Nick: What Sharps Think about Day Two
DIRECT FROM NEVADA WITH NICK BOGDANOVICH
WHAT SHARPS ARE THINKING ABOUT
DAY TWO IN THE BIG DANCE
As promised, I'm back to talk about what sharps (professional wagerers) in Las Vegas are thinking about Day Two of the NCAA tournament. The frantic nature of the markets in round two won't allow for a report on sharp action on the fly during the weekend. I will be back Sunday morning for some thoughts on how the tournament has played out for sharps up to that point.
Next week, I'll definitely have a 'what the sharps are thinking' report for the full Sweet 16 round. That's scheduled to run Thursday morning, the first day of the Sweet 16.
Speaking of 16...we have 16 games to discuss. Let's get to it!
MORGAN STATE VS. WEST VIRGINIA: Sharps hit West Virginia early, impressed by their run through the Big East last week. Sharps layed 16.5 and 17 points with the Mountaineers. I'm now seeing numbers as high as 18 as additional action (mix of sharp and public) continued to come in on the #2 seed. Morgan State is seen as more of a 16 seed than a 15 seed according to the people I've been talking to.
MISSOURI VS. CLEMSON: Clemson's been getting respect, as an offshore opener of pick-em is now up to -1.5 most everywhere. Though the Big 12 did impress people this year. Missouri was out of that loop. They lost in the first round of the Big 12 tourney, and didn't fare well in two TV games with Kansas. Sharps saw an edge with Clemson at pick-em. But, the line did stop at -1.5, so it's not a huge play for the Wise Guys.
FLORIDA STATE VS. GONZAGA: Florida State opened at pick-em offshore, and is now -1.5 everywhere I look (as of press time, you may see a different number as you read this). Same story here, with another ACC team inspiring early support from sharps, but not passionate support. I know several guys who have been burned in past years with Gonzaga. They'll take a wait-and-see approach this year.
VERMONT VS. SYRACUSE: This one was kind of interesting. There was early support for Syracuse, as an opener of 18 moved up to 19. But, now we've seen the line fall all the way to -17 for the favorite. I attribute that to pessimism about the injury to a key contributor. First reports said he'd be available (which may have been Syracuse lobbying the selection committee not to reduce their seeding!). That's changed, and the line has come down.
CORNELL VS. TEMPLE: Cornell was a team sharps were looking to take. Oddsmakers knew this, and posted a relatively short opener of -4.5 offshore. Early action brought it down to -4, which is where it's sitting now. I've heard a lot of whining this year, and really the past 2-3 years from dog players who got spoiled in the old days. They used to get something like 8-10 points with a decent dog that the public wasn't paying attention to. That value is gone.
WOFFORD VS. WISCONSIN: A mixed bag here, with the line hopping around the 10 spot. I'm currently seeing Wisconsin -10.5. This is one of those games where some sharps have Wisconsin as a darkhorse to go deep in the brackets, while others think Wofford is pretty good for a 13th seed. Not a sharp consensus in this game.
ARKANSAS PINE BLUFF VS. DUKE: Not much action here. Sharps know Duke has been a money-burner in recent tournaments. But, they are capable of beating up on a bad team. I know guys who are looking to go against Duke in the next round, and pretty much any round after that if the Blue Devils keep winning. I think there are some guys waiting here to see if the public comes in on Duke. That used to be automatic...squares would lay any number with the top seeds. The down economy has kept the square influence from impacting the lines much so far.
LOUISVILLE VS. CALIFORNIA: I've seen both teams favored this week. Currently California is at -1. There's split emotions here...with a lot of anti-Pac 10 money coming in on Louisville, but some 'the Big East is overrated' money coming in on California. It's funny, there are some games where sharps disagree about who to take. This is one where they're disagreeing about who to bet against! Not a consensus here.
MINNESOTA VS. XAVIER: A lot of games near pick-em on the Friday card...and, the fact that those games aren't moving much tells you there's a lack of sharp consensus. I've seen both teams favored by a point this week, with Xavier currently the favorite. Sharps always get the best number though...with everyone sitting at +1 with their preferred dog. Sportsbooks won't have to sweat a middle because there can't be a tie. If any of these games land exactly on one though, sportsbooks will take a hit because few will lose on that game.
OAKLAND VS. PITTSBURGH: Some interest in Oakland here, as an opener of +11 is now down to either +10 or +10.5 depending on where you shop. IUPUI had a nice result in the NIT the other night, and they're from Oakland's conference. That might weigh on the mind of sharps.
GEORGIA TECH VS. OKLAHOMA STATE: Another game near pick-em all week. Good luck trying to win one of those million dollar prizes picking the brackets. So many coin flips this year! Oklahoma State got the nod from those who did bet the game, moving the line to -1 from pick-em.
CAL SANTA BARBARA VS. OHIO STATE: The line here has settled at -17.5 for Ohio State. That's where it opened. Early money on the dog moved it down temporarily, but support for the Buckeyes brought the number right back up. I wish I could be telling you about aggressive sharp plays on this day. It's just not happening through these first three sections. There's debate about the coin tosses. And, what's also in play here, is the fact that sharps are hoping to get better lines with their underdogs thanks to game day square action from the public. No reason to jump on a dog early if there's a chance you'll get a better line later. We talked about that a lot during football season. In a sense, the lack of sharp action for Friday tells you these guys are leaning to the dogs...and are hoping for better numbers. If they liked favorites they would have jumped in quickly to beat the public.
SIENA VS. PURDUE: Sharps have been going against Purdue since the Robbie Hummel injury. They certainly planned on doing that here. Oddsmakers tried to play defense with a low opener (just like in Cornell/Temple). Purdue started out offshore at -5, but has dropped to -4 now. Sharps just have to accept that the big value is gone on the relative no-name teams. You've got to take what you can get and live with it.
UTAH STATE VS. TEXAS A&M: I've seen respect for both sides here. Another game featuring a dangerous dog, but a favorite with the talent to go deep if they can dodge bullets. Early Utah State money brought a line of +3 down to +2.5 for awhile...but Aggie money took it back up to three. I think you'd see a lot of sharp activity if the public moved the line up to +4 before tipoff.
NEW MEXICO STATE VS. MICHIGAN STATE: Not much interest here. There was a little of flurry of activity for awhile with the dog, but the line got bet right back up again. I can tell you most sharps figured there was no way in the world New Mexico State was going to be in the Dance. They don't want to take any guesses on a pretender.
HOUSTON VS. MARYLAND: Maybe we saved the best for last. This is really the only game that's shown a clean preference. Maryland opened at -8 offshore...moved to -9...and still got enough money to move to -9.5. Houston money might start coming in at +10. For now, sharps like The Terps...particularly those who got in at -8. Remember, sharps act QUICKLY if they like a favorite to beat the public.
Clearly, this complex Friday is the ideal time to have a friend in Nevada! I'll be right in the heart of the legal sports betting markets as news breaks throughout the tournament. You can take advantage of this 'special access' by signing up for my personal service. Call 1-877-822-2276 right now to get on board. You can also purchase game day selections or my full package here at the website with your credit card. My BEST BETS have been on fire for weeks. I'm going to keep right on winning all the way through the Big Dance, the NIT, and the other postseason action.
Throughout MARCH MADNESS, the best information is going to come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!
This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by VegasSportsMasters.com. For more information on NICK BOGDANOVICH'S handicapping packages, call 1-877-822-2276.
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