The end of the NFL season creates more value for betting other sports currently in progress, especially pro and college basketball.
Bettors should always be aware of the sports betting calendar, especially when it comes to public tendencies and sport-to-sport transitions. With the Super Bowl behind us (though the XFL debuts Saturday), casual bettors thirsty for action will now be moving over to NBA and college hoops. As a result, the ticket counts will increase and the betting markets will be flooded with an influx of public money the rest of the way. Many bettors may not have bet hoops consistently up until this point, but they will now join in on the fun since it's the only game in town and March Madness is right around the corner.
These recreational bettors jumping into NBA and college hoops will lean on favorites, home teams and overs, creating added value to back dogs, road teams and unders. In other words, look for contrarian value to tick up from here on out.
Tuesday's action features 4 NBA games, 13 NHL games and 21 college basketball games. Be sure to listen to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum for a comprehensive betting breakdown. The podcast will be posted at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Let's discuss a few Tuesday games in the NBA receiving early sharp action.
7:30 p.m. ET: Milwaukee Bucks (42-7) at New Orleans Pelicans (20-30)
Casual bettors love wagering on favorites, teams with star players and teams with impressive won-loss records. The Giannis-led Bucks check off all the boxes and have been an auto-bet for the public every time they take the court. This line opened with Milwaukee listed as a 6-point road favorite. More than eight-out-of-10 bets are laying the points, making the Bucks the most lopsided play on Tuesday's slate. However, despite the heavy support, the line has remained frozen at 6, signaling an early sharp line freeze on Zion and the home dog. The total is listed at an absurdly high 245. Both teams have been profitable to the over this season (Bucks 24-23-2 and Pelicans 27-21-2). However, when the total is 240 or more than under is 10-5 (67%) this season and 25-15 (62.5%) since 2003 according to Bet Labs Sports.
9 p.m. ET: Portland Trail Blazers (23-27) at Denver Nuggets (34-16)
If the playoffs started today, the Nuggets would own the No. 3 seed while the Blazers are on the outside looking in, trailing the Grizzlies by two games for the 8th and final spot. This Western Conference showdown opened with Denver listed as a 4.5-point favorite. The public sees the Nuggets with a superior record at home laying a short spread and has no problem laying the points. However, sharps have located value on the road dog. The Blazers are playing well of late and riding a 4-game win streak. Portland also enjoys a slight rest advantage having last played on Saturday compared to Denver last playing on Sunday. Portland is also in a buy-low revenge spot as Denver has won both matchups so far this year (108-100 and 114-99). Wiseguys have also gotten down hard on the total. It opened at 223 and has quickly risen to 224. Two injuries to take into account: Denver will be without Michael Porter (ankle) while Jamal Murray (ankle) was upgraded to questionable.
10 p.m. ET: San Antonio Spurs (22-27) at Los Angeles Lakers (37-11)
The Spurs are at risk of missing the playoffs this season which is unfamiliar territory for Gregg Popovich. San Antonio is 2.5 games out of the final spot. Meanwhile, the Lakers own the second-best record in the league behind the Bucks, including 16-6 at home (the Spurs are 8-15 on the road). This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a 12-point home favorite. The public is split and doesn't know who to take. They love the Lakers, but also think the line might be a little high. The Spurs have value as a double-digit conference dog (46-32 ATS, 59% this season). However, San Antonio is on the second night of a back-to-back (lost to the Clippers 108-105 but covered as 9-point dogs). The Lakers enjoy a big rest advantage and haven't played since Saturday. The total is 229. The Spurs are one of the best over teams in the NBA (28-20-1) while the Lakers are 24-24.
Remember: betting markets are fluid and constantly changing as more action comes in. Be sure to monitor the latest odds via our free VSiN NBA live odds page.