Happy Fade the Public Friday! In case you haven't heard, today is one of the best days of the week to go contrarian. The betting public may not be grinding the sports betting beat every day during the week, but tonight they are hanging with friends, going out, don't have to wake up early in the morning for work and might have just gotten their latest paycheck. As a result, they are more apt to get down on games, which leads to increased ticket counts and more public bias to bet against.
Today we have a loaded betting menu to choose from, including 14 MLB games, 3 NBA playoff games and 1 NHL playoff game. For an updated breakdown of Thursday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at 1 p.m. ET. I'll be joining The Lombardi Line with Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher at 1:30 p.m. ET to offer a market update.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for tonight's NBA playoff games.
7 p.m. ET: New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks
This is Game 3 of the Eastern Conference first round. The series is tied 1-1. The Hawks took the opener at Madison Square Garden 107-105, winning as 1.5-point road dogs. The Knicks bounced back in Game 2 with a 101-92 win, covering as 2-point home favorites. Tonight's Game 3 line opened with the Hawks listed as 4.5-point home favorites. The public is split and doesn't know whether to take the points or lay them. However, despite this even betting, we've seen the line fall from 4.5 to 4. In a vacuum, a line shouldn't move at all if the tickets are even. So we know this move signals some respected money grabbing the points with the Knicks, ideally at + 4.5. This line move is similar to the Nuggets last night, a road dog who moved from + 4 to + 3.5 and won outright. Tonight's total opened at 211 and hasn't moved. The under is 2-0 so far this series, with final combined scores of 212 and 193. With the series tied 1-1, the Hawks are a slight -140 favorite to win the series (odds via BetMGM). The Knicks are a + 115 dog.
8:30 p.m. ET: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics
This is Game 3 of the Eastern Conference first round. The Nets lead the series 2-0. Brooklyn has won and covered as a favorite in both games, beating Boston 104-93 as an 8-point favorite and 130-108 as a 9-point favorite. This Game 3 line opened with the Nets listed as a 6.5-point road favorite. Pros and Joes seem to be united on the Nets. We've seen heavy action steam Brooklyn up from -6.5 to -7.5. Playoff favorites are 14-11 ATS (56%) this postseason. We've also seen some under money show up. Despite a majority of bets taking the over, the total has fallen from 228 to 227. This indicates sharp reverse line movement on the under. One big factor to monitor here is Kemba Walker, who is questionable with a knee injury. The Nets are -10000 favorites to win this series. The Celtics are + 1800 longshots.
9:30 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks
This is Game 3 of the Western Conference first round. The Mavericks lead the series 2-0, upsetting the Clippers in both games as road dogs in Los Angeles. The Mavs won the opener 113-103 as 6-point dogs and then won Game 2 by a score of 127-121, winning outright as 7-point dogs. In tonight's pivotal Game 3, the Clippers opened as a 1.5-point road favorite. Smart money has bet on the Clippers and lost in the first two games this series. But it appears to once again be backing the Clippers as we've seen Los Angeles get bet up from -1.5 to -2. Short favorites -5 or less are 9-5 ATS (64.3%) this postseason. Some respected money has also come down on the total. It opened at 220 and has fallen to 219 despite a majority of bets taking the over. This indicates wiseguy action on the contrarian under. With Dallas up 2-0 in the series, the Mavericks are now -250 favorites to advance to the next round. If you think Los Angeles can turn it around, the Clippers are + 200 to win the series.
Remember to check the VSiN Betting Splits every day for money and ticket counts so you can tell who the public is betting on.