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Market Insights: Follow the money in XFL

February 28, 2020 05:14 AM

Week 4 of the XFL kicks off this weekend with a pair of games on Saturday and two more on Sunday. As we've noted before in this space, the XFL is a new league that makes it harder to handicap in many ways. Simply put, the public knows very little about any of the teams. As a result, following line movement is critical because only sharps with an edge are moving these numbers. You can also lean on futures odds movement, which gives you a good idea of how oddsmakers view each team. As we enter Week 4, we now have three game films to go off of, which aids bettors who take the time to study results and recreate box scores. 

Here's what we're seeing across the market for this weekend's games in terms of line movement

Los Angeles Wildcats -7.5 to -8.5 at New York Guardians. Under 41 to 38.5

Seattle Dragons + 13 to + 10.5 at St. Louis Battlehawks, Under 38.5 to 37.5

Houston Roughnecks -1 to -2.5 at Dallas Renegades, Over 48 to 49

DC Defenders remain -2.5 at Tampa Bay Vipers, Under 44 to 43.5

Updated futures odds at Circa Sports

St. Louis Battlehawks + 225

Houston Roughnecks + 295

Dallas Renegades + 400

DC Defenders + 450

Los Angeles Wildcats + 900

Tampa Bay Vipers + 4000

New York Guardians + 4000

Seattle Dragons + 5000

Friday's action features a whopping 11 College Basketball games, 10 NBA games and 5 NHL games. For an updated breakdown of sharp action across the marketplace 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 turn to four games across multiple sports receiving smart money from respected bettors.

College Hoops

7 p.m. ET: Princeton (12-11) at Brown (13-10)

If Saturdays are for the boys, Fridays are for the Ivy League rivalries. Princeton is tied with Harvard for second in the Ivy. Brown sits in third place, just one game behind the Tigers. These teams are trending in opposite directions as Princeton has won two of three while Brown has dropped two of three. The last time these teams played Princeton waxed Brown 73-54 just two weeks ago. So why did this line open at a pick'em? Princeton all day, right? Despite early betting backing Princeton, we've seen the line move to Brown -1 or even -1.5, a dead giveaway that pros are backing the Bears at home. Brown also have buy low value as a "bad" ATS team (8-13-1) against a "good" ATS team (13-9). Ken Pom has Brown winning this game by one (71-70). As a result, a moneyline play might be the smarter route than the spread.

NBA

10:30 p.m. ET: Denver Nuggets (40-18) at Los Angeles Clippers (39-19)

Talk about a Friday night marquee matchup. The Nuggets currently occupy the 2-seed in the West while the Clippers are just one-game behind as the 3-seed. Both teams are riding two-game winning streaks. Early public betting is split but wiseguys have sided with the Nuggets. This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a 6-point home favorite. Pros immediately hit Denver + 6, dropping the line down to 5.5 at most shops. Denver enjoys one added day of rest, having last played on Tuesday while the Clips last played on Wednesday. The last time these teams met, Denver won 114-104. We've also seen smart money hit the under as some books have fallen from 220.5 to 219. Both teams are profitable to the under (Denver 30-27-1 and Los Angeles 31-26-1). When two elite teams face off (both win percentage .650 or more) and the total stays the same or falls, the under is 56% since 2005. 

NHL

7 p.m. ET: New York Rangers (35-24-4) at Philadelphia Flyers (36-20-7)

This Metropolitan Division showdown is critical for both teams. The Rangers have made a spirited run as of late, winning five straight and nine of their last ten. Once left for dead, New York is now just 2-points out of the second and final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot. Meanwhile, the Flyers currently occupy the third playoff spot in the Metro but need to keep winning with several teams on their heels. The schedule provides a big edge for Philadelphia in this one. The Rangers are on the second night of a back-to-back (beat Montreal 5-2). Philly is rested and hasn't played since Tuesday. The Flyers have won fought straight and are 7-3 in their last ten. Philly is also one of the NHL's best home teams at 22-5-4. This line opened with the Flyers listed as -165 favorites and the line is quickly inching up to -170. Teams with 3 days of rest against teams on back-to-backs are 38-24 (61%) this season and 59% since 2005. 

10 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh Penguins (37-19-6) at Anaheim Ducks (25-30-8)

The mighty Penguins have been in a tailspin as of late, losing four straight games. A date with the lowly Ducks may be just what the doctor ordered. Pittsburgh is + 32 in goals for vs goals against while Anaheim is putrid -35. As soon as this line opened, wiseguys steamed the Pens up from -165 to -175. Non-division road favorites are 113-78 (59%) this season and 57% since 2005. from games 60 and beyond (late season), non-division road favorites improve to 61% since 2005. Also, Pittsburgh is a late season road favorite who made the playoffs the previous year facing a team who missed the postseason. These teams are 64% since 2005. 

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