Monday was a good day for the public and a bad day for sportsbooks as NBA favorites got back to their winning ways with a 3-1 ATS showing. The Bucks (-13) edged the Magic 121-106. The Heat (-6.5) eliminated the Pacers 99-87. And the Lakers (-7) crushed the Blazers 135-115. Favorites are now 20-10-1 ATS (66.7%) this postseason.
The lone dog to cover was the Thunder, which outlasted the Rockets 117-114. Oklahoma City was a quintessential sharp play for the wiseguys. In the most lopsided game of the day, roughly two-thirds of bets laid the points with Houston. However, despite this heavy support, the Rockets fell from -3.5 to -2.5. This sharp reverse line movement was a dead giveaway that pros got down hard on OKC plus the points.
Remember, going contrarian is a good foundational pillar. More often than not, the public loses. They bet based on gut instinct, bias and favoritism. So going against casual bettors and placing yourself on the side of the house is a smart long-term strategy. However, going contrarian isn't the end all be all. You also need sharp action, which means being on the same side as the professional bettors who have a long track record of success. That's why the Thunder were yesterday's top play. Not only were they contrarian but they received sharp line movement as well.
Today, we have another packed slate with 2 NBA games, 2 NHL games and 17 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.
Also Brady Kannon and I will be filling in for Michael Lombardi 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.
6:05 p.m. ET: Philadelphia Phillies (10-14) at Washington Nationals (11-15)
These NL East foes are boh below .500 and find themselves at the bottom of the division. The Phillies enjoy an extra day of rest and are coming off a 5-4 win over the Braves on Sunday as even-money dogs (+ 100). The Nats played last night and fell to the Marlins 11-8 as -114 favorites. Both teams are 5-5 in their last 10 games. In tonight's series opener, the Phillies start veteran Jake Arrieta (1-3, 4.95 ERA) while the Nats counter with Erick Fedde (1-1, 2.55 ERA). This line opened with Philadelphia listed as a short -113 road favorite and Washington a + 103 dog. Despite a slight majority of bets backing the Nats, we've seen this line move from Philly -113 to -120. This signals sharp reverse line movement on the rested Phillies. Road favorites are cashing at a 62% clip this season.
6:37 p.m. ET: Boston Red Sox (9-20) at Toronto Blue Jays (14-13)
This AL East showdown features two teams trending in opposite directions. The Red Sox are riding a two-game losing skid and have gone 3-7 over their last ten games. The Jays are 7-3 over their last ten games. The Sox will start rookie lefty Kyle Hart (0-1, 11.12 ERA) with the Jays sending out Chase Anderson (0-0, 2.79 ERA). This line opened with Toronto listed as a -135 home favorite and Boston a + 125 dog. The public is fading the Sox, who own the 2nd-worst record in baseball behind the Angels. However, despite two-thirds of bets backing the Jays, this line has moved from Toronto -135 to -120. This signals some sharp action hitting the Red Sox at a decent plus money payout (+ 125 to + 110). The Sox have value as a divisional dog with a high total. Sharps have hit the over, pushing it up from 10.5 to 11. The forecast calls for mid 70s and 7-10 MPH winds out to left center.
7:10 p.m. ET: Minnesota Twins (20-10) at Cleveland Indians (17-12)
The Twins took last night's series opener 3-2, cashing as -125 favorites. Tonight's Game 2 pits Minnesota lefty Rich Hill (1-1, 4.70 ERA) against Cleveland ace and AL Cy Young favorite Shane Bieber (5-0, 1.11 ERA). This line opened with Cleveland listed as a hefty -160 favorite and Minnesota a + 150 dog. The public is split and doesn't know who to take. On the one hand, Minnesota has the better record and a juicy plus-money payout. On the other hand, Cleveland is a favorite at home with one of the game's best pitchers on the mound. Despite an even bet split, this line has moved from Indians -160 to to -176, signaling pro money sees value laying the big number with Cleveland.
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.