College Basketball Marketwatch Edition 3 2009-10

Sports MarketWatch
12/8/2009  4:45 PM EST
By The Team at 

Welcome to the Sports Marketwatch – NCAA Basketball 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 which ones the Sharps are pounding.  Let’s look at what’s in store for the upcoming NCAAB games.

Sports Marketwatch – NCAA Basketball Edition

Our college basketball edition of Sports Marketwatch continued its disappointing start last Tuesday and is still in search of its first victory.  The Wake Forest Demon Deacons put together a solid first half performance at Purdue, taking a 2-point lead into the locker room at half.  In the end, however, their 25 turnovers and 53% free throw shooting just wasn’t enough.  A silly and meaningless late foul allowed the Boilermakers to extend the lead to 11, making our bet a push.  In our next feature, the Tar Heels shot the lights out at home and held off a furious late comeback by Michigan State, winning the re-match of last year’s national championship 89-82 and beating the 2-point spread.

2009 NCAA Basketball Games to Watch: 0-3-1, 0%*

Butler +3 over Georgetown – 7:00pm EST

The Butler Bulldogs came into the season very highly regarded, hovering around the #10/11 ranking nationally.  A couple of disappointing losses – home against Minnesota and Clemson, both ranked – has dulled a bit of their luster, but they remain a disciplined team with many talented shooters.  Matt Howard, the reigning Horizon League player of the year, will need to come through for their next stretch of games, when Butler faces Georgetown, Ohio State and Xavier consecutively.  Georgetown comes into the Jimmy V Classic with a perfect 6-0 record, though a 46-45 scare against Temple is seen by some as a blemish.  Though perhaps not as deep as they were last year, talented big man Greg Monroe has a year under his belt and is averaging a double double for the Hoyas.

Just as we do in all of our Marketwatch editions, we love to Bet Against the Public in college basketball.  It’s not at all surprising that big-name Georgetown is getting 64% of public spread bets in this match-up, not to mention 63% of moneyline and 68% of parlay wagers.  However, the bookmakers aren’t adjusting their lines accordingly.  After opening at -3 at CRIS, the line has moved down to -2.5 at a number of sportsbooks.  This reverse line movement is a key indicator of sharp money in a game that promises to be among the most heavily bet of the week.  We like the Bulldogs to take their first marquee victory of the season, and we’ll happily take the 3 points offered at about half of our offshore books.

Butler +3

Arizona State +7.5 over BYU – 10:00pm EST

Arizona State may have lost two top talents to the NBA this offseason, but their defense behind Herb Sendek has been stellar in their stead.  Only 3 of their 8 opponents this season have even eclipsed the 60-point mark.  None have topped 65 points, including Duke and LSU in the Preseason NIT.  It’s a good thing, as they certainly lack an elite scorer, but transfer center Eric Boateng and senior point guard Derek Glasser have each managed 11.5ppg.  Brigham Young sits atop the Mountain West for the time being.  They recently gave their coach, Dave Rose, a fat contract extension and have fallen only at Utah State thus far this season.

Our approach in this match-up is almost strictly contrarian.  BYU has received 61% of spread and 62% of parlay bets, and their line has grown predictably from -6.5 to -7.5 for the Stormin’ M– Cougars.  Though they do seem to possess a hefty home advantage in most sports, this feels to us like too much respect to give a team who hasn’t yet played a Pac-10 quality opponent.  We’re going to fade the public and look for the Sun Devils’ grind-it-out style to make the game a closely contested one.

Arizona State +7.5

Games to Watch (0-3-1)
Butler +3
Arizona State +7.5

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It should be an exciting night of college action in 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 next Tuesday with a new college basketball edition of Sports Marketwatch.

Enjoy the games!

The Team at