Friday, March 29
Where the action is: Friday's Sweet 16 dogs drawing bets
The second slate of Sweet 16 games Friday is a little more wide open compared to Thursday’s spreads. Teams like Oregon and Florida Gulf Coast are getting double-digits from the oddsmakers, but that isn't scaring off bettors.
We talk with Bert Osborne, sportsbook manager at South Point in Las Vegas, and Michael Stewart, oddsmaker for CarbonSports.ag, about the betting action heading into Friday’s regional semifinal games:
Louisville Cardinals vs. Oregon Ducks – Open: +9.5, Move: +10
The early money on the spread has bumped this No. 1 vs. No. 12 matchup to double digits. But since the move, books have taken two-way action, even seeing a slight lean toward the upstart Ducks in terms of parlay action. The total has also been adjusted, jumping from 127.5 point to 130.
“They pushed it up from the original number,” says Osborne. “We had some sharp money come in this morning and drive this one up.”
Michigan Wolverines vs. Kansas Jayhawks – Open: -2.5, Move: -1.5, Move: -2
With two big-name programs involved, the public money will likely be split between Michigan and Kansas. Osborne says, depending on where the wiseguys go, there could be a hook come tipoff.
“These are heavyweights. And sometimes people don’t know who to bet and they’d rather sit back and watch this one,” he says.
CarbonSports.ag is seeing more money coming back on Michigan and could drop this spread again by Friday night.
"If anything, I can see us going back to Kansas -1.5 as more money is starting to show for the dog in this game," says Stewart.
Action on the total has also been split, with the number moving up as high as 136.5.
"We've seen more over money on this game, but not enough to move off our number," adds Stewart. "As we get closer to game time and the public starts betting more on the over, I can see us going higher."
Michigan State Spartans vs. Duke Blue Devils – Open: -1, Move: -2
Duke opened only briefly as a 1-point favorite for this regional semifinal showdown. Sharp money jumped on the Blue Devils and bumped the spread to -2, which is drawing good two-way money heading towards Friday.
“It’s dead even right now,” says Osborne. “It’s like Democrats and Republicans. There’s a strong opinion for MSU and a strong opinion for Duke.”
The total has moved slightly from 133.5 to 134 points.
"We opened 134 and while 70 percent of the action is on the under, we believe we'll see over money being bet on this game as we get closer to game time," says Stewart.
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles vs. Florida Gators – Open: -11.5, Move: -13
While sharp money pushed this spread to as high as -13, Osborne says the public is backing the Cinderella Eagles in this Sweet 16 game. Osborne moved to Florida -13 but thought it was too high, he’s also brought FGCU’s moneyline odds down, not wanting to risk another shocker from the Eagles.
“Last Sunday, the dogs went 5-3 but for us they really went 4-4 because the public was all over Florida Gulf Coast like it was a favorite,” says Osborne. “And they’re on them for this game as well. And they’re really whacking the moneyline.”
CarbonSports.ag watched wiseguys push Florida as high as -13.5 before settling back down to -13. Stewart also expects the public to pour in on the No. 15 seed FGCU on Friday.
"We're back to Florida -13 as 60 percent of the action is on them," he says. "It's a game where the public is all over the underdog and the wiseguys are pounding the favorite."
The total for this game has climbed from 132.5 to 135 points.