That was fun. Let’s recap the 2017 NFL Draft props, and check out what happened in the NBA and NHL playoffs amidst the bedlam of a wild Thursday night.
NFL Draft prop recap
Thanks to all of you who joined us for the four-hour broadcast last evening. The time flew by because selections kept coming quickly throughout the night…and because almost every single prop came right down to the final pick! Ringleaders Brent Musburger (first hour), Mitch Moss (middle two hours) and Pauly Howard (final hour) rode the rapids to keep bettors on top of the action from start to finish. Kudos also to Matt Youmans (riding shotgun most of the evening), Jimmy Vaccaro, Chris Andrews and Vinny Magliulo for informed analysis on the fly in a challenging environment.
VSiN’s first NFL Draft, just like our extended March Madness coverage, showed you what the future of sports betting media looks like. We appreciate you being part of history with us.
A quick recap of the props that were available at the South Point…
Alabama players drafted in first round. 4.5 (Over -155)
Only four Crimson Tide athletes were picked, with none going in the first 15 and the final ‘Bama player getting tabbed late at #31. The market was surprised, as the Over was a clear favorite. Western Michigan and Temple had players selected before Alabama did!
LSU players drafted in first round 2.5 (Under -120)
Three Tigers were picked by #27, putting this one over the top as a short dog. So, even though Alabama wins this head-to-head battle with its SEC rival 4-3…Tigers bettors are much happier than Tide bettors given those market prices.
SEC 11.5 players drafted in first round (Under -135)
The last Alabama pick at #31 put this prop over the top. It was actually at 10.5 or 11 earlier in the week or at other stores. The strongest league in college football sent a full dozen players to the next level in the first round, with Texas A&M, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri and Ole Miss also represented in addition to Alabama and LSU.
SEC vs. Pac 12: SEC -5.5 players (even), Pac 12 plus 5.5 (-120)
The SEC wins this one 12-6, sneaking by with two of the last six picks of the first round. That’s another short underdog getting the money. The Pac 12 sent two players from Stanford, one each from Washington, USC, UCLA, and Utah.
SEC vs. Big 10: SEC -4.5 players (pick-em), Big 10 plus 4.5
This was a 12-7 victory for the SEC, another tight win. And, really good estimates from the market to this point…with everyone finally tally coming within half a pick. Ohio State sent three players to the pros on the first night, with two apiece from Michigan and Wisconsin.
Pac 12 vs. Big 10: Big 10 (-155 on moneyline), Pac 12 (plus 135)
Here the favorite cashed in a tight 7-6 win for the Big 10. The final pick of the night put the Midwest over the top, and the Big 10 had three of the final five players selected in its late rally.
Offense vs. defense: defense -5.5 players (plus 155), offense plus 5.5 (-175)
Nice payoff for those who laid the 5.5 in a 19-13 victory that wasn’t cinched until pick #31.
Quarterbacks: total of 3.5 (Under -220)
A big favorite finally cashes, though bettors had to sweat much of the evening with Mitchell Trubisky, Pat Mahomes, and DeShaun Watson going in the first dozen selections. No signal callers were claimed after that.
Running backs: total of 2.5 (Over -350)
Big payoff for those on the under, who also had to sweat all night. Two of the first eight picks (Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey) were running backs…but that was it for the evening. More tight ends were taken than running backs in the first round.
Round for first kicker drafted: 1-3 plus 360, 4-7 -460
Still to be determined. No kickers were selected in Thursday’s first round.
Even though this was the first time draft props were available in Nevada, the market settled quickly on solid assessments that offered interesting betting challenges. We know it’s going to be even more exciting next year.
NBA: Raptors, Spurs wrap up first-round series with road covers
The Toronto Raptors managed to blow ALL of a 25-point second half lead, before regaining their composure to finish off the Milwaukee Bucks. Let’s look at those numbers then move to the Spurs’ in in Memphis.
Toronto (plus 1.5) 92, Toronto 89
- Two-Point Pct: Toronto 48%, Milwaukee 44%
- Three-Pointers: Toronto 9/22, Milwaukee 7/19
- Rebounds: Toronto 43, Milwaukee 38
That’s three straight wins (and covers) for the Raptors, who seemed to be in real trouble after dropping two of the first three (all Milwaukee covers). Tonight’s victory came in the slowest game of the series (just 85 possessions per team, finishing off an 88-92-90-95-92-85 sequence). Given that the hosts had a 34-7 run to take a late lead, it’s amazing Toronto was still able to maintain edges in the categories listed above.
The total stayed Under by double digits, the fourth of six games in the series to stay Under (by 18, 16, 32, and 15 points!)
Toronto advances to play Cleveland in the second round. Cleveland will have a significant rest advantage after finishing off a sweep of Indiana a few days ago. Now that Toronto has things figured out again…that could prove to be a very entertaining showdown. The Raptors’ offense is a lot better than Indiana’s…and Indiana broke 100 points in all four slow-to-moderately paced games against the Cavs. More preview notes on that series next week here in VSiN City.
San Antonio (-5) 103, Memphis 96
- Two-Point Pct: San Antonio 53%, Memphis 45%
- Rebounds: San Antonio 45, Memphis 28
If you were scoreboard watching during the NFL Draft, you know that Memphis led much of the night. San Antonio rallied from 88-81 down midway through the four quarter with a 22-8 finish to seal the series.
The final score hides another extremely efficient scoring night from the Spurs. This game had only 82 possessions per team! Scoring 103 points on 82 possessions is like scoring 125 points on 100 possessions, which is a count that wouldn’t be out of the question for San Antonio/Houston or San Antonio/Golden State.
And, that’s after the Spurs scored an astounding 116 points on 83 possessions back in Game Five. A beautifully run offense that grabs rebounds and makes free throws can do a lot of damage in this league.
Five of the six games went Over the market price, with scoring totals of 193, 178, 199, 192 in regulation, 219, and 199 against market prices in the low 190’s or high 180’s. Pace counts were 86-85-83-95-83-82 in an extended halfcourt grinder. The Spurs covered four of the six.
San Antonio gets Houston next, in a series that would be good enough to qualify as a Western championship in most seasons. Here, the winner of the war has to gather itself for Golden State. We’ll preview that for you next week.
Three more teams will try to finish off their first round series Friday. Here are the lines…
Friday’s point spreads (Washington, Boston, and Utah lead 3-2)
- Washington at Atlanta (-3, 210.5); 7:30 p.m. ET on NBA Network and ESPNU
- Boston (-2, 204.5) at Chicago; 8 p.m. ET on ESPN
- LA Clippers at Utah (-6, 192.5): 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
NHL: Dogs still cashing in second round openers
On night one back on Wednesday, road dogs Nashville and Edmonton drew first blood. Pittsburgh was able to do the same at Washington Thursday. Ottawa was the only home team to win a second round opener, but they did so as the game and series underdog. Let’s take them in the order they were played. Dogs are still offering great value in the 2017 hockey playoffs.
Ottawa (even) 2, NY Rangers 1
- Shots: NY Rangers 35, Ottawa 43
Wow…huge shot total for the Senators! They were more likely to be in the 20’s vs. Boston unless overtime pushed them higher. That’s now 5 playoff wins and 2 losses for a team that’s been priced like they shouldn’t even be in the postseason. Ottawa was a series dog to Boston despite having home ice. Same story here…though the Senators are now close to being a coin flip with this hold of serve.
Pittsburgh (plus 130) 3, Washington 2
- Shots: Pittsburgh 21, Washington 35
Pittsburgh continues to find the net very efficiently. They’re like the Spurs of the NHL in that they don’t need a high shot count to put a lot on the board. (We've compared the Penguins to both the Spurs and the Rockets this week, both compliments).
Washington never led in this game, which is the main reason a sense of urgency jumps off the page in those shot counts. Pittsburgh has won five of six playoff games vs. respected opponents. Washington continues to play below market expectations, and now must win at least once in Pittsburgh to advance.
Friday’s lines (Nashville and Edmonton lead 1-0)
- Nashville at St. Louis (-120, 5); 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports
- Edmonton at Anaheim (-140), 5--Over -140); 10:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports
We’ll be back with you Monday morning to review a busy Saturday and Sunday…and to start our Kentucky Derby week coverage amidst the continuing onslaught of playoff action and Major League Baseball.
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