Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, April 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM
We’ve reached the first day of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. As promised we’re here to review what sharps (professional bettors in Las Vegas) are thinking about Saturday’s postseason showdowns. We’ll be back up late Saturday or early Sunday to do the same thing for Day Two of the weekend thrills.
Let’s take the games in schedule order.
PHILADELPHIA AT CHICAGO
Not much interest in this game from sharps. The game opened Chicago -8.5 and 175.5. As we go to press, it’s sitting on those exact same numbers in many stores. We are seeing some nine’s out there, representing limited Bulls support. For the most part, the Wise Guys think the oddsmakers had it right here. We are hearing that some of the totals guys had hoped to go Under, but oddsmakers anticipated that with this very low total. There was no interest in the dog, which tells you something because sharps tend to prefer dogs and Unders as a general rule. The Sixers are a team sharps aren’t looking to invest in during this series unless they show some signs of life today. Philadelphia has a losing record since the All-Star Break, and a very poor record vs. winning teams this season.
NEW YORK AT MIAMI
Similar story here, with a pricey favorite not generating underdog money. And, again, a few stores showed a half-point tick toward the favorite, as Miami opened at -8.5 with the random nine out there if you shop. The total is down a half a point from an opener of 187 to 186.5. Sharps are telling us they expect a slow tempo overall for the series, but are concerned that New York may make enough three-pointers to counteract that.
In the first matchup, we told you that sharps weren’t interested in Philly until they see something. That’s not quite the case here. We understand there are sharps looking to bet New York, but are hoping that public money may take the line up on game day. Squares (the general public) usually like betting Miami as favorites…and squares come out of the woodwork to bet the playoffs. Sometimes a lack of action on a game means sharps like the underdog but are playing the waiting game.
ORLANDO AT INDIANA
Clear sharp indicators here as an opener of Indiana -8 was bet up to -9 out of the gate. You longtime regulars know that sharps bet favorites quickly when they like them because they know the public will come in on favorites closer to game time. Sharps hit Indiana -8 and Indiana -8.5. It’s also telling that there wasn’t a buy back on Orlando +9 when the line moved up there. Sharps like Indiana in this game, and in this series. This might surprise some of you…but the pricing so far makes it clear that sharps expect Indiana to be just as dominant over Orlando as Chicago is over Philadelphia, even though one is a 3-6 series and the other is 1-8.
The total has shown some interest on the Over, with an opener of 191 moving up to 191.5. Without Dwight Howard in the middle, Orlando’s defense may have big troubles in this series. That’s what a combo of Indiana and Over is suggesting to you from sharp action.
DALLAS AT OKLAHOMA CITY
Nothing on the team side here, as Oklahoma City opened at -7.5 and stayed there. Clearly sharps don’t like the favorite. Is there delayed dog interest here, or is this a pure pass? Oklahoma City has star players, but isn’t yet a public team in terms of support at this kind of price. So, this is likely a team side pass for sharps…though, if the public DOES come in on OKC you can expect sharp interest in Dallas +8.
The total has dropped a point from 194 to 193, which sticks out like a sore thumb so far with so many half point or none moves. The favorite total on the day from the math guys is this Under. The favorite team side on the day from sharps was Indiana over Orlando.
See you again well before Sunday’s games tip-off to let you know what the Wise Guys are doing on Game Two. Things will get really interesting throughout the week as sharps start to bet the ebb and flow strategies while oddsmakers try to guard against it. If you’re new to sports betting, get ready for a very intense education about the market process in these next few weeks.
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