Today the weekend kicks off with a loaded betting slate featuring 15 MLB games, 5 NBA playoff games, 4 Stanley Cup playoff games and UFC Fight Night: Font vs Garbrandt. For extensive Saturday betting analysis, be sure to join Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon ET on The Lombardi Line. We'll be LIVE from the South Point in Vegas dissecting all the big matchups and updating the top lines moves across all the major sports. We'll be joined by Thomas Gable at The Borgata in Atlantic City.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the money is flowing for several Saturday NBA playoff games...
2 p.m. ET: Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks
This is Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round. The Heat (40-32) enter as the 6th seed and finished the regular season a blistering 12-4 over their final sixteen games. Now they face the 3rd-seed Bucks (46-26), who also finished strong down the stretch, going 8-2 over their final ten games. This line opened with Milwaukee listed as a 5-point home favorite. Some shops opened even further around -6. The public is all over the higher-seeded Bucks at home laying a short spread. However, despite this lopsided support, the Bucks have fallen to -4.5. This signals some sharp reverse line movement on the Heat, with pros grabbing the points with the road dog. Miami beat Milwaukee 4-1 in the second round of the playoffs in the bubble last season. The Bucks went 2-1 against the Heat during the regular season, although Jimmy Butler didn't play in any of the games. We've also seen some under money come in. The total opened at 228 and has been bet down to 227. Both of these teams were profitable to the over this season, with Miami 38-34 and Milwaukee 41-31. Over the past decade, high playoff totals of 225 or more have cashed 55% to the under.
4:30 p.m. ET: Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers
This is Game 1 of the Western Conference first round. The Mavericks (42-30) enter as the fifth seed while the Clippers (47-25) have home court advantage as the fourth seed. This line opened with Los Angeles listed as a 5-point home favorite. Pros and Joes seem to both be leaning Clippers as the -5 is juiced up to -115 and some shops have moved to -5.5. We've also seen some respected money hit this under, dropping the total from 219 to 218.5. Both teams have been profitable to the under this season, with Dallas 38-34 and Los Angeles 36-33-3. The Clippers went 18-14 ATS as a home favorite this season.
10:30 p.m. ET: Portland Trail Blazers at Denver Nuggets
This is Game 1 of the Western Conference first round. The Blazers (42-30) enter as the sixth seed while the Nuggets (47-25) are the third seed. This line opened with Nuggets listed as a short 1-point home favorite. Right off the bat, this line speaks volumes. Typically, home teams are awarded three points for home court advantage. Denver is also known to possess an elevated home court advantage due to the altitude. The fact that this line only opened at 1 is basically the oddsmakers saying that the Blazers would be favored on a neutral court. The public is all over Denver as the home team and higher ranked seed laying a short price at home. However, despite this lopsided support the line has remained frozen at one. This indicates some wiseguy money backing Portland as a short contrarian dog. Portland also has unique contrarian value as they are only getting about one-third of bets in the final late game of the night.
More Saturday Sharp Action
Celtics-Nets Over 225.5 to 229