Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, April 28, 2012 at 8:45 PM
Back as promised to see what sharps are thinking about Sunday’s NBA Playoff action. We’ll also have a note at the end about sharp reaction to the torn knee ligament suffered by Derrick Rose Saturday in the Philadelphia-Chicago game.
Going in schedule order…
UTAH AT SAN ANTONIO
Not much interest in this game, as many bettors tend to leave alone games with double digit spreads in playoff action. As good as San Antonio has been for more than a decade, they never became a “public” team because they didn’t have a charismatic star like Kobe Bryant or LeBron James grabbing headlines. An opener of Spurs -10.5 hasn’t moved at all. The total went up at 207, and is now 207 or 207.5 as we go to press.
The guys we’re talking too say it’s dog or pass for the Wise Guys, with the opinion that some sharps are waiting to see if they might get +11 before tipoff. Mostly a pass, with many (we hear) planning on taking Utah in Game Two at a high price if they lose game one as expected.
DENVER AT LA LAKERS
The Lakers opened at -4.5, and we’re currently seeing either that line or -5. Sharps who like Denver typically moved on the series price rather than the opening price here. A bet on Denver in the series is a virtual bet on the team to win one of the first two games straight up on the road. Any additional bets on Denver is just doubling action on the same team.
Squares (the general public) like betting Kobe at affordable prices in the playoffs. This is going to strike many of them as affordable. So, we may see a move to -5 or -5.5 on game day from dumb money, that is then followed by sharp action on the dog.
The total has dropped a point from 202.5 to 201.5, which we hear is from the math guys.
BOSTON AT ATLANTA
Clear support from sharps on the combination of Boston and the Under. An opener of Atlanta -2 has been bet down to Atlanta -1.5 The total opened at 180, but is down to 178.5. Well, that TOTAL is one of the big movers of the day. But, there’s clearly sentiment here that Boston is the better side, and they’re going to win with defense.
We should note that Boston was a popular bet with sharps at the series price. Again, hitting the Celtics here is just doubling up a previous bet. If you got down what you wanted on the series, you don’t need to step in again at a line so close to pick-em. Sharps tell us they really like what they’ve been seeing defensively with this Celtics group down the stretch…and that keyed the Under play.
LA CLIPPERS AT MEMPHIS
Big move on Memphis, which opened at -3.5 and jumped up to -5 and -5.5 right away. This was a case where the openers struck sharps as so far off that they HAD to come in on both the series price and the Game One line. Home court advantage is generally worth three in the NBA playoffs, though it will sometimes be given more weight in if there’s a big geographic spread between cities. We certainly have that here. If you think Memphis is the better team, then the opener of -3.5 was obviously too small!
The total opened at 185, and is down to 184. Memphis plays a slow physical game when things are going well for them in the playoffs. This total move was part of the general support for the Grizzlies.
The first number up for Tuesday’s Chicago-Philadelphia rematch was Bulls -5.5. That suggests at least an oddsmakers view that Derrick Rose is worth three points. Sharps we’re talking too think that overstates the case, at least against a soft opponent like Philadelphia. Remember that Chicago barely lost a step this year when Rose missed significant time with other injuries. But, we’re hearing that the Wise Guys may wait until Games 3-4 before registering their support for Chicago.
It may take a game for the players to get over the shock of losing Rose. In terms of the series, they’re still the much better team. Sharps are telling us that the “right” number should be Chicago by 6.5 or -7 at home without Rose, and -2 to -3 on the road without him. Actually, a few have the numbers even higher than that. The consensus is in those ranges.
You pretty much know how what sharps are thinking about the first two games in these series since the home sites don’t change. We’ll be back in a few days to talk about sharp reactions to the site switches before Game Three’s.
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