Heading into the NBA Bubble restart, the common belief was that unders would be the smarter bet early on. After all, players would likely be rusty after a long layoff and need time to gain their rhythm and reclaim their shot. Also, the lack of fans in the stands would create an environment with less energy and less motivation to kick it into high gear.
However, just the opposite has proven to be true. On Thursday, overs went 4-2. Overs are now 23-19-1 (55%) in the bubble. This may not seem very impressive. However, overs are historically around 49% over the past 10 seasons. This means we're seeing a roughly 6% increase to the over in the bubble. The key is looking at totals that are 230 or fewer. In these situations, the over is 65%. If the total is 230.5 or higher, the over is 3-8. If the total is 235 or higher, the over is 1-6.
One theory on why the overs have performed so well is the fact that these NBA players are quarantined with nothing else to do except live in the gym, work on their game and refine their shots. Many coaches have remarked that they've practiced more in the bubble than they have during the entire year. In other words, there are no distractions. It's 24/7 basketball. And the offense has benefited from this more than the defense.
Today, we have another all day sweat on tap with 6 NBA games, 6 NHL games and a whopping 15 MLB games. Let's discuss a trio of matchups receiving notable sharp action from respected bettors.
For an updated breakdown of Friday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at Noon ET.
I'll also be joining the Lombardi Line at 12:25 p.m. ET to offer a market update.
4 p.m. ET: Oklahoma City Thunder (42-25) vs Memphis Grizzlies (32-37)
No team has fared worse in the bubble than the Grizzlies. After entering Orlando with a stranglehold on the 8th and final playoff seed in the West, Memphis is 0-4 in the restart and now leads Portland by just a half-game for the final spot. Not to mention the Grizzlies also lost one of their best players to injury, Jaren Jackson Jr. On the flip side, Oklahoma City is 2-1 in the Bubble and just upset the Lakers 105-86 as 5.5-point dogs. This is a sneaky big game for the Thunder. They currently sit in the 6th spot in the West but could move up as high as the 4th spot as they only trail the Rockets and Jazz by a half-game. This line opened with the Thunder listed as 3.5-point favorites. Pros and Joes have both rushed to the window to lay the points with OKC, which has since pushed the line up to Thunder -4.5. OKC is one of the best teams at covering the number in the NBA (42-25 ATS).
6:40 p.m. ET: New York Yankees (9-3) at Tampa Bay Rays (5-7)
After racing off to an 8-1 start in which they looked unbeatable, the Yankees struggled in their most recent series, losing two out of three to the Phillies. Meanwhile, after starting the season 4-1, Tampa has gone just 1-6 since. In this pivotal AL East showdown, New York sends Masahiro Tanaka (0-0, 3.38 ERA) to the hill to face Tampa Bay southpaw Blake Snell (0-0, 5.40 ERA). This line opened at a true pick'em with both teams listed around -105. We've seen a slight shift to the Bronx Bombers, with the Yankees moving closer to -110. Smart money has also come down on the total. It opened at 8.5 and has been bet down to 8. This signals sharp action grabbing the under 8.5. This game will be played inside the dome at Tropicana Field. Historically, domes and closed roof stadiums have provided an edge to the under as the perfect conditions benefit the pitcher and the ball doesn't travel as well.
9:10 p.m. ET: Houston Astros (6-6) at Oakland Athletics (9-4)
This AL West showdown features two teams trending in opposite directions. Houston has dropped two straight games against Arizona while Oakland owns the longest win streak in baseball at 6. In Game 1 of this division series, the Astros will start Zack Greinke (0-0, 5.00 ERA) and the Athletics will counter with Chris Bassitt (1-0, 0.93 ERA). Similarly to the Yankees-Rays game, this opened as a true pick'em with both teams listed around -105. The public doesn't know which way to go with this one. They still believe in the Astros even though they're struggling and "due" for a win. But they're also wary of the streaking A's at home laying a short number. However, despite an even ticket split, this line has moved slightly toward Houston (-110), signaling some respected money on the Astros in a buy-low situation off a pair of losses. Sharp action has also hit the under, dropping the total from 9 to 8.5.
Remember, the sports betting market is fluid and constantly changing due to action coming in. Stay up to date with the latest odds by visiting our free VSiN NBA Live Odds Page for Vegas sportsbooks and for other legalized states.