NBA dogs and favorites went 1-1 ATS on Thursday. In the early game, the Raptors shocked the Celtics with a 104-103 buzzer-beater victory to cut Boston's series lead to 2-1. Sharps were all over the Raptors, who opened at a pick'em or -1 and closed at -2.5. Bettors who got Toronto early at a pick'em cashed, while -1 bettors pushed. Late Raptors -1.5, -2 or -2.5 bettors lost. Meanwhile, anyone who took Celtics + 1.5 or more also cashed.
One word of advice in games like this where you have a super close spread that moves multiple points: if you like the favorite but didn't jump on the early number, go with the moneyline instead of laying multiple points. Sure, you're paying a steeper price (-140), but it's definitely worth it when you cash a 1-point victory which would have otherwise been a loss if you laid the points.
In the late game, the Clippers crushed the Nuggets 120-97. It was an easy cover for the sharps, who pushed Los Angeles from -8 to -9.5. The Clippers had a huge rest vs tired advantage in that one.
Unders went 2-0 on Thursday, pushing their record to 11-3 since Saturday. Unders are now 27-21 (56.3%) this postseason.
Today we have another loaded all-day sweat with 2 NBA games, 1 NHL game and a whopping 20 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 Michael Lombardi and Patrick Meagher on The Lombardi Line at 12:25 p.m ET to offer a market update.
7:10 p.m. ET: Philadelphia Phillies (18-15) at New York Mets (17-21)
Both of these NL East foes are playing well and coming off win streaks. The Phillies just completed a 4-game sweep of the Nats while the Mets have won two straight, including a come-from-behind 9-7 win over the Yankees last night. In this series opener, the Phillies send out Jake Arrieta (2-4, 6.49 ERA) while the Mets counter with Rick Porcello (1-4, 6.00 ERA). This line opened with New York listed as a short -114 home favorite and the Phillies a + 104 road dog. Smart money has come down quickly on the Mets, pushing New York all the way up to -124. The Mets are 14-10 as a favorite this season and the Phillies are 4-5 as a dog. This is a revenge spot for the Mets, who are 0-3 against Philadelphia this season.
9 p.m. ET: Houston Rockets vs Los Angeles Lakers
Welcome to Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals. The Rockets have a short turnaround after just winning a thrilling Game 7 over the Thunder on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Lakers are well rested having last played on Saturday. Los Angeles defeated the Blazers 4-1. This line opened with the Lakers listed as 7-point favorites. The public doesn't know which way to go. They love the idea of Houston getting a handful of points but are also wary of the rested, powerhouse Lakers. However, despite the tickets being split down the middle, the line has dipped from Lakers -7 to -6.5. This was a result of respected pro money grabbing Houston plus the points (this line briefly even dipped to -6). We've also seen some sharp action hit this under. The total opened at 226 and has been bet down to 225. The Lakers are -589 favorites (85.5%) to win the series at BetMGM. The Rockets are + 425.
9:40 p.m. ET: San Diego Padres (23-16) at Oakland Athletics (22-12)
The Padres saw their three-game winning streak snapped last night as they fell to the Angels 2-0 in Steve Clevinger's debut. Now they head to Oakland to face an A's team who hasn't played since August 29 due to a positive Covid test. In this Interleague Series opener, the Padres will start Zach Davies (5-2, 2.61 ERA) and the A's counter with southpaw phenom Jesus Luzardo (2-1, 3.74 ERA). Oakland opened as a moderate -130 home favorite and San Diego a + 120 dog. Smart money has pounced on the rested A's, pushing Oakland up from -130 to -150. The Padres are 18-9 against righties but only 5-7 against lefties. San Diego is 12-6 at home but just 11-10 on the road. Oakland is 13-4 at home and 21-8 as a favorite. Sharps have also targeted the under. It has fallen from 8.5 to 8.