Last night's NBA Finals Game 4 was either a thrilling cover or a last-second nightmare depending on which side of the spread you were on. The Lakers defeated the Heat 102-96 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. But the story of the game for bettors was Tyler Herro's last-second three-pointer. The Heat trailed 102-93 and then Herro hit a three with 1.1 seconds to make it 102-96, cutting the deficit from 9 to 6. So Herro's late three covered the spread for Heat + 7.5 backers-- and broke the hearts of those holding Lakers -7.5 tickets.
Sharps nailed the under. The total opened at 219.5 and despite two-thirds of bets taking the over, we saw the line fall to 218.5. This sharp reverse line movement was a dead giveaway that pros had gotten down on the under. It sailed comfortably under, finishing at 198. Unders are now 3-1 in the NBA Finals and 45-34-1 in the playoffs (57%).
Today, we have a relatively light betting slate headlined by 4 MLB playoff games. For an updated breakdown of Wednesday'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 co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3-5 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where early smart money is flowing for NFL Week 5.
Sunday 1 p.m. ET: Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons
These NFC South rivals are trending in opposite directions. After dropping their first two games to start the season, the Panthers (2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS) have rebounded to win two straight, most recently beating the Cardinals 31-21 as 3-point dogs. Meanwhile, the Falcons (0-4 SU, 1-3 ATS) have been a disaster this season. Atlanta is one of only four winless teams this season, along with the 0-4 Jets, Texans and Giants. The Falcons are coming off a 30-156 loss to the Packers as 5-point dogs. This line opened with Atlanta listed as a 3.5-point home favorite. We've seen both Pros and Joes load up on the road dog Panthers, which has dropped this line down from Falcons -3.5 to -2.5. Carolina has value as a road divisional dog with a line move. The Panthers also enjoy a rest advantage as the Falcons are coming off a Monday Night game. Carolina is -3 in point differential this season and the Falcons are -32. Respected money has also come down on the under, dropping the total from 54.5 to 53.5.
Sunday 1 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Rams at Washington Football Team
The Rams (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) took care of business in Week 4, beating the Giants 17-9 but failing to cover as 13.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, Washington has been in a tailspin as of late. After posting an impressive come-from-behind win over the Eagles in Week 1, Washington (1-3 SU, 1-2-1 ATS) has dropped three straight games, most recently falling to the Ravens 31-17 last week, pushing as 14-point underdogs. This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a 9.5-point road favorite. The public has no problem laying the points, but sharps seem to think this line a little high and they've gotten down on Washington as a live home dog, which has dropped the line from 9.5 to 7.5. The Rams are at a disadvantage as a West Coast team going East for an early 1 p.m. ET game.
Sunday 4:25 p.m. ET: Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns
Both of these AFC foes are riding three-game winning streaks. The Colts (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) just waltzed into Chicago and beat the Bears 19-11, easily covering as 3.5-point favorites. Meanwhile, the Browns (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) are riding high after crushing the Cowboys 49-38, winning straight up as 3.5-point dogs. This line opened at a pick'em, which means the oddsmakers view these teams as virtual equals. Despite a slight majority of bets backing the Browns at home, we've seen smart money hammer the Colts, driving this line up to Indianapolis -2.5. Then some buyback hit the Browns at an inflated + 2.5, dropping the line down to 1.5 where it rests now. The Colts have value as a contrarian favorite. Road teams with a line move in their favor (at least a half-point) are 17-10 ATS (63%) this season. The Colts are + 47 in point differential this season and the Browns are -2. Cleveland will miss star running back Nick Chubb with a knee injury.
More Week 5 Line moves
Bears + 6 to + 4.5 vs Bucs
Jags + 6.5 to + 6 at Texans
Jets + 7.5 to + 7 vs Cardinals
Eagles-Steelers Under 45 to 44
Bengals-Ravens Under 52 to 51
Vikings + 7.5 to + 7 at Seahawks
Chargers-Saints Under 52 to 51