The Lakers dominated Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday night, crushing the Heat 116-98. Los Angeles easily covered as a 4.5-point favorite and cashed -185 on the moneyline. Spread bets were actually split down the middle in this game and we saw a sharp move toward Miami (+ 5 to + 4.5). But it was all for naught as the Lakers rolled to take a 1-0 series lead.
Sharps were able to cash the under. The total opened at 218 and two-thirds of bets were backing the over, yet we saw it fall to 217.5. This was a classic example of sharp reverse line movement. The total landed on 214. Unders are now 44-33-1 in the NBA playoffs.
The Lakers opened as -358 favorites to win the series at BetMGM. After winning Game 1, Los Angeles is now -1000. The Heat have moved from + 300 to + 700. Two injuries to monitor moving forward: both Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo left last night's series opener with shoulder and foot injuries and are questionable moving forward. The Lakers have opened as 7-point favorites for Game 2 on Friday. The total is 216.
Today we have a relatively light betting slate headlined by Thursday Night Football and 4 MLB playoff 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 at noon ET.
In the meantime, let's discuss where the smart money is flowing for Thursday Night Football.
8:20 p.m. ET: Denver Broncos at New York Jets
This TNF showdown features two winless teams off to a nightmarish start. The Broncos (0-3 SU, 2-1 ATS) are coming off a 28-10 loss at home to the Bucs, failing to cover as 6-point underdogs. Meanwhile, the Jets (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS) have progressively gotten worse each game this season, most recently falling to the Colts 36-7 as 11.5-point road dogs. This line opened with Denver listed as a short 2.5-point road favorite. The public sees the Jets as an auto-fade and roughly two-thirds of bets are backing Denver. This lopsided support pushed the Broncos to -3. That's when we saw pros get down on the Jets at the key number of + 3. Then it was announced the Broncos would start Brett Rypien at quarterback. This caused a further flood of money toward New York, moving the Jets all the way to a 1.5-point favorite. The Jets are the clear sharp play here. The last smart money to hit New York was when they were at a pick'em. New York is a contrarian dog to favorite in a heavily bet game. New York is also a home team on a short week, which has been a profitable bet historically on Thursday nights. Jerome Boger is the head official tonight. Historically, favorites have covered at a 55% clip when he is the lead umpire.
We've also seen a rare contrarian reverse line move on the over. A majority of bets are on the under, yet this total has risen slightly from 40 to 41. This signals pro money backing the over. Boger also provides an edge to overs (59%). It's expected to be perfect weather at MetLife: mid 60s, partly cloudy with little to no wind. NFL Overs are cashing at a 60% clip so far this season (29-19).