Bettors have a loaded Thursday slate to choose from today, including the NFL Draft, 3 NBA playoff games, 13 MLB games and 9 NHL games. For an updated breakdown of Thursday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted by 3 p.m. ET.
I'll be joining The Lombardi Line at 1:30 p.m. ET to offer a market update and then co-hosting Betting Across America with Mike Pritchard from 3 to 4 p.m. ET. I'll also be joining Rush Hour with Danny Burke at 6:15 p.m. ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where smart money is leaning for tonight's NBA playoff action...
7 p.m. ET: Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors
This is Game 6 of the Eastern Conference first round. The 76ers once held a commanding 3-0 series lead but have since dropped two straight and now only lead 3-2. No team has ever blown a 3-0 series lead in NBA history. Now the series shifts back to Toronto. This line opened with the 76ers listed as a 1.5-point road favorite. This line hasn't budged off 1.5, signaling some fishy support for the home dog Raptors, who have won two straight and hold all the momentum. 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle will miss this game due to Canada's COVID rules. Pros have also hit the over, raising the total from a low 209.5 to 210.5. The under is 4-1 this series. Leading 3-2, Philadelphia is a -650 favorite to win the series. Toronto is a +450 dog.
7:30 p.m. ET: Phoenix Suns at New Orleans Pelicans
This is Game 6 of the Western Conference first round. The Suns lead the series 3-2 after posting a 112-97 win in Game 5, easily covering as 6.5-point home favorites. Phoenix can eliminate New Orleans with a victory tonight. This line opened with the Suns listed as a short 2.5-point road favorite. The public is rushing to the window to lay the points with the Suns. However, we've actually seen this line fall from 2.5 to 2. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the Pelicans, with wiseguys grabbing the points with the home dog. We've also seen some sharp under liability, with some shops falling from 215 to 214 despite a majority of bets taking the over. Unders are 31-14 (69%) this postseason. This would also match a late series under trend, with tired legs leading to lower scoring games at the tail end of series. Leading 3-2, the Suns are -700 favorites to win the series. The Pelicans are +500 dogs.
10 p.m. ET: Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz
This is Game 6 of the Western Conference first round. The Mavericks lead the series 3-2 and can eliminate the Jazz with a victory tonight. Dallas is coming off a 102-77 blowout win in Game 5, easily covering as 3-point home favorites. Now the series shifts back to Utah. This line opened with Utah listed as a 1.5-point home favorite. Early on, there were rumblings about Donovan Mitchell missing this game with a quad injury. Following these reports, the Mavericks flipped to a 2.5-point road favorite. But then we saw Mitchell get upgraded to probable, which dropped the line back down to a pick'em or Jazz -1 at some shops. The public is hammering the Mavs, giving Utah contrarian value with late line movement in their favor. We could also be looking at a low scoring game here. The total opened at 210.5 and has fallen to 209.5. Unders that fall at least a half point are 18-9 (67%) this postseason. Leading 3-2, Dallas is a -700 favorite on the series price. Utah is +500.