NBA underdogs came up big on Sunday, going 2-1 ATS including two straight up victories. The Celtics (+ 2) crushed the Raptors 112-94 to take a 1-0 series lead. Boston cashed + 110 on the moneyline. The Nuggets (+ 2.5) upended the Jazz 119-107 to tie up their series 3-3 and force a decisive Game 7. Denver cashed + 120 on the moneyline. The lone favorite to cover was the Clippers (-9.5), who eliminated the Mavericks 111-97 and punched their ticket to the second round. Unders went 2-1.
The Celtics put forth the most surprising performance of the day. Oddsmakers were expecting a close game based on the spread, but no one could have predicted an 18-point blowout victory. Boston was also a perfect example of why it's so important to monitor late movement. Toronto opened as a 2.5-point favorite and stayed at -2.5 late into the morning and early afternoon. But then just about 30-minutes before the 1 p.m. ET tip-off we saw the Celtics fall from + 2.5 to + 2. Some books even reached + 1.5.
Remember, late line movement just before a game starts is very meaningful because it takes place when limits are raised and the books are taking in the biggest wagers. Once you saw the line fall to Boston late, you knew sharps were grabbing the points, not laying them. New bettors should keep this in mind moving forward and be patient enough to wait out games they're not sure of. Watch where the late money breaks. After opening with a series price of Toronto -150, Boston + 125, the price has now been adjusted to Celtics -182, Raptors + 150 following Boston's Game 1 win.
With the Mavericks eliminated, we are now down to 10 teams left in the NBA playoffs. Here are the latest championship odds at BetMGM.
Lakers, Bucks + 280
Clippers + 300
Celtics + 800
Raptors + 1000
Rockets + 1200
Heat + 1600
Nuggets + 3000
Jazz + 5000
Thunder + 10000
Today, a new week begins with 2 NBA games and 2 NHL games. We also have 11 MLB games. Let's discuss a trio of matchups receiving notable sharp action from respected bettors.
For an updated breakdown of Thursday#39;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.
6:30 p.m. ET: Miami Heat vs Milwaukee Bucks
This is the series opener of the Second Round. The Heat are coming off a 4-0 sweep of the Pacers in Round 1 while the Bucks blew by the Magic 4-1. This Game 1 line opened with Milwaukee listed as a 6-point favorite. Sharps quickly grabbed the Heat at + 6, which has dropped the line down to 5.5. Some books briefly touched 5. Essentially, all liability has come down on Miami plus the points. One injury to keep an eye on this game is Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe. He is questionable with a hamstring injury. The Bucks are listed as -500 favorites to win the series at BetMGM. This translates to an 83.3% implied probability. The Heat are + 375 dogs.
7 p.m. ET: Boston Bruins vs Tampa Bay Lightning
The Lightning lead this best-of-seven Second Round series 3-1 and have a chance to eliminate the Bruins with a victory tonight. After Boston stole the series opener 3-2, Tampa Bay has ripped off three straight victories by scores of 4-3 (OT), 7-1 and, most recently, 3-1. This pivotal Game 5 opened with the Lightning listed as short -110 favorites and the Bruins an even money (+ 100) dog. It's do-or-die for Boston but we've seen smart money hit Tampa, pushing the Lightning from -110 to -115. Some books are closer to -120. The Bolts are the designated home team, which means they enjoy the advantage of having the last line change. The total is 5.5 with the under juiced to -115, signaling some liability on a lower-scoring game.
8:05 p.m. ET: Cleveland Indians (21-13) at Kansas City Royals (13-21)
This AL Central battle looks like a big mismatch on paper. The Indians are tied with the White Sox for the 4th-best record in baseball while the Royals have the 5th-worst record. Cleveland starts Shane Bieber (6-0, 1.35 ERA), who is off to a historic start on the mound. The Indians are a perfect 7-0 when he takes the ball. Kansas City counters with Brad Keller (3-1, 2.08 ERA). This line opened with the Indians listed as heavy -220 favorites and the Royals a + 190 dog. Sharps aren't outthinking this one and still see value on the favorite despite the expensive price. Pros immediately steamed the Tribe, pushing Cleveland up from -220 to -230. Some books are closer to -240. For those wary of laying the big number, Cleveland is -1.5 (-135) to win by two or more on the run-line.
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.