How is Public Money Affecting the Pittsburgh-Virginia Spread?
In one of tonight’s most heavily bet games, Virginia (21-9 SU, 17-11 ATS) opened as 10-point favorites against Pittsburgh (16-16 SU, 12-17 ATS) at the market-setting Pinnacle sportsbook. Casual bettors love taking ranked teams against unranked opponents and, not surprisingly, early action has been all over the favorite.
According to our public betting trends, the Cavaliers have received 74% of spread tickets. That includes a majority of spread bets at all seven of our contributing sportsbooks.
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It’s interesting to note that Virginia isn’t just receiving a majority of tickets, but also a majority of the money. At the time of publication, the Cavaliers were receiving 86% of spread dollars.
Although you would expect oddsmakers to increase the line to mitigate their risk and encourage action on the Panthers, the exact opposite has been true. Since opening, Virginia has actually slipped from -10 to -9 at Pinnacle. This reverse line movement is an excellent indicator that sharp bettors snatched up Pittsburgh +10.
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As you can see, public money has been steadily taking Virginia since the line opened earlier this morning. Despite that overwhelming public support, sharp money on Pittsburgh caused the line to drop from Virginia -10 to -9.
It’s worth noting that betting against the public has only been an effective strategy in heavily bet college basketball games, and ACC Tournament games are consistently the most popular games on the board. Bettors should also know that large underdogs have historically fared well in low-scoring games, and this total (116.5) is the fifth-lowest of the season.
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