Monday was a great day for sharp NBA bettors as underdogs went 2-0 ATS with a pair of upset victories. The Heat (+ 5) beat the Bucks 115-104 to take a 1-0 series lead. Then in the late game the Thunder (+ 5.5) took down the Rockets 104-100 to force a decisive Game 7. Miami cashed + 180 on the moneyline while Oklahoma City cashed + 200. Unders went 2-0.
Both dog covers and victories provided teachable moments that bettors should file away for future reference. The Heat were both a Pro and Joe play as they received slightly more than half the tickets and saw a sharp line move from + 5.5 to + 5. Remember, it's a misconception that sharps and casual bettors are always on opposite sides. Wiseguys won't lay off or stubbornly go the other way just because they happen to find themselves on the side of the public. They could care less where the public is as long as they've identified an edge.
The Thunder were the perfect example of a top contrarian play with a line freeze. The public was all over the Rockets, yet Houston opened -5.5 and closed -5.5. The line even dipped to -5 throughout the day. Essentially, all liability was on OKC even though they were only getting one-third of bets. Plus, they were contrarian in the most heavily bet primetime game of the night, which also offered great value.
Today we have another packed slate with 2 NBA games, 2 NHL games and 14 MLB games.
For an updated breakdown of Tuesday's betting action, be sure to tune in to the VSiN Market Insights Podcast with Josh Appelbaum. It will be posted at Noon ET.
Also be sure to check out our live VSiN programming during the afternoon. I'll be co-hosting the Lombardi Line from noon-1 p.m. ET and then co-hosting Betting Across America from 3-5 p.m. ET. Join us as we break down the day's sharp action across the MLB, NBA and NHL.
In the meantime, let's discuss a pair of matchups receiving notable smart money today.
7 p.m. ET: New York Islanders vs Philadelphia Flyers
This is Game 5 of the second round series. The Islanders lead 3-1 and can eliminate the Flyers with a victory tonight. New York has outscored Philadelphia by a combined margin of 13-7 this series. This line opened with the Isles listed as short -115 favorites and the Flyers a + 105 dog. It's do-or-die for Philly and the Flyers will get the last line change as they're the designated home team. But this hasn't deterred wiseguys. We've seen smart money continue to ride the red-hot Isles, pushing New York up to -120. The Islanders are -1250 favorites to win the series at BetMGM, which translates to an implied probability of 92.6%. The Flyers are + 725.
8:30 p.m. ET: Utah Jazz vs Denver Nuggets
Welcome to Game 7. After dropping the series opener, Utah bounced back with three straight wins to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. But then the Nuggets flipped the switch and won two straight to even it up 3-3. Denver enters Game 7 with all the momentum while the Jazz are staring down the barrel of an epic collapse. This line opened at a pick'em, which means oddsmakers see a true coin-flip game.Sharps have sided with Denver, pushing the Nuggets up to -1. With such a short spread, bettors might be smarter to take whichever team they prefer on the moneyline rather than the spread. You might get a better price and won't have to worry about a push if you have Denver -1 and they win by 1. Sharps have also sided with the under, dropping the total from 219.5 to 218. The over is 5-1 this series, but historically Game 7 unders do well due to the high stakes, emphasis on defense and importance of every possession.
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.