildcats the line has remained a pick'em or shifted to Xavier -1. This sharp reverse line movement is a clear indication of professional bettors backing Xavier at home. The Musketeers have value as a "fade the trendy dog" unranked contrarian conference favorite against a ranked team. This is also a revenge spot for Xavier, who lost to Nova 68-62 on Dec. 30. Wiseguy money has targeted the over. The total opened at 136 and has crept up to 137.5.

More Sharp Action

Florida +5 to +4.5 at Kentucky

Oregon +5 to +4.5 at Arizona

Virginia Tech-Duke Under 143.5 to 143

Tennessee-Auburn Under 135.5 to 134

Houston-Memphis Over 137 to 139

UL Lafayette-UL Monroe Over 136 to 137.5

Syracuse -5 to -5.5 vs. Georgia Tech

William and Mary -2 to -3 at James Madison

Cal State Bakersfield +6 to +5.5 at Seattle

Drake pick'em to -1 at Illinois State

Pepperdine +8 to +7.5 at San Francisco

Texas Tech -5.5 to -6 at Iowa State


Remember: the betting market is fluid and changes as sharp action comes in. Be sure to monitor the latest odds via our FREE VSiN College Basketball Live Odds page


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