Spending all day in the sportsbook on Selection Sunday is like Christmas Day for sports bettors. The sharps were waiting to pounce once the teams could be fitted into their models & the books revealed their opening lines.
Without further adieu, lets dive in to who the Vegas Whispers sharps are backing and who they are fading here in desert on Thursday:
#5-seed Marquette (-4.5) vs #12-seed Murray State (4:30 EST/1:30 PST)
The sharp money went to #12-seed Murray State taking the 5.5 points versus the #5-seed Marquette. For all those who were watching the Big East Tournament saw that Big East Player of the Year Marcus Howard clearly re-injured his wrist in the semi-final game Friday night versus Seton Hall. Is his wrist going to be healed by Thursday with just 5 days rest? Versus Seton Hall, the injury definitely affected Howard who shot just 1-15 from the field & 18-24 from the charity stripe for a 90% free throw shooter. The Golden Eagles will need a healthy Howard, who averaged 25 pts per game, if they are going to have any chance versus Ja Maront & the Murray State Racers. Morant, one of the nation’s most explosive players , is a sure fire lottery pick in a few months & is as electric as they come on the collegiate level. Morant, averaging 24.6 ppg, 10 assists & 5.5 rebounds, has owned ESPN highlights all season long. The injury clearly affected Marquette down the stretch as they lost five of their last six games–including the last four games of the regular season. The Racers, meanwhile head into the matchup on a 13-game winning streak after punching their ticket to the Big Dance by capturing the Ohio Valley Championship beating Belmont 77-65. This line opened at -5 and the books quickly moved this number to -4.5 from off the sharp action.
#4-seed Kansas (-7) vs #13-seed Northeastern (4pm EST/1pm PST)
The sharp money went to #13-seed Northeastern taking the 8.5 points versus Rock Chalk the #4-seed Kansas. The Huskies of Northeastern punched their ticket to the tournament by winning the Colonial Athletic Association. The Huskies will be taking on the perennial college power Jayhawks with loads of confidence on a seven-game winning streak. Northeastern is deadly from beyond the arc and plays a slowdown style that could neutralize Kansas’ athletic edge. Bill Self has the experience, but his squad is not clicking on all cylinders as evidenced by their loss to Iowa State over the weekend. The sharps see the confidence in favor of the Huskies and pounced on the +8.5 points forcing the books to quickly adjust the line at its current position of +7.
#5-seed Auburn (-6.5) vs #12-seed New Mexico State (1:30am EST/10:30am PST)
This one may be a bit of a surprise to the recreational bettor who often go by the latest eye test they are offered. Bruce Pearl’s Auburn Tigers totally dismantled the South Region’s #2-seed Tennessee Volunteers in the SEC Championship game 84-64 on Sunday. The books opened this line at Tigers -7.5 but saw an avalanche of sharp money on the Aggies forcing the oddsmakers to drop the line a full point to -6.5. New Mexico State enters the Dance with a 30-4 record and a WAC Tournament Title. The Aggies are incredibly deep and employ a 14 man roster and one of the best all around offenses in the nation. They have strong bigs who can own the paint down low and great guard play that can drain shots from deep. Auburn is playing at en elite level right now, but the sharps once again saw value backing the ‘dog and grabbing the plethora of points because the Aggies can play several styles and are one of the few teams in the tournament that can play an elite level through any possible foul trouble thanks to their deep, experienced rotation.
VW SHARP PLAYS:
761 Murray State +4.5
781 New Mexico State +6.5
783 Northeastern +7
759 Old Dominion +13
767 Yale +8
Additional SHARP LEANS:
769 Seton Hall +3
788 Syracuse -2
773 Minnesota +5.5
777 Florida +2.5
763 Vermont +10.5
765 Belmont +3.5