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. For a full breakdown of Thursday’s betting action be sure to catch the VSiN Market Insights Podcast at 3 p.m. ET.

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 Thursday’s loaded 65+ game College Basketball slate.

6:30 p.m. ET: Northwestern at Rutgers (-4.5, 130.5)

Northwestern (17-7) has won two straight games and just edged Penn State 68-63. Similarly, Rutgers (13-10) has won three straight games and just crushed Wisconsin 78-56. This line opened with Rutgers listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. The public is siding with Rutgers laying the points at home (59% of bets) and we’ve seen Rutgers climb from -3.5 to -4.5. Some shops are even posting -5. While Northwestern may not be a sharp play, it can be considered a notable “value play” as a contrarian dog with an inflated line in one of the most heavily bet games of the night. Also, Northwestern qualifies as a “Ken Pom Sound the Alarm” play. This means that Ken Pom has Northwestern winning the game straight up (65-64), which provides actionable value on Northwestern plus the points. Ken Pom has Northwestern ranked higher (47th vs 82nd). Northwestern had the edge in offensive efficiency (34th vs 282nd), effective field goal percentage (54% vs 44%), three-point percentage (40% vs 29%) and free-throw percentage (73% vs 66%). Northwestern also takes far better care of the ball, ranking 9th in turnover percentage (13.6%) vs 146th for Rutgers (16.8%). Northwestern is 8-5 in conference games while Rutgers is 5-7.

9 p.m. ET: Colorado (-1.5, 137.5) at UCLA

Colorado (16-8) has dropped three of their last four games and just got blown out by Arizona 99-79. On the other hand, UCLA (13-11) has won five straight games and just edged California 61-60. This line opened at a pick’em. The public is all over red-hot UCLA at home in a coin flip game. However, despite 60% of bets backing UCLA we’ve seen this line move to Colorado -1.5 on the road. Why would the oddsmakers move the line toward Colorado if the majority of bets are on UCLA? Because pro money has sided with the Buffaloes, causing sharp “pick’em to favorite” reverse line movement in Colorado’s favor. Colorado is only receiving 40% of spread bets but 51% of spread dollars, giving the Buffs contrarian value in the most heavily bet game of the night in addition to a “low bets, higher dollars” wiseguy bet discrepancy. Colorado is a classic buy-low vs sell sell-high value play, as the Buffs have dropped three of four while UCLA is on a prolonged winning streak. Ken Pom has Colorado winning by two points (69-67). He also has Colorado ranked much higher (35th vs 92nd). Colorado has a big edge in offensive efficiency (27th vs 174th), effective field goal percentage (55% vs 46%), three-point percentage (39% vs 34%) and free-throw percentage (79% vs 72%). Colorado is averaging 81 PPG compared to just 66 PPG for UCLA. Colorado is -120 on the moneyline.

11 p.m. ET: Utah at USC (-1.5, 147.5)

Utah (15-9) has lost four of their last five games and just fell to Arizona State 85-77. Similarly, USC (9-15) has lost eight of their last nine games and just got crushed by Stanford 99-68. This line opened at a pick’em, with some shops posting an opener of Utah -1 on the road. The public can’t believe this line is so short and they’re rushing to the window to back Utah and fade USC. However, despite 70% of bets taking Utah we’ve seen the line move to USC -1.5. In situations like this, the public tends to double down on the popular side getting a better number. However, bettors have to ask themselves why they’re getting a better number on Utah. If it looks too good to be true, or doesn’t make sense, there is usually a reason for it. Also, why is a team with a losing record now favored over a team with a winning record? Even factoring home court, this doesn’t make sense. This fishy line movement signals pro money siding with USC at home, as they are the unpopular play yet the line is moving in their favor. USC is the top contrarian play of the night, receiving only 30% of bets in the one of the most heavily bet games of the night. USC has the edge in free-throw shooting (69% vs 64%) and block percentage (14% vs 10%). Pros seem to be specifically targeting USC on the moneyline (-120), as the Trojans are only receiving 41% of moneyline bets but 58% of moneyline dollars.