Happy Friday! Today bettors have 3 NBA playoff games to choose from, plus 15 MLB games and 4 NHL games. 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 by 3 p.m. ET. I'll also be joining the Lombardi Line at 1:30 p.m. ET to offer a market update and then I'll be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 to 4 p.m. ET.
Until then, let's discuss where smart money is leaning for tonight's NBA playoff action...
7 p.m. ET: Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks
The Heat lead this best-of-seven series 2-0. Miami took the opener 115-91, covering as 6.5-point home favorites, and then won again 115-105 in Game 2, covering as 8-point home favorites. Now the series shifts to Atlanta. This line opened with Miami listed as a short 2-point road favorite. The public is rushing to the window as fast as they can to lay the short chalk with Miami. However, despite this lopsided betting we've seen the line fall from Heat -2 to -1.5. Some shops even touched 1. This signals some sharp reverse line movement on the Hawks, who are also super contrarian in a heavily bet desperation spot. We've also seen some over money show up, raising the total from 220 to 221.5. This steam to the over is notable because the under is 2-0 this series, yet pros seem to like this one to go over. Leading 2-0, the Heat are -1600 on the series price. The Hawks are +900.
8:30 p.m. ET: Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls
This series is tied 1-1. The Bucks won the opener 93-86 but failed to cover as 10.5-point home favorites. Then the Bulls bounced back with a big 114-110 win in Game 2, winning outright as 10-point road dogs. Now the series shifts to Chicago. Tonight's rematch opened with Milwaukee listed as a 1.5-point road favorite. We've seen this line climb to Bucks -2.5, signaling wiseguy money laying the points with the Bucks. Keep in mind, Milwaukee will miss star forward Khris Middleton, who is out with a knee injury. Playoff favorites are 18-8 ATS (69%) this postseason, including 21-5 (81%) straight up. Pros have also hit the under, dropping the total from 223.5 to 222.5. Unders are 17-9 (65%) this postseason. Unders that fall at least a half point are 11-6 (65%). With the series tied 1-1, the Bucks are -250 favorites to advance. The Bulls are +190 underdogs.
9:30 p.m. ET: Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans
This series is tied 1-1. The Suns took care of business in the opener, winning 110-99 and covering as 10-point home favorites. Then the Pelicans stole Game 2 with a 125-114 victory, winning outright as 9.5-point road dogs. Now the series shifts to New Orleans. In tonight's rematch, the Suns opened as a 1-point road favorite. The public is hammering Phoenix laying the short spread. This lopsided betting pushed Phoenix up to -2.5. Since that time, we've seen a steady diet of Pelicans buyback at +2.5 and +2, dropping the line back down to 1.5. Essentially, we are seeing some sharp reverse line movement and line freeze liability on the Pelicans plus the points. Keep in mind, the Suns will be without star guard Devin Booker, who is out with a hamstring injury. The total has gotten steamed down from 219.5 to 216, signaling sharp under support. Tied 1-1, the Suns are -300 favorites to win the series. The Pelicans are +240.