After NBA underdogs ripped off a 5-1-1 ATS run on Tuesday and Wednesday, favorites got their revenge on Thursday going a perfect 4-0 ATS. The Heat (-4) took down the Pacers 109-100. The Rockets (-2) dismantled the Thunder 111-98. The Bucks (-13.5) brushed aside the Magic 111-96. And the Lakers (-6.5) crushed the Blazers 111-88. Unders swept the board with a perfect 4-0.
The Bucks and Lakers were particularly notable covers as both fit the "fade the trendy dog" sharp contrarian blueprint. After both No. 1 seeds suffered embarrassing losses in their series debuts, the public was down on them and emboldened to bet against them. However, both received sharp line moves in their favor. The Bucks moved from -12.5 to -13.5 despite receiving less than half the tickets. Then the Lakers moved from -6 to -6.5 despite two-thirds of bets taking the Blazers and the points. A line moving toward a favorite isn't notable. It's the fact that the public was betting against Milwaukee and Los Angeles yet the line moved in their favor that was noteworthy. It signaled wiseguy money in their favor.
Remember, this time of year is all about overreaction and recency bias. The Bucks and Lakers came off bad losses so the public automatically says fade them. This creates an opportunity for brave, value-minded contrarian bettors to buy low on bad news and go the other way.
Today we have another loaded all-day sweat with 4 NBA games, 15 MLB games and 2 NHL 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.
7:05 p.m. ET: Philadelphia Phillies (9-12) at Atlanta Braves (14-11)
The Phillies have dropped three in a row, including a pair of losses in yesterday's doubleheader to the Blue Jays. The Braves are coming off a day of rest after their series finale with the Nationals was rained out. Previously, Atlanta has won three of their last four games. Tonight's series opener features an impressive pitching duel with Phillies ace Aaron Nola (2-1, 2.05 ERA) facing Braves stud lefty Max Fried (3-0, 1.24 ERA). This line opened with Atlanta listed as a short -110 home favorite and Philadelphia an even money + 100 dog. Two thirds of bets are backing the Braves, who have a better record and are at home. However, we've seen this line flip to Philadelphia, pushing the Phillies from a dog to a favorite (+ 100 to -110). This signals sharp steam hitting Bryce Harper and company. Road favorites like Philly are hitting at roughly a 67% clip this season. These teams have split four matchups this season. The Braves are 12-2 as a favorite but 1-8 as a dog.
8:15 p.m. ET: Cincinnati Reds (10-12) at St. Louis Cardinals (6-7)
The Cardinals stormed back with 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Reds 5-4 as + 125 underdogs. It was an awful bad beat for anyone who took Cincinnati -135. Tonight, the Reds send Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 6.23 ERA) to the mound to face Cardinals righty Dakota Hudson (0-2, 5.40 ERA). This game opened with the Reds listed as short -120 road favorites and the Cardinals a + 110 home dog. Smart money has come down on St. Louis, dropping the Cards from + 110 to even money + 100. The Cardinals have value as a divisional dog with a high total. Liability appears to be on a higher scoring game as the total is 8.5 with the over juiced up to -115.
9:45 p.m. ET: St. Louis Blues vs Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks lead this best-of-seven series 3-2 after securing a 4-3 win as + 120 dogs in Game 5. Vancouver now has a chance to eliminate the defending Stanley Cup champs. This Game 6 line opened with St. Louis listed as a -127 favorite and Vancouver a + 117 dog. Respected money has come down on the Blues to stay alive, pushing the line up to St. Louis -135. Teams with postseason experience off a loss playing teams who missed the postseason the previous year have been a profitable bet historically, including 8-5 (62%) this season. The total is 5 with heavy -135 juice on the over. These teams have combined for six goals or more in three of five games this series.
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 Live Odds Page for Vegas sportsbooks and for other legalized states.