Wednesday Sharp Action Report for 76ers-Celtics, Astros-Rockies and Canucks-Blues

August 19, 2020 12:41 AM

On Monday, the public had a field day as favorites went a perfect 4-0 ATS. On Tuesday, contrarian bettors and sportsbooks had their revenge as dogs rebounded to go 2-1-1 ATS, including a pair of massive upset victories. Both No. 1 seeds lost outright. The Magic shocked the Bucks 122-110 as 14-point underdogs, cashing + 900 on the moneyline. Later in the night, the Blazers took down the Lakers 100-93 as 6.5-point dogs. Portland closed + 240 on the moneyline.

In the other two games, the Rockets dominated the Thunder 123-108. Houston opened + 1.5 and sharp money dropped them to a pick'em. The lone favorite to cover was the Heat, who beat the Pacers 113-101 as 4-point favorites. Over/unders went 2-2 for the second straight day. 

No one could have predicted the Magic winning straight up as 14-point underdogs. However, taking the points late was a prime example of a contrarian inflated-line value play. Orlando opened at + 11.5 and moved all the way to + 14 thanks to heavy public betting on Milwaukee. If you bet the Bucks early at -11.5 or -12, that would be considered a "good" bet despite the end result because you ended up beating the closing line. However, when super lopsided betting causes a huge line move like that, grabbing the dog late becomes the smarter play. Think of it this way: there was zero value in betting the Bucks -14 after the line moved so much. At that point, it became either a Magic play or a lay-off situation. The key with inflated lines is isolating heavily lopsided public games in which you are receiving extra points to back the unpopular side. 

Today, we have another loaded all-day sweat with 4 NBA games, 16 MLB games and 5 NHL games. Let's discuss a trio of matchups receiving notable sharp action from respected bettors.  

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

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

Also tune in to The Lombardi Line with Brady Kannon and myself today. We'll be live from noon-1 p.m. ET breaking down all of Wednesday's sharp action across MLB, NBA, NHL and more. 

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


6:30 p.m. ET: Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics


The Celtics own a 1-0 series lead after earning a 109-101 victory in Game 1. Boston covered as a 6.5-point favorite and the game stayed under the total of 217. This Game 2 line opened with Boston listed as a 5.5-point favorite. Sharps immediately got down on Philadelphia at + 5.5, dropping the line all the way down to 4.5. This big variable here is the injury to Boston's Gordon Hayward. He sprained his ankle in the series opener and will be out for roughly four weeks. We've also seen some smart money hit the under, dropping the total down from 215 to 214.5. 

8:40 p.m. ET: Houston Astros (13-10) at Colorado Rockies (13-10)

The Astros beat the Rockies 2-1 yesterday, cashing as hefty -190 favorites. It marked the second straight victory for Houston over Colorado. The first two games of the series were played in Houston and now the next two will shift to Coors Field in Colorado. The Astros will start lefty Framber Valdez (1-2, 1.90 ERA) while the Rockies counter with rookie righty Ryan Castellani (0-0, 1.04 ERA). This Interleague showdown opened with Houston listed as a relatively heavy -150 road favorites and Colorado a + 140 home dog. Smart money has hammered the Astros, steaming this line up to Houston -170. Road favorites are cashing at roughly a 67% clip this season. 

10:30 p.m. ET: Vancouver Canucks vs St. Louis Blues

This best-of-seven series is tied at two games apiece. The Canucks raced out to a 2-0 lead (won 5-2 and 4-3) but then the defending champion Blues woke up and regained the momentum, winning the past two games to tie it up (won 3-2 and 3-1). This pivotal Game 5 line opened with St. Louis listed as a -130 favorite and Vancouver a + 120 dog. Sharp money has come down on the streaking Blues, pushing the line up to -140. Some books are inching closer to -145. So far this postseason, conference quarterfinals teams who made the postseason last year facing teams who missed the postseason the previous year have gone 8-4 (67%). This speaks to the importance of experience this time of year. The Blues are also the designated home team, which means they get the benefit of the last line change. 

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 NBA Live Odds Page for Vegas sportsbooks and for other legalized states

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