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Tuesday Sharp Action Report for Flames-Stars, Rays-Yankees and Caps-Islanders

August 17, 2020 11:37 PM

Opening Day of the NBA playoffs couldn't have gone any better for the public—or any worse for the sportsbooks. Favorites swept the board going a perfect 4-0 ATS and straight up. Overs and unders split 2-2. Here are the four favorite covers. 

  • Nuggets (-4.5) beat Jazz 135-125 in OT
  • Raptors (-10) beat Nets 134-110
  • Celtics (-6) beat 76ers 109-101
  • Clippers (-7) beat Mavericks 118-110

The Nuggets-Jazz game was the epitome of a bad beat if you were a Jazz backer. Denver opened -3, got steamed up to -5 and then sharp buyback hit Utah + 5, dropping the line down to 4.5. Utah held several late game leads, but then the game went to overtime where the Nuggets outscored the Jazz 20-10 in the extra frame to win by ten.

Oftentimes when favorites sweep the board or dogs sweep the board you are bound for some regression the following day. Yesterday, the public cleaned up, which means they will continue to ride the favorite train today. The sportsbooks, that took a beating yesterday, know this and will shade lines accordingly. This could provide additional value to go the other way and buy low on underdogs. 

Today, we have another loaded all-day sweat with 4 NBA games, 15 MLB games and 4 NHL games. Let's discuss a trio of matchups receiving notable sharp action from respected bettors.  

For an updated breakdown of Tuesday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum.

Also, I'm proud to announce that starting today, Brady Kannon and I will be filling in for Michael Lombradi and Patrick Meagher on the Lombardi Line on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Be sure to join us from noon-1 p.m. ET today as we break down the day's sharp action across the MLB, NBA and NHL. 

In the meantime, let's discuss a trio of matchups receiving notable smart money today. 

5:30 p.m. ET: Calgary Flames vs Dallas Stars 

This best-of-seven series is tied 2-2. The Stars are coming off a miracle victory in Game 4 in which they scored with 12-seconds left in regulation to tie the game and then scored in overtime to win 5-4. This pivotal Game 5 line opened with Dallas listed as a -120 favorite and Calgary a + 105 dog. Sharp action has come down on Dallas, pushing the Stars up to -125. Some books are inching closer to -130. One advantage for Dallas is the fact they're listed as the home team, which means they get the benefit of having the last line change. Two key injuries to monitor: Matthew Tkachuk of the Flames and goaltender Ben Bishop of the Stars. Both missed Game 4 and are considered game-time decisions. 

7:05 p.m. ET: Tampa Bay Rays (14-9) at New York Yankees (16-6)

This AL East showdown in the Bronx features two of the top four teams in the American League. The red-hot Rays have won two in a row and eight of their last nine. Meanwhile, the equally hot Yankees have won six straight and just swept the Red Sox. In a stellar pitching matchup, the Rays send lefty Blake Snell (1-0, 2.08 ERA) to the mound to face Yankee veteran Masahiro Tanaka (0-0, 2.31 ERA). This line opened with New York listed as a short -110 home favorite and Tampa an even money + 100 dog. Smart money has come down hard on the Rays, pushing Tampa from a + 100 dog to a -112 favorite. Road favorites are cashing at roughly 65% this season. Sharp action has also hit the under, dropping the total from 8.5 to 8. 

8 p.m. ET: Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders 

The Islanders hold a 3-0 series lead and have a chance to sweep the Caps in this one. New York has outscored Washington by a combined score of 11-5, cashing tickets as dogs each time (+ 115, + 105 and -105). This pivotal Game 4 line opened at a true pick'em with both sides listed at -105. The public is all over Washington because the Caps won the Cup in 2018 and "can't possibly" be swept by the lowly Islanders. However, despite two-thirds of bets backing Washington, this line moved to Islanders -110. Some books are up to Isles -115. This signals sharp action rejecting the Gambler's Fallacy and backing the Isles to finish off the Caps. 


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