HomeCollege BasketballBetting Splits and CBB Sharp Money Picks for Thursday March 14th

    Betting Splits and CBB Sharp Money Picks for Thursday March 14th

    Josh Appelbaum examines where smart money is leaning for UCLA-Oregon, Niagara-Marist and Boston College-Virginia.


    Today we have a loaded 52-game College Basketball slate filled with high-stakes Conference Tournament games. You can track the latest odds and betting percentages for every matchup using our VSiN Betting Splits.

    In the meantime, let’s examine where sharps are leaning for a trio of games today.


    5:30 p.m. ET: UCLA vs Oregon (-3.5, 129.5)

    This is the Quarterfinal of the Pac-12 tournament. The game will be played at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. UCLA (16-16) is the 5-seed and just brushed aside Oregon State 67-57 in yesterday’s opening round. Meanwhile, Oregon (20-11) is the 4-seed and received a first round bye. This line opened with Oregon listed as a 4-point neutral site favorite. The public is laying the points with Oregon, who has the better record and better seed. However, despite receiving 66% of spread bets we’ve seen Oregon fall from -4 to -3.5. Why would oddsmakers drop the line to make it easier for the public to cover when they’re already backing Oregon to begin with? Because respected smart money grabbed UCLA plus the points, triggering sharp reverse line movement in favor of the Bruins. UCLA has the better defensive efficiency (45th vs 90th) and is also better at the free throw stripe (73% vs 71%), which could prove critical in a tight game. Ken Pom has Oregon winning by two points (68-66), which provides actionable value on UCLA at the current number. UCLA also has value as a “rest vs rust” or “momentum” play, as the Bruins played yesterday and earned a win while Oregon has been off since March 9th. Wiseguys have also hit the under, dropping the total from 131.5 to 129.5.

    6:30 p.m. ET: Niagara vs Marist (-1.5, 127.5)

    This is the Quarterfinal of the MAAC tournament. It will be played at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Niagara (16-15) is the 6-seed and just edged Siena 67-65 in Tuesday’s opening round. On the other hand, Marist (17-12) is the 3-seed and received a first round bye. This line opened with Niagara listed as a short 1.5-point neutral site favorite. Sharps have pounced on Marist, flipping the Red Foxes from a 1.5-point dog to a 1.5-point favorite. In other words, we are seeing sharp “dog to favorite” line movement in favor of Marist. This movement is especially notable because Marist is only receiving 42% of spread bets but 62% of spread dollars, a sharp contrarian “low bets, higher dollars” bet split. Marist has the better defensive efficiency (85th vs 284th), allowing just 62 PPG compared to 72 PPG allowed by Niagara. Marist ranks 26th in the country at turning their opponent over. Ken Pom has Marist winning by two points (67-65). He also has Marist ranked higher (215th vs 268th). Marist beat Niagara 63-62 in the final game of the regular season. Those looking to protect themselves in a potential one-possession game may prefer to play Marist on the moneyline at -120. Sharps have also hit the under, dropping the total from 129 to 127.5. Only 33% of bets but 62% of money is taking the under, a notable sharp bet discrepancy.

    9:30 p.m. ET: Boston College vs Virginia (-5, 125)

    This is the Quarterfinal of the ACC tournament. It will be played at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Boston College (19-14) is the 11-seed and coming off two tournament wins, upsetting Miami 81-65 in the opening round and then taking down Clemson 76-55 in last night’s second round. Meanwhile, Virginia (22-9) is the 3-seed and playing their first game of the tournament after receiving byes in the opening two rounds. This line opened with Virginia listed as a 5-point neutral site favorite. We’ve seen this line drop to Virginia -4 early this morning before rising back to -5. Some shops are inching down toward Virginia -4.5. Reading between the lines, all movement all liability appears to be on Boston College plus the points, as the line has either stayed the same or moved in favor of the Eagles. Boston College is receiving 58% of spread bets and 65% of spread dollars, signaling modest public support but also respected sharp action. Boston College has the better offensive efficiency (64th vs 193rd), better effective field goal percentage (53% vs 50%) and a huge edge in terms of free throw shooting (75% vs 65%). Ken Pom has Virginia winning by just one point (63-62), which provides actionable value on Boston College at the current number. The Eagles have value as a “dog who can score,” averaging 75 PPG vs 64 PPG for Virginia, thereby making it more likely they can keep pace or back-door cover. Boston College also matches a “rest vs rust” or “momentum” play, as they have already won two games in the ACC tournament while Virginia is playing their first game since March 9th. Pros have also leaned under, dropping the total from 126.5 to 125. The under is receiving 50% of bets but 73% of money, a sharp bet split.

    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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