March Madness Edition – Round 1 (Thursday)
3/19/2008 4:45 PM EST
By The Team at SportsInsights.com
Due to popular demand, SportsInsights is pleased to bring our Members a March Madness Edition of our popular Sports Marketwatch publication. Come back and visit SportsInsights often; we’ll be publishing a Marketwatch daily during the first two rounds of the NCAA 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 SportsInsights.com 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 – Round 1 (Thursday)
Recapping NCAA Tournament Info
SportsInsights.com has shown that “Betting Against the Public” can be a profitable strategy in the major sports. This bias is even stronger during games that are nationally televised – or better yet, during huge media events like the NCAA Tournament! (Please visit SportsInsights.com’s Resources and Articles for more information on “value” in the sports marketplace.) We’ll try to capitalize on this bias – as well as the public’s tendency to overvalue large favorites – during the NCAA Tournament.
2008 March Madness Games to Watch: 0-0 = 0%
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NBA Sports Marketwatch – Round 1 (Thursday) – Games to Watch
Belmont +20 over Duke
Everybody knows Duke – and that is creating some value in the point spread. Duke is capturing around 20% of the bets (when factoring in Teasers and Parlays). Such an overwhelming margin suggests that the line is inflated to help the sportsbooks balance their risk – as well as maximize their profit margins.
The general “public” is betting on the famous Duke name as if there is no point spread. NCAA Round 1 games can often be blowouts between high seeds and much-lower-seeded, overmatched teams. However, more often than not, the better team breezes to victory – but can’t quite cover the point spread.
Oral Roberts +9.5 over Pittsburgh
Oddsmakers at the offshore sportsbooks circled this game and told us that “smart money” is taking Oral Roberts to stay close in this game. A “big 75%” of the bets are coming in on Oral Roberts, with a “huge 95%” of the Teasers/Parlays coming in on Pittsburgh.
Even with the overwhelming “Betting Percentage” on Pittsburgh, the line has actually moved down from the opener of Pittsburgh -10 to Pittsburgh -9. As our Sports Marketwatch readers know, this is a good indicator that larger bets (big money!), and typically “smart money” is “Betting Against the Public.”
Pittsburgh started the season winning eleven games in a row, capping its run with a huge televised victory over Duke, to go 11-0. Pittsburgh made a name for itself and was one of the top-ranked teams in the nation after knocking off Duke. Since that game, they have gone a more down-to-earth 15-9. We’ll take Oral Roberts and join the side of the “smart money” and the sportsbooks – over “Joe Public.” There are still some +9.5’s.
Oral Roberts +9.5
Portland St. +22.5 over Kansas
This is another example of a “high seed” playing an overmatched opponent. We expect Kansas to win easily. Almost 80% of the bettors agree, and think that Kansas will also beat the 22.5 point spread.
However, our research and database shows that during March, this kind of scenario (large point spread, with the public loving the favorite) often favors the underdog PLUS the points. We’ll take the +22.5 points and hope that Kansas looks ahead to the rest of the tournament – in terms of more “serious” competition, resting starters, as well as protection against potential injuries.
Portland St. +22.5
So, here’s a wrap-up of SportsInsights.com analysis for the Games to Watch for March Madness.
Games to Watch (0-0-0)
Oral Roberts +9.5
Portland St. +22.5
It should be another exciting NCAA Tournament for the sports marketplace. Keep Sports Marketwatch picks handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.com 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 SportsInsights.com