HomeCollege BasketballBetting Splits and CBB Sharp Money Picks for Saturday February 24th

    Betting Splits and CBB Sharp Money Picks for Saturday February 24th

    Josh Appelbaum examines where smart money is leaning for Duke-Wake Forest, Alabama-Kentucky and South Carolina-Mississippi.

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    Today we have an enormous Saturday College Basketball slate with over 130 games to choose from. You can track the latest odds and betting percentages for every matchup using our VSiN Betting Splits.

    In the meantime, let’s examine a trio of marquee games receiving sharp action from respected bettors today.

     

    2 p.m. ET: Duke at Wake Forest (-2.5, 151)

    Duke (21-5, ranked 8th) has won five straight games and just crushed Miami 84-55. On the flip side, Wake Forest (17-9) just snapped a two-game losing skid with a 91-58 rout over Pittsburgh. This line opened with Wake Forest listed as a 1.5-point home favorite. Right off the bat, this opening line speaks volumes. Why is Wake Forest favored in this game? Sure, we have to apply home court advantage. But Duke has the better record and ranking. Shouldn’t the Blue Devils be laying points, not getting them? The public thinks the wrong team is favored and 65% of spread bets are rushing to the window to back trendy dog Duke. However, pros have embraced the fishy unpopular home favorite, steaming Wake Forest up from -1.5 to -2.5. Wake Forest is the top contrarian play of the day, receiving only 35% of spread bets in the most heavily bet game of the day. Wake Forest is also only receiving 35% of spread bets but 60% of spread dollars, a massive “low bets, higher dollars” wiseguy bet split in their favor. Wake Forest has a massive edge at the free throw stripe (81% vs 73%), which could prove crucial in a tight game. Unranked home favorites vs ranked opponents are 23-13 (64%) straight up this season and 66-26 (72%) straight up over the past two seasons. Wake Forest is -140 on the moneyline. The Demon Deacons are receiving 24% of moneyline bets but 50% of moneyline dollars, further evidence of pros banking on Wake Forest to win the game straight up. Wake Forest is a perfect 14-0 at home this season. ACC home favorites are 56-21 (73%) straight up in conference play this season. This is also a revenge spot for Wake Forest, who lost to Duke 77-69 on the road in mid February.

    3:30 p.m. ET: South Carolina at Mississippi (-3.5, 136)

    South Carolina (21-5, ranked 20th) has dropped two straight games and just fell to LSU 64-63. Similarly, Mississippi (19-7) has lost four of their last five games and just fell to Mississippi State 83-71. This line opened with Mississippi listed as a 2.5-point home favorite. Once again, this opening line doesn’t make much sense. Why is Mississippi favored if they are unranked and have played so poorly as of late? Shouldn’t South Carolina be the one laying points? The public is split down the middle and doesn’t know what to do. However, despite the tickets being 50/50 we’ve seen Mississippi move from -2.5 to -3.5. In a vacuum, a line shouldn’t move at all if the bets are even. However, it’s important to remember that not all bets are created equal, as some come from casual public bettors while others come from respected wiseguys. Mississippi is only receiving 50% of spread bets but 85% of spread money, validating the fact that the pros are backing the fishy home favorite. Ole Miss has the better offensive efficiency (36th vs 58th), better three-point shooting (38% vs 34%) and better free-throw shooting (75% vs 72%). Ole Miss also matches the unranked home favorite vs ranked opponent system (64% straight up this season and 72% straight up since last season). Ole Miss is -165 on the moneyline, receiving only 43% of moneyline bets but 62% of moneyline dollars, a sharp contrarian bet split. This is also a revenge spot for Ole Miss, who fell to South Carolina 68-65 on the road in early February. Ole Miss is 14-1 at home. SEC home favorites are 46-16 (74%) straight up in conference play this season.

    4 p.m. ET: Alabama at Kentucky (-2.5, 175.5)

    Alabama (19-7, ranked 13th) has won three straight games and just edged Florida 98-93 in overtime. Conversely, Kentucky (18-8, ranked 17th) just saw their two-game win streak come to an end, falling to LSU 75-74. This line opened at roughly a pick’em, with some shops opening Kentucky a slight 1-point home favorite. Pros have pounced on Kentucky at home in a coin-flip game, steaming the Wildcats up to -2.5. Kentucky is receiving 71% of spread bets and 81% of spread dollars, signaling a heavy combination of both public and sharp support in their favor. Kentucky takes far better care of the ball, ranking 10th in turnover percentage compared to 128th for Alabama. Kentucky also has the edge shooting three pointers (40% vs 38%). When two ranked teams play each other, the home favorite is 31-7 (82%) straight up this season and 127-31 (80%) straight up since the start of last season. Kentucky is -140 on the moneyline. The Wildcats are receiving 66% of moneyline bets but 70% of moneyline dollars, a sharp bet discrepancy. Kentucky is 11-4 at home this season. Kentucky is also in a classic buy-low, sell-high spot as they are coming off a disappointing loss while Alabama has won three straight and are coming off a thrilling overtime win. SEC home favorites are 46-16 (74%) straight up in conference play this season.

    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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