College Basketball Marketwatch Edition 4 2008-09

March Madness Edition – Round 2 (Sunday)
3/22/2009  11:01 AM EST
By The Team at 

Back by popular demand, SportsInsights is pleased to bring our Members a March Madness Edition of our popular Sports Marketwatch publication.  Note that we’ll be publishing editions of the March Madness MarketWatch through the end of the Tournament.

Welcome to the Sports Marketwatch – March Madness Edition, where SportsInsights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the sports marketplace. If you want to know what is really happening on the sportsbook side, you now have an all-access pass with Sports Marketwatch! 

The staff at speaks directly with the line managers at some of the sports betting industry’s largest sportsbooks about which games the public is chasing and the Sharps are pounding.  We’ll look at what’s in store for the upcoming NCAAB games.

Sports Marketplace – March Madness

Recapping Round 2 – Saturday

Our selections took a beating on Saturday, as we went 0-3 ATS (against the spread).  LSU was close to beating the spread versus North Carolina, but UCLA and Gonzaga lost badly ATS.  The Public had a good Saturday, but in the long-term, our research shows how contrarian methods that “bet against the Public” are a good way to invest in sports.  Saturday’s success for “Public plays” might add some value to contrarian plays today.  Let’s see what today’s sports marketplace has in store for us.

2009 March Madness Games to Watch: 46 = 40.0%


Sports MarketWatch – Sports Marketplace

Arizona State +3 over Syracuse

So far, the Big East has been living up to its hype.  This is part of the reason that Syracuse is grabbing a huge 80% of the bets in this match-up.  The interesting thing is that even though almost every bet is on Syracuse, the line moved from its opener of Syracuse -2.5 at CRIS — up to -2.0.  This means that early “sharp money” is betting on Arizona State to take some of the shine off of the Big East.

We like joining the early sharp money and “betting against the Public.”  Let’s “sell” the Big East at its peak and take the points.  This is currently the heaviest-bet game of the day.  Bodog and SIA has a lot of “square” action, so they actually have the spread at 3.

Arizona State +3 (Bodog or SIA)

Cleveland St. +3 over Arizona

This is a great match-up with a great story.  A #12 seed versus a #13 seed in Round Two of the NCAAs means that there are two Cinderella stories in the making.  #12 Arizona beat #5 Utah in Round One.  #13 Cleveland St. was equally as impressive in beating #4 Wake Forest.

Arizona is the better-known basketball program and played a tougher schedule.  As a result, more than 60% of the bets are coming down on Arizona.  Interestingly, though, Arizona was just 6-10 versus teams ranked in the top 50 this season.  Cleveland State was just 2-4  versus top 50 teams, although all of those games happened to be against top 25’ers!  So, what does this mean?  Do you automatically take the bigger basketball program — even though they have more evidence of underperformance versus top teams?

“Smart money” doesn’t think so.  Even with the majority of bets landing on Arizona, the line has actually moved in the other direction.  The line opened at Arizona -3 and is now more widely-available at -2.5.  We’ll go with the “smart money” and take the points in what should be a good game.  You can still grab Cleveland St. +3 at several books.

Cleveland St +3

Games to Watch (46)

Arizona State +3 (Bodog or SIA)
Cleveland St +3  

It should be another exciting NCAA Tournament for the sports marketplace.  Keep Sports Marketwatch picks handy and your browser pointed to for the latest real-time updates, using our exclusive Sports Investing tools.

We’ll be back soon with a new edition of the Sports Marketwatch – March Madness Edition.

Enjoy the games!

The Team at