Today, we have a loaded all-day betting menu filled with 21 Conference Tournament games in college hoops, 8 NBA games and 12 NHL games, not to mention a stacked UFC slate. For extensive Saturday betting analysis, be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon ET on The Lombardi Line. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups and updating the top lines moves and late sharp action across all the major sports. We'll also be joined by Thomas Gable at The Borgata in Atlantic City.
In the meantime, let's discuss a trio of college hoops games today receiving notable sharp action...
1 p.m. ET: Ohio State vs Michigan
Ohio State (20-8) enters this Big Ten semifinal as the 5-seed and has beaten Minnesota (79-75) and Purdue (87-78) in the first two rounds. On the flip side, Michigan (20-3) is the 1-seed and just made their tournament debut on Friday, beating Maryland 79-66 and covering as 8.5-point favorites. This line opened with Michigan listed as a 6-point favorite. The public is rushing to the window to lay the points with powerhouse Michigan. However, despite this lopsided support we've seen the line remain frozen at 6. We even see the Ohio State + 6 being juiced up to -115, signaling liability on the Buckeyes and a possible drop to 5.5. Ken Pom has Michigan winning by four points, providing actionable value on Ohio State at the current number. He has Ohio State ranked 7th in the country and Michigan 2nd. The Buckeyes have contrarian value as an unpopular conference dog in one of the most heavily bet games of the day. These teams only played once during the regular season, with Michigan winning a 92-87 thriller on Feb. 21. We've also seen some wiseguy action on the under, dropping the total from 146.5 to 145.
3 p.m. ET: Cincinnati vs Wichita State
This is an American Athletic Conference Semifinal. Cincinnati (11-10) enters as the 5-seed and just upset 4-seed SMU 74-71 on Friday, winning outright as 5.5-point dogs. On the flip side, Wichita State (16-4) is the 1-seed and just barely edged 9-seed South Florida 68-67, failing to cover as an 11-point favorite. This line opened with Wichitas State listed as a 3.5-point favorite. The public doesn't know whether to take the points or lay them. They respect Wichita State due to its seed and better record, but the Shockers barely won on Friday while Cincinnati posted a huge upset win. However, pros seem to be buying low on Wichita State as we've seen this line rise from -3.5 to -4. Ken Pom has Wichita State winning by exactly four points. He also has the Shockers ranked much higher (70th vs 112th). These teams met back on January 10th and Wichita State won 82-76. The Shockers will look to dominate the boards in this one. Wichita State ranks 50th in the country in rebounding while Cincinnati is 159th. We've also seen some sharp money hit this under, dropping the total from 145 to 144.
9 p.m. ET: North Texas vs Western Kentucky
This is the Conference USA Championship game, with the winner punching a ticket to the big dance. North Texas (16-9) enters as the 3-seed and has won and covered as favorites in all three tournament games thus far, beating MTSU 76-56 (-16), Old Dominion 61-55 (-4.5) and Louisiana Tech 54-48 (-1.5). Meanwhile, Western Kentucky (20-6) enters as the 1-seed. The Hilltoppers also won and covered as favorites in both of their tournament games, beating UTSA 80-67 (-7) and UAB 64-60 (-2). This line opened at a true pick'em. Respected money has sided with North Texas, pushing this line up to North Texas -1 or even -1.5 at some shops. Ken Pom has North Texas winning by two points. He also has North Texas ranked higher (73rd vs 92nd). Bettors backing the Mean Green may prefer a moneyline play instead of laying the points as this could be a close game. North Texas will lean on its defense in this one, as it only allows 62 PPG while Western Kentucky gives up 69 PPG. This is the teams' first meeting of the season. Their previous matchups were postponed due to COVID.