College Hoops bettors are in for a treat today as conference tournaments continue with more than 50 games from which to choose. If that wasn't enough, we also have 11 NBA games and 10 NHL games on the docket. For an updated breakdown of Thursday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 12:30 p.m. ET. I'll also be joining The Lombardi Line with Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher at 1:45 p.m. ET to offer a market update.
In the meantime, let's discuss a trio of college basketball matchups today receiving sharp action from respected bettors...
11:30 a.m. ET: Oklahoma State vs West Virginia
Don't sleep in too late or you might miss the tip for this Big 12 quarterfinal grudge match. Oklahoma State (18-7, ranked 12th) is the 5-seed and was red-hot down the stretch, going 6-1 over their last seven games. Meanwhile, West Virginia (18-8, ranked 10th) is the 4-seed but finished the regular season a lackluster 1-2 over their final three games. These teams met five days ago in the regular season finale and OK State shocked WVU 85-80, winning outright as 10-point dogs despite missing star freshman Cade Cunningham. This line opened with West Virginia listed as a 2.5-point favorite. Cunningham is back and the public is rushing to the window to grab Oklahoma State and the points. However, despite this lopsided support we've actually seen the line move further to West Virginia (-2.5 to -3). This signals sneaky sharp reverse line movement on the Mountaineers, with pros laying the points with the contrarian favorite and fading the trendy dog Cowboys. Ken Pom has West Virginia winning by two points. As a result, WVU backers may prefer a moneyline play over laying the points. Ken Pom has West Virginia ranked higher (25th vs 37th)..
12 p.m. ET: Georgetown vs Villanova
This noon-time Big East quarterfinal showdown features 9-seed Georgetown (10-12) against 1-seed Villanova (16-5, ranked 14th). Georgetown carries some momentum into this matchup as they just upset Marquette 68-49 in yesterday's semifinal, winning outright as 3.5-point dogs. On the flip side, Villanova is making their tournament debut and lost two of their final three games down the stretch. Nova fell to Providence 54-52 in their regular season finale, losing outright as 4.5-point favorites. This line opened with Villanova listed as a 9-point favorite. Respected money has pounced on the underdog Hoyas plus the points, which has dropped this line from 9 to 8.5. Some shops are even inching down to 8. Ken Pom has Villanova winning by eight, which means the hook could be crucial. Georgetown has buy-low value as an unranked contrarian conference dog against a ranked opponent. One ex-factor here is the loss of Nova star point guard Collin Gillespie (14 PPG). He is out for the season after tearing his MCL. This is also a revenge game for Georgetown, who lost both matchups to Villanova during the regular season (84-74 and 76-63).
6:30 p.m. ET: Indiana vs Rutgers
This Big Ten second round matchup features two teams trending in opposite directions. Indiana (12-14) is the 10-seed and enters the tournament having lost their last five games. Meanwhile, Rutgers is the 7-seed and won two of their last three games down the stretch. This line opened with Rutgers listed as a short 2-point favorite. The public doesn't know whether to take the points or lay them. But pros seem to be backing Rutgers as we've seen this line tick up from -2 to -3. Ken Pom has Rutgers winning by two points, so the Scarlet Knights might be more appealing as a moneyline play instead of laying the points. Rutgers went 2-0 against Indiana during the regular season, winning 74-63 and 74-70. Smart money also seems to be leaning under in this one. The total opened at 131 and has been bet down to 130.5. Both of these teams are on the slower end of the pace spectrum, with Indiana 66.4 and Rutgers 67.9. Keep an eye on two big injuries for Indiana: guard Armann Franklin (foot) and forward Race Thompson (ankle). Both are questionable. If one or both are ruled out, expect this line to rise further toward Rutgers.
More Thursday Moves
Kentucky -2.5 to -3.5 vs Mississippi State
Southern Utah -6 to -7 vs Northern Colorado
Georgia Tech -9 to -9.5 vs Miami Florida
Montana State -2 to -2.5 vs Idaho State
Morgan State -2 to -3 vs Florida A&M
Rutgers -2 to -3 vs Indiana
Missouri -5.5 to -6 vs Georgia
Eastern Washington -14 to -15 vs Northern Arizona
Cal Poly SLO-Cal Irvine Over 126.5 to 127.5
Norfolk State -5 to -5.5 vs NC Central
Texas Tech-Texas Under 136.5 to 135.5
Weber State -6 to -6.5 vs Montana