HomeCollege BasketballBetting Splits and CBB Sharp Money Picks for Saturday February 17th

    Betting Splits and CBB Sharp Money Picks for Saturday February 17th

    Josh Appelbaum examines where smart money is leaning for Creighton-Butler, Wisconsin-Iowa and Kansas-Oklahoma.


    Wake up with VSiN Daily Morning Bets, a quick 15-minute podcast posted at 7 a.m. ET highlighting the top games and biggest line moves of the day. I’ll also be breaking down games this morning from 8 to 10 a.m. ET on The Sweat, live from the DraftKings studio in Boston.

    You can always track the latest odds and betting percentages for every game using our VSiN Betting Splits.


    In the meantime, let’s examine where smart money is leaning for Saturday’s loaded College Basketball slate.

    12:30 p.m. ET: Creighton (-3, 151.5) at Butler

    Creighton (18-7, ranked 17th) has won two straight games and just crushed Georgetown 94-72. On the other hand, Butler (16-9) has dropped two of their last three games and just fell to Marquette 78-72. This line opened with Creighton listed as roughly a 3-point road favorite, as some books opened Creighton -2.5 while others opened as high as Creighton -3.5. Regardless of the opener, the public thinks this line is way too low and they’re rushing to the window to lay the points with Creighton, who has the better record and ranking. However, despite receiving 77% of spread bets we’ve seen Creighton remain stagnant at -3. Some shops have even briefly dipped to -2.5. Normally if a team is receiving such lopsided support you would see them rise up to -4 or -5. This lack of movement signals a sharp line freeze or even some reverse line movement on Butler, with pros backing the unpopular home dog plus the points. Butler has value as a buy-low unranked team against a sell-high ranked team (54% ATS over the past two seasons). Butler is also one of the top contrarian plays of the day, receiving only 23% of spread bets. Ken Pom has Creighton winning by just one point (76-75), which provides actionable value on Butler +3. Butler is also a “dog who can score” system match (80 PPG), which means they are more likely to keep pace or backdoor cover. Butler is also better at the free throw line (79% vs 77%) and has a better offensive rebound percentage (29% vs 26%). Butler is 11-3 at home this season. Butler beat Creighton on the road 99-98 back on February 2nd.

    2:15 p.m. ET: Wisconsin (-1, 152.5) at Iowa

    Wisconsin (17-8, ranked 20th) just snapped a four-game losing streak with a 62-54 win over Ohio State. Meanwhile, Iowa (14-11) has rotated wins and losses over their last six games and just fell to Maryland 78-66. This line opened with Wisconsin listed as a 1.5-point road favorite. The public sees an easy layup with Wisconsin laying short chalk on the road. However, despite receiving 69% of bets we’ve seen Wisconsin fall from -1.5 to -1. This signals pro money buying low on Iowa at home, triggering sharp reverse line movement in favor of the Hawkeyes. Iowa is only receiving 31% of spread bets but 54% of spread dollars, a sharp contrarian “low bets, higher dollars” bet split in their favor. Iowa has the edge on offense, averaging 84 PPG compared to 74 PPG for Wisconsin. Iowa also has the better offensive efficiency (16th vs 19th), better effective field goal percentage (53% vs 52%), better turnover percentage (8th vs 67th) and better free-throw shooting (78% vs 76%). Iowa also has value as a buy-low unranked team against a sell-high ranked team (54% ATS over the past two seasons). Iowa is 11-3 at home while Wisconsin is just 3-6 on the road. This is also a revenge spot for Iowa, who lost to Wisconsin on the road 83-72 back on January 2nd. Those looking to back Wisconsin would be wise to shop around for the hook (+1.5).

    4 p.m. ET: Kansas (-2, 143) at Oklahoma

    Kansas (19-6, ranked 6th) has dropped two of their last three games and just got crushed by Texas Tech 79-50. Similarly, Oklahoma (18-7, ranked 25th) just saw their two-game win streak come to an end, falling to Baylor 79-62. This line opened with Kansas listed as 1-point road favorite. The public is all over Kansas with 79% of bets laying the short chalk. This lopsided betting pushed Kansas up from -1 to -2. However, we’re now seeing sharp buyback on Oklahoma plus the points, with most of the market juicing up Oklahoma +2 to -115, signaling a possible fall back down to +1.5. In other words, Oklahoma has value as an inflated contrarian dog in a heavily bet game. Oklahoma is only receiving 21% of spread bets but 36% of spread dollars, indicating a sharp contrarian bet split in their favor. This is also a “Ken Pom Sound the Alarm” play, as Ken Pom has Oklahoma winning the game straight up (72-71), which provides actionable value on Oklahoma +2. Oklahoma has a big edge in terms of offensive rebound percentage (31% vs 26%). Oklahoma is 13-2 at home while Kansas is just 2-5 on the road. This is also a revenge spot for Oklahoma, who lost to Kansas on the road 78-66 back on January 13th.

    Josh Appelbaum
    Josh Appelbaum
    Josh Appelbaum is a Sports Betting Analyst at VSiN and has been working in the betting industry since 2011. He has been with VSiN since 2019, contributing data-driven articles to VSiN.com, hosting the Morning Bets and Market Insights Podcasts and appearing on VSiN and DraftKings programs such as Follow the Money, The Lombardi Line, Sharp Money and The Sweat. He is a contrarian bettor and also the author of The Everything Guide to Sports Betting.

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