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Market Insights: In search of Cinderella for Big Dance

February 9, 2020 11:48 PM

The countdown to March Madness inches closer with each passing day. With selection Sunday just over a month away (March 15), now is a great time to reevaluate the college basketball futures market to see how the competition stacks up and, more importantly, look for a diamond in the rough or Cinderella that is providing under the radar value. 

Here are the latest odds to cut down the nets at Circa Sports

Kansas + 725

Duke + 750

Baylor, Gonzaga + 1000

Dayton + 1600

Louisville + 1200

Michigan State + 1400

Auburn + 1800

Seton Hall, Maryland + 2000

San Diego State + 2200

West Virginia + 2500

Oregon, Ohio State + 2600

Arizona, Kentucky + 2800

Villanova + 3000

Florida State + 4000

According to Ken Pomeroy's advanced ratings, Kansas, Gonzaga and Duke are the top three teams in the country, which is right in line with their futures odds. 

Three teams to keep an eye on: San Diego State, West Virginia and Maryland. 

Ken Pom has San Diego State as the 4th best team in the country and the Aztecs' futures odds are + 2200, only the 11th best overall. West Virginia and Maryland are ranked 7th and 8th by Ken Pom but are + 2500 and + 2000, respectively, just 10th and 12th best overall. All three teams are being undervalued by the futures markets according to Pomeroy. 

Monday's action features 9 NBA games, 19 college basketball games and 6 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.

Let's analyze a trio of Monday college hoops games receiving smart money.

7 p.m. ET: Florida State (20-3, ranked 8th) at Duke (20-3, ranked 7th)

This ACC showdown is the marquee game on Monday's slate. Both teams have identical records and are ranked inside the top 10. They are tied for the 2nd best record in the conference behind Louisville. Duke is riding a five game winning streak, most recently coming from behind in thrilling fashion to beat North Carolina 98-96 in overtime (but failed to cover as 7.5-point favorites). Florida State has won three straight, including a 99-81 win over Miami their last time out, easily covering as 13.5-point favorites. This line opened with Duke listed an an 8.5-point home favorite. Pros and Joes both think that line is too high and they've quickly gotten down on Florida State plus the points, dropping the line down to 8. The Seminoles have value as a road conference dog with a line move in their favor. When two top 10 teams go head-to-head the dog is 113-92 ATS (55.1%) since 2005 according to Bet Labs Sports. 

9 p.m. ET: TCU (13-10) at Texas Tech (15-8)

These Big 12 rivals are trending in opposite directions. TCU is mired in a five-game losing skid while Texas Tech has won two straight. The Red Raiders also have a far better record and enjoy home court advantage. Sounds like a Tech layup, right? This line opened with Texas Tech listed as an 11-point home favorite. The public has no problem laying the big spread but sharps have pounced on TCU getting big points. This influx of smart money dropped the line down to 10.5 or even 10 at some shops. TCU has value as a conference road dog getting double digits. The Horned Frogs are also in a classic buy low spot as a bad ATS team (7-15) that the public is inclined to fade. TCU beat Texas Tech 65-54 three weeks ago as a 2.5-point home dog. 

9 p.m. ET: Baylor (21-1, ranked 1st) at Texas (14-9)

After starting the season with a 1-1 record, Baylor has won 20 straight games and sits atop the rankings as the number one team in the country. The Bears are on such a tear that they have become an auto-bet for the public regardless of the line or the opponent. This Big 12 matchup is no different. However, wiseguys love betting against top ranked teams because they are overvalued and you can take advantage of inflated lines created by heavy bias and public perception. This line opened with Baylor listed as a 6.5-point road favorite. Despite more than three-out-of-four bets laying the points, the line has dipped to 6. This signals sharp reverse line movement on Texas. The Longhorns have value as an unranked conference dog vs a ranked opponent. Texas also has buy low value as a bad ATS team (9-14) against a good ATS team (14-9). 

Remember: the betting market is fluid and subject to change as more action comes in. Be sure to visit our free VSiN College Basketball Live Odds page for the latest lines. 

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