Welcome to another action-packed college basketball Saturday. We are now just 30 days from Selection Sunday. Before you know it, we'll be sweating conference tournaments and then the Big Dance.
With 139 games on tap today, bettors will have countless opportunities to maximize their edge. When betting totals, one system to keep an eye on when two good field-goal shooting teams go head-to-head (both 45% or higher). In these cases, the under is 113-77 (59%). This is due to the public overvaluing two "good" shooting teams and the books shading the line to the over. Since 2005, this season is 54.3% according to Bet Labs Sports.
Here are the matches for today
Loyola Chicago-Northern Iowa
Santa Clara-Loyola Marymount
William & Mary-Delaware
For sports betting analysis and updates, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 9 a.m.-noon 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.
1 p.m. ET: Texas Tech (16-8, ranked 24th) at Oklahoma State (12-12)
One look at the won-loss records and that's all public bettors need to know. Texas Tech all day. This line opened with Texas Tech listed as a short 4-point road favorite. More than eight-out-of-10 bets are laying the points, making the Red Raiders one of the most lopsided plays of the day. However, despite this heavy support, the line has remained frozen at 4 or even dropped to 3.5 at some shops, signaling liability on the home dog. Oklahoma State has value as conference dog and a top contrarian play in the most heavily bet game of the day. The Cowboys are also in a revenge spot having lost to the Red Raiders 85-50 on Jan. 5. We've also seen some smart money target the over, which has risen from 132 to 133.5 since opening.
4 p.m. ET: West Virginia (18-6, ranked 14th) at Baylor (22-1, ranked 1st)
Baylor has become an auto-bet for the public. The Bears are ranked 1st in country and are riding a 21-game win streak. Now they're laying a short spread at home. Gotta go Bears, right? Baylor opened as a 6-point home favorite. Despite three-out-of-four bets laying the points with Baylor, the line has dipped to 5.5, signaling sharp reverse line movement on the road conference dog. West Virginia is a buy-low spot having lost their last two games.
6 p.m. ET: Maryland (20-4, ranked 9th) at Michigan State (17-8)
Pros and Joes seem to be in agreement with this Big Ten spread. Michigan State secured a much-needed win over Illinois last week 70-69 (but failed to cover as a 2.5-point favorite). The win snapped a 3-game losing skid for the Spartans. Meanwhile, Maryland has won 7 straight. This line opened with Michigan State listed as a 7-point home favorite. Two thirds of bets are grabbing Maryland and the points, which has dropped the line to 6.5 at several shops. The Terps have value as a road conference dog with a line move in their favor. Ken Pom has this as a 3-point win for Michigan State, which provides value for backing Maryland at the current number.
More sharp action
Samford + 1 to -1 at Citadel
Missouri + 5.5 to + 5 vs Auburn
Rutgers -3.5 to -4.5 vs Illinois
SMU + 2.5 to + 1.5 vs Houston
Tennessee + 4.5 to + 4 at South Carolina
Northern Illinois -1 to -2 at Miami Ohio
UL Lafayette pick'em to -1.5 at Troy
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.