So far this week, we've discussed how dogs are crushing it in MLB (119-126, 48.6%, + 31 units) and favorites are dominating the NHL (436-259, 62.7%, + 24 units). In the NBA, it's a much different ballgame without a clear edge either way. One of the reasons why betting the NBA is so difficult this season (especially right now) is the unexpected nature of late-breaking injuries.
When betting MLB and NHL, we can wake up and be pretty confident of who will be in the starting lineup. However, the NBA is a totally different story. You often wake up with several key players on almost every team who are "questionable" with an injury. To make matters worse, we routinely see several big-name players ruled out late in the day, many of whom come out of nowhere. This makes it supremely difficult for bettors because the lines can skyrocket one way or the other based on a star player being in or out. Simply put, you could spend all morning or afternoon handicapping a game only to see your hard work thrown out the window once a star is ruled out and the line is blown to pieces.
One thing I've found helpful: wait until later in the day to bet the NBA. I'm calling it the "6 P.M. Rule." In other words, don't bet a game too early in the morning or afternoon. Wait until 6 p.m. ET once all of the injury reports are updated and you know for sure who's in and who's out. On the one hand, waiting this late may cause you to miss a good number that you could have pounced on earlier in the day. But on the other hand, it will protect you from getting locked into a bad number that looks foolish once a star player is ruled out.
For example, on Monday night the 76ers opened as 8.5-point favorites at home against the Warriors. Early sharp money appeared to be backing Philadelphia as we saw the line move from -8.5 up to -10. But then we saw Ben Simmons a surprise scratch, which tanked the line down to Philadelphia -4.5. Steph Curry and the Warriors ended up winning 107-96. Imagine how frustrating it was for bettors who laid the points with the 76ers early, only to see Simmons a late scratch and the line plummet in the other direction.
Now it's on to Wednesday, where bettors have a plethora of sweats to choose from including 14 MLB games, 12 NBA games and 4 NHL games. For an updated breakdown of Wednesday'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 also be co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3-5 p.m. ET to go over all of today's action in greater depth.
In the meantime, let's discuss a few MLB games today receiving notable sharp action today.
1:10 p.m. ET: Baltimore Orioles (8-9) at Miami Marlins (7-9)
The Orioles came up huge for dog bettors in last night's series opener, upsetting the Marlins 7-5 as + 106 road dogs. Today Baltimore hands the ball to righty Bruce Zimmerman (1-1, 4.24 ERA) while the Marlins counter with lefty Taylor Rogers (1-1, 2.40 ERA). This line opened with Miami listed as a -135 home favorite. The public says give me the Orioles getting plus money. However, we've seen sharps get down hard on the Marlins, driving this line up to -156. Essentially, we are looking at a "Fade the Trendy Dog" play here with respected money buying low on the contrarian favorite. The Fish have value as a team receiving big steam (10 cents or more) in a non-division game (29-25, 54% this season). We've also seen favorites do well in Interleague Play (15-8, 65%). Typically, the lack of familiarity between Interleague foes benefits the "better" team. The Fish also have value as a favorite with a low total (opened 8, some shops down to 7.5). Historically, the fewer amount of expected runs scored makes it more likely to come from the "better" team. The Orioles have struggled against lefties this season, going just 1-4. Baltimore is 7-5 against righties.
3:10 p.m. ET: Houston Astros (7-9) at Colorado Rockies (5-12)
The Rockies upset the Astros 6-2 in Tuesday's series opener, cashing as + 102 home dogs. In this afternoon's rematch, the Astros will start righty Jose Urquidy (0-1, 4.50 ERA) and the Rockies will trot out lefty Austin Gomber (0-2, 3.52 ERA). This line opened with Houston listed as a -125 road favorite. Pros have rushed to the window to lay the chalk with the Astros, pushing this line up from Houston -125 to -145. Interleague favorites are 15-8 (65%) this season. The Astros are finally getting some of their regulars back who landed on the COVID list, including Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez and Martin Maldonado all returned to action yesterday. Houston will lean on their bats in this one. The Astros are hitting .253 this season, which ranks 6th in MLB. The Rockies are hitting .221, which ranks 22nd. Over the last three seasons, Houston has gone 91-49 (65%) against lefties, one of the best records in baseball. The Astros are 6-4 on the road this season. The Rockies are 5-6 at home.
3:37 p.m. ET: Minnesota Twins (6-10) at Oakland Athletics (11-7)
The Athletics are the hottest team in baseball. After starting the season 1-7, Oakland has now won ten straight games. Yesterday the A's swept the doubleheader against the Twins, winning 7-0 as -115 favorites and 1-0 as + 108 dogs. Meanwhile, the Twins have lost three straight and are just 1-8 over their last nine games. In this afternoon's series finale, the Twins start ace Kenta Maeda (1-1, 3.07 ERA) and the A's counter with righty Frankie Montas (2-1, 4.91 ERA). This line opened with Minnesota listed as a short -115 road favorite. Pros aren't outthinking themselves on this one. They are happy to fade the struggling Twins and have gotten down on the white hot A's, moving Oakland from + 107 to + 105. Essentially, we are seeing this game move to a pick'em after opening with Minnesota as the favorite. Oakland matches several profitable betting systems this season, including a dog off a win (7% ROI), a dog with a line move in their favor (5% ROI) and a home dog who made the playoffs the previous year (4% ROI). The total is 8 with some juice to the over (-115). The forecast calls for low 60s and 10 MPH winds out to dead-center.