Saturday Betting Bonanza: Sharp Action for Heat-Nuggets, Jazz-Thunder and Jets-Flames

August 1, 2020 12:43 AM

​A common theme for the resumption of sports during this unprecedented time is to expect the unexpected. We got a perfect example of this over the past 48 hours in the NBA. On Thursday night, contrarian bettors and sportsbooks reigned supreme as dogs and unders combined to go 4-0.But then on Friday the public had their revenge and nearly swept the board as favorites went 5-1 ATS and overs went a perfect 6-0. The only dog to cover was the Spurs (+ 3.5, beat Kings 129-120). The Rockets opened as a + 1.5 dog but closed as a -1.5 favorite behind late sharp money and beat the Mavs 153-149. The overs were particularly notable as all six received heavy public support and easily sailed to victory without much of a sweat. 

Anytime you have a particular bet type crush it—like overs going a perfect 6-0—it elicits two completely different reactions from Average Joes and wiseguys. Public bettors will ride the winning wave and pound all overs again the following day, simply because they performed so well the day before. But sharps are smart enough to not fall in love with a recent trend. They know that regression is the common denominator in betting. They also know that sportsbooks took a beating yesterday and, as a result, they will shade totals to the over today knowing that the public is rushing to the window to ride the over train. This creates added value for sharps to back inflated unders. 

Today, we have our busiest betting day since sports resumed with 5 NBA games, 5 NHL games and 12 MLB games. Let's dissect a trio of matchups across basketball and hockey taking in notable smart money. 

For more Saturday analysis and betting updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning on NESN from 10 a.m. ET to noon on The Lombardi Line. We're back from hiatus and we'll be breaking down all the late sharp action across MLB, NBA, NHL and more. 

1 p.m. ET: Miami Heat (41-24) vs Denver Nuggets (43-22)

The Heat enter as the 4-seed in the East while the Nuggets are the 3-seed in the West. This line opened with Denver listed as a short 2-point favorite. Despite roughly two-thirds of bets laying the points with the Nuggets, we've seen this line fall to Denver -1. Some books are even at a pick'em. This is a clear example of sharp action on Miami. Pros grabbed the Heat at + 2 and + 1.5, triggering reverse line movement in their favor. This is a revenge game for the Heat, who lost the only previous matchup with the Nuggets this season 109-89. The total has risen from 210.5 to 212, indicating some over action across the market. One variable to monitor here is the injury situation for Denver. While the Heat are fully healthy, the Nuggets will be without two starters in Gary Harris and Will Barton while Jamal Murray will be a gametime decision. 

3:30 p.m. ET: Utah Jazz (42-23) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (40-24)

This marks the second game inside the bubble for Utah and the first for Oklahoma City. The Jazz are coming off an upset win over the Pelicans 106-104 as 2.5-point dogs on Thursday. These teams have split their first two matchups this season, with the Jazz winning 100-95 and the Thunder winning 104-90. This line opened with the Thunder listed as a short 1-point favorite. Roughly two-thirds of spread bets, including both public and sharp money, have sided with OKC, forcing oddsmakers to adjust the line up to Thunder -1.5. Some books are showing juice liability on OKC -1.5 (-115), signaling a possible rise further to -2. OKC has been one of the best teams covering the spread this season at 40-24 ATS. Utah is 30-33 ATS. We've also seen a steady dose of sharp action hit the over. The total opened at 211.5 and has been bet up to 216.5. 

10:30 p.m. ET: Winnipeg Jets (37-34-6) vs Calgary Flames (36-34-7)

On a busy Saturday with countless games across multiple sports, this late night showdown in the Vancouver bubble is largely flying on the under. But not with sharp bettors. This line opened with Calgary listed as a short -115 favorite and the Jets a + 105 dog. We've seen the line move toward Calgary, pushing the Flames up to -120 and even -125 at some books. Because the ticket count on this game is so low, we can safely assume this is almost purely wiseguy money moving the 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 NBA Live Odds Page for Vegas sportsbooks and for other legalized states

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