The NBA returned from its two-day hiatus on Saturday, with favorites going 3-0 straight up but just 1-1-1 ATS. The Rockets destroyed the Thunder 114-80, easily covering as 5-point favorites. The Blazers fell to the Lakers 131-122 but covered as 13.5-point dogs. And the Bucks beat the Magic 118-104, pushing as 14-point favorites. Unders went 2-1.
The Magic-Bucks game was the perfect example of how important timing and shopping for the best line can be when betting on sports. The Bucks opened as 13-point favorites, reached as high as -14.5 and closed at -14. This means that if you bet Milwaukee early at -13 or -13.5 you cashed. If you were late with the -14 you pushed. But if you were savvy enough to pounce on the Magic when they reached their high-water mark of + 14.5 you also cashed. As always, stay glued to your live odds page and make sure you have access to multiple "outs" so you can place your bet at the book that gives you the best number. As you can see with the Magic-Bucks game, it can be the difference between a win, a loss and a push.
The Blazers and Magic are now eliminated from the playoffs while the Lakers and Bucks advance to the second round. The Rockets now lead the Thunder 3-2. With 11 teams now left in the postseason, here are the updated NBA Title odds at BetMGM.
Lakers, Bucks + 280
Clippers + 300
Raptors + 800
Celtics + 1000
Rockets + 1200
Heat + 1600
Mavs, Nuggets, Jazz + 4000
Thunder + 10000
Today, we have another big slate with 3 NBA games, 3 NHL games and 16 MLB games. Let's discuss a trio of matchups receiving notable sharp action from respected bettors.
For more Sunday analysis and betting updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 10 a.m.-noon on The Lombardi Line. We'll be dissecting all the big matchups and breaking down late sharp action across MLB, NBA, NHL and more.
1 p.m. ET: Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors
Welcome to Game 1 of the second round. Both teams are coming off four-game sweeps in the first round, with the Celtics making quick work of the 76ers and the Raptors brushing aside the Nets. This line opened with Toronto listed as a short 2-point favorite. The public sees two elite teams and doesn't know who to take. However, despite tickets being split down the middle, we've seen the Raptors move from -2 to -2.5. This signals some smart money leaning toward laying the points, not taking them. Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (ankle) has been upgraded to probable. Toronto is a -150 favorite to win the series at BetMGM, which translates to a 60% implied probability. Boston is + 125.
3:30 p.m. ET: Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers lead this best of seven series 3-2 and can finish off the Mavericks with a win. After exchanging victories through the first four games, Los Angeles demolished Dallas 154-111 in Game 5. This line opened with the Clippers listed as 9.5-point favorites. The public is split and doesn't know who to take. On the one hand, it's hard to pass up Luka Doncic getting big points. But casual bettors are also remembering a big 43-point Clippers victory the last time out. Despite bets being split, this line has ticked up from Los Angeles -9.5 to -10.5. This is the result of a combination of smart money laying the points and also Mavs star big man Kristaps Porzingis being ruled out with a knee injury. The Clippers are -2500 favorites (96.2%) to win the series. The Mavs are + 1200.
8:30 p.m. ET: Denver Nuggets vs Utah Jazz
The Jazz lead this first round series 3-2. Utah has a chance to eliminate the Nuggets with a victory tonight. This Game 6 line opened with Utah listed as a short 2.5-point favorite. Despite two-thirds of bets laying the points with Utah, this line has remained frozen. Some books have even dipped down to 2. This signals some pro money grabbing Denver and the points. The Nuggets also have contrarian value as they're only getting one-third of bets in a primetime game which will be the most heavily bet of the night. Denver staved off elimination their last time out with a gutsy 117-107 victory in Game 5 as 2.5-point dogs. We've also seen some smart money hit the under, dropping the total from 220.5 to 219.5. The Jazz are -358 favorites (78.2%) to win the series. The Nuggets are + 280.
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 Live Odds Page for Vegas sportsbooks and for other legalized states.