Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, April 27, 2012 at 3:45 PM
There’s been a lot of activity in the first few hours since NBA series prices went up. We wanted to provide this breaking bulletin about some very clear sharp preferences in the postseason. Remember that the public doesn’t bet series prices as a general rule. If they do, it’s after they’ve been up for awhile because squares don’t sit in sportsbooks waiting to bet the minute odds go up! The moves we’ve seen in these first few hours are all sharp moves.
We start with MEMPHIS, who is one of the two most important movers of the day in terms of projected win percentage. The Grizzlies opened as a -150 favorite over the LA Clippers, but were bet up to -200 because sharps think this team is primed for a very strong playoff run. Note that this is a leap from 60% to win the series up to 67% to win the series. Though Chris Paul of the Clippers as an individual star is respected by many sharps we’ve talked to, Memphis is seen as the much superior team in terms of playoff style basketball.
BOSTON is also a big mover, opening at -140 in their series with Atlanta before being bet up to -185 by the Wise Guys. That’s a rise in win percentage of 58% to 65%. Even though the Celtics don’t have home court advantage in this series, they were 24-10 in the second half of the season and had the look of a championship contender. Sharps jumped all over that low early price.
Those were the two most important movers of the day. In the other matchups:
INDIANA opened at -700 and was bet up to -900 in their series with Orlando. Sharps were quick to treat the Pacers as favorites similar to Chicago and Miami even though theirs is just a 3-6 matchup in the brackets. Both the game pointspread and series prices jumped off the openers. Note that Indiana’s projected series win percentage went from 87.5% to 90% as a result.
UTAH is getting support as a dog in their series with San Antonio. What looks like a huge move in raw numbers is actually just a small move in win percentage. San Antonio opened -2500, but is now just -2000. That’s just a drop from 96% to 95% in projected win percentage though. Sharps thought the Jazz offered value at the very high line.
There hasn’t been much interest in the Denver/Lakers series, with an opener in the range of -230 to -240 largely standing pat. Sharps weren’t interested in betting the Lakers or taking a position on them with Metta World Peace out of the lineup. Denver didn’t inspire enthusiasm at dog prices.
The very first numbers up for Miami were in the -1200 range against the Knicks. That got hit down…and most places are around -900 to -1000 as we go to press. We saw the same thing with Chicago and Philadelphia….with Chicago being a prohibitive favorite, but the line coming down a smidge because sharps thought oddsmakers were a little high.
Oklahoma City went up first at -600 vs. Dallas. That’s come down a bit to the -500 to -550 range. That’s the same story at a slightly smaller rate.
It’s telling that sharps were either “pass” or “dog” for the most part…but VERY strong on Memphis and Boston as favorites. That’s at the heart of why we posted this special bulletin. Sharps were shouting with a megaphone that they loved Memphis and Boston. We wanted to make sure readers of VSM got the message.
We’ll be back with you either very late Friday or early Saturday to look at what sharps are thinking in the first four games of the NBA postseason. A special report will go up very late Saturday or early Sunday for a similar look at the last four series openers. It’s critical to monitor sharp action in the NBA playoffs because their consensus sentiment is generally more on target than that of the oddsmakers.
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