In an NBA Finals instant classic, the Miami Heat ( 7.5) upset the Los Angeles Lakers 111-108 to stave off elimination and force a Game 6. The Lakers opened as 7.5-point favorites in the game. Spread bets were split down the middle and the public didn't know who to take. However, a closer look at the line movement showed liability on Miami. The line touched 7 and briefly 6.5 at some shops before settling back at the opener of 7.5. Essentially, from start to finish all movement was toward the Heat. We never saw the line get to 8. By tracking the full line history, it was clear that smart money was leaning Miami, who also cashed 265 on the money.
Joes beat Pros when it came to the total, however. Roughly two-thirds of bets were on the over, yet it fell from 217 to 215.5, signaling wiseguy money on the under. The total landed on 219, giving the public an over win. Unders fall to 3-2 in the NBA Finals but still lead in the playoffs overall 46-35-1 (57%).
The Lakers were -10000 favorites (99%) to win the series at BetMGM heading into last night's game, with the Heat 2000 underdogs. Now that the series is 3-2 Los Angeles, the Lakers are down to -715 favorites (88%) with the Heat 500.
In baseball, the Rays upset the Yankees 2-1 as 135 underdogs to advance to the ALCS. The under 7.5 cashes easily. We are now down to the Final Four in MLB. Here are the updated World Series odds
Now we turn our attention to a loaded Saturday. We have roughly 30 College Football games to choose from today.
For Saturday betting analysis and line movement updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself from 10 a.m.-noon on The Lombardi Line. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups and breaking down late sharp action leading up to kickoff.
In the meantime, let's discuss three Saturday matchups receiving sharp action from respected bettors.
Noon ET: Virginia Tech vs North Carolina
This ACC showdown features a pair of undefeated teams with clashing styles. Virginia Tech (2-0, ranked 19th) is high scoring, averaging 41.5 points and giving up 27.5 in a pair of wins over NC State and Duke. Meanwhile, North Carolina (2-0, ranked 8th) isn't as flashy offensively but has a stellar defense, averaging 28.5 points but giving up just 14 points in a pair of wins over Syracuse and Boston College. This line opened with UNC listed as a 5.5-point home favorite. Despite receiving a slight majority of bets, the Tar Heels have fallen from -5.5 to -3. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the road dog Hokies, with pros grabbing the points not laying them. Historically, short road dogs 4 or less have covered at roughly a 54% clip over the past decade. Pro money has also hit the under, dropping the total from 60 to 57.5.
Noon ET: Oklahoma vs Texas
One of college football's greatest rivalries renews this afternoon in the Red River Showdown. Oklahoma (1-2) has been one of the most disappointing teams this season. The Sooners are riding a 2-game losing skid, falling to Kansas State 38-35 as a 27.5-point favorite and last week succumbing to Iowa State 37-20 as a 7.5-point favorite. On the flip side, Texas (2-1, ranked 22nd) has a winning record and is ranked, although the Longhorns lost to TCU last week 33-31 as 10.5-point favorites. This line opened with Oklahoma listed as a 2-point favorite. The public can't believe the Sooners are favored. They see a ranked Texas team getting points and that's all they need to know: Longhorns all day. However, we've actually seen this line move further toward Oklahoma from -2 to -3. Sharps have pounded the Sooners as a buy-low contrarian unranked favorite against a ranked team. All the sharp moves were on Oklahoma at -2 or -2.5 before it reached the key number of 3.
Noon ET: Florida at Texas A&M
This SEC grudge match between ranked teams is one of the most heavily bet early games on Saturday. Florida (2-0, ranked 4th) has looked impressive through two games, outscoring Ole Miss and South Carolina by an average score of 44.5 to 29.5. Meanwhile, Texas A&M (1-1, ranked 21st) is coming off a 52-24 loss to Alabama last week, failing to cover as 18-point underdogs. This line opened with Florida listed as a 6.5-point road favorite. The public is absolutely hammering the Gators. However, despite receiving roughly three-out-of-four bets, we've seen the Gators fall from -6.5 to -5. This signals heavy pro money buying low on the Aggies as a live home dog.
More Notable Line Moves
NC State 9.5 to 7 at Virginia
Tennessee 14 to 12.5 at Georgia
Miami-Clemson Under 62 to 60.5
FIU -5 to -6 vs MTSU
UL Monroe-Liberty Over 61 to 63