Let’s dig right into the latest line moves for today and look ahead to the AFC title game. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (Slight leans no longer graded), to see what we are thinking. See you back here on Hump Day, when we again break down lines and check out the numbers in the NFC championship contest.
NBA – (705) INDIANA at (706) PHOENIX 9:05 ET FSIN, FSAZ
You can tell how bad Phoenix is going when Indiana is 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five, Paul George is dealing with a calf injury, Ian Mahinmi is day-to-day with a sore heel, George Hill isn’t traveling for personal reasons and the Pacers have still grown as 5.5 point road favorite to -7. The Suns are 1-13 and 3-10 ATS since Dec. 18th, are the second-worst defensive team in the NBA at 106.9 PPG and are loaded with internal issues. Indiana is 16-5 ATS having lost three of their last four games, but the margin of victory has only been 1.9 points.
Betting Trend – 83% backing Indiana
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Phoenix
CBB – (727) KANSAS at (728) OKLAHOMA STATE 7:05 ET ESPN2
Kansas is among the elite scoring teams in the country at 85.7 PPG and bettors helped move them up two points to 143 in Stillwater tonight. Opposing clubs in the conference are taking the tact of trying slow down the Jayhawks and they have held them to 67.3 PPG, making each contest a half-court game. Whether Oklahoma State can do that is in question, since they have lost four straight and surrendered 76 PPG. The fact is Kansas has scored just 67.3 PPG in past three road outings and nine of the last 10 matchups at Gallagher-Iba Arena have been UNDER.
Betting Trend – 89% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Under
CBB – (755) LSU at (756) TEXAS A&M 9:00 ET ESPN
Texas A&M might be 15-2 (6-4-2 ATS) and the last unbeaten team in the SEC, but most are not thinking they will have a cakewalk with LSU and been lowered from -8.5 to -7. The Tigers have the best college player in the country in Ben Simmons and he and teammates are learning to play together as a group and won seven of nine (5-4 ATS). LSU is 1-5 SU and ATS on the road, which is cause for concern, but the margin of defeat has only been 4.8 PPG. However, the Aggies are more efficient on both sides of the floor and 11-3 ATS versus teams making 45% or more of their shots.
Betting Trend – 90% backing LSU
Doug’s VPID Take – Texas A&M covers
NFL – Sunday (313) ARIZONA at (314) CAROLINA 6:40 ET FOX
When Carolina was slaying Seattle 31-0 at halftime, a couple of the offshore sportsbooks known for putting out early lines had the Panthers at -4 over Arizona, yet, by the end the game were at -3 like everyone else. Unless a mountain of money comes in on one side, extremely difficult to see this number moving. Three out of every four bets placed were on Cam Newton’s club and why wouldn’t they be since they have won 11 consecutive home games, beating the spread eight times (8-2-1 ATS). Nonetheless, the reason the line is not expected to move is Arizona has won seven of eight away from home, covering six times, winning by 14 points a game.
Of course this has led to more traditional money line approach and two-thirds of bettors are backing the Cardinals, which is expected and could go higher by Sunday, as Arizona looks to be the equal of Carolina and the Panthers keep playing poorly in the second half.
The actual biggest line move has been on the total, which is up a point to 48. These are the two highest scoring teams in the NFL at over 31 points a game, who have the ability to create “chunk” plays to set up quick scores. Hard to argue with Carolina at 8-1 OVER and 8-0 OVER versus winning teams.
Betting Trend – 72% backing Carolina and 60% on Over