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Submitted by Richie Baccellieri on Monday, May 28, 2018 at 1:00 PM

There’s not much mystery to how the Wise Guys are betting Game Seven of the Western Conference Finals Monday Night, nor much mystery about who they expect to win the NBA Finals that begin Thursday.

Ever since Chris Paul limped off the floor with a hamstring injury last Thursday night, it was assumed by serious bettors that the series was over. Even though Houston led 3-2 at the time…the Rockets were going to be huge dogs on the road in Game Six without Paul. No expectation yet that Paul will be able to return and contribute much in Game Seven.

*The opener for Game Seven was Golden State -4, which was already a big market swing from previous games in Houston. The Rockets were -1.5 or -2 in the first two games, which they split. Then, from pick-em to plus one in Game Five, which they won. So, even though Houston was 2-1 straight up at a composite line around pick-em, they still opened +4 at home even though Paul had a couple days rest.

*Sharps POUNDED the opener as fast as they could. A combination of sharp and square money lifted Golden State to -5, to -6, and then to -6.5, where it sits as I write this up for you. That very clearly suggests the Wise Guys don’t think Paul will play, or will be unable to move quickly enough on the court if he gives it a go.

*Sharps also POUNDED the UNDER, with the opener of 210 falling down to as low as 207 at the moment. Quants don’t see how Houston will score on this active Golden State defense without Paul distributing the ball and hitting the occasional trey. Don’t forget that Houston only reached 86 points in Game Six even while hitting 15 three-pointers. That games stayed Under by about a dozen points, in a series that’s only had one Over through six games.

Nothing says “Paul won’t matter” more than respected money aggressively fading the Rockets and going Under. You’ll note that sharps struck early, knowing that the public would also want the Warriors. Golden State has a big following with locals in Nevada, both in Las Vegas and Reno.

Will there be any buy back before tip-off? Oddsmakers do believe that Houston money would come in at +7 if the number goes that high. Particularly if there are signs Paul is going to try to play. But, old school dog lovers would still like to know his status before investing. If Paul is ruled OUT of the game before tip-off, more favorite money might come in…and any tug-of-war would commence even higher. Maybe with dog bettors waiting to see +7.5 before coming in.

We might see some totals guys take the Over at 207, just because it’s an 18-point drop from where the series started. Was that a “correction,” or an “over-correction?” Time will tell. The last three games have landed on 187, 192, and 201. If it falls below 207 midday, some old school guys will try the Over just on principle. They’ll say “there’s no way the totals earlier in the series were THAT wrong.”

I won’t be back with you until Thursday (moving the schedule up a day so we can talk about series prices for the NBA Finals and Game One). It’s safe to assume already that…

*Golden State will be a heavy favorite over Cleveland

*Houston would be a favorite over Cleveland with an upset and Paul’s return

*Houston would be a dog to Cleveland if the Rockets upset Golden State without Paul, and Paul is expected to be sidelined for several days.

These last two lines for Golden State over shorthanded Houston (-12 at home and -6.5 on the road) are about what we would have seen in a Golden State/Boston series (maybe a touch too high). Cleveland was favored over Boston to advance, and would be slightly above shorthanded Houston because LeBron James would be the best all-around player on the floor and Kevin Love would be returning from his concussion.

I know who I like Monday night, and how I’ll likely bet the Finals. You can purchase daily BEST BETS from your friend in Las Vegas right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions call the VSM office at 1-888-777-4155. Be sure to ask about long term packages that offer the best value. Those are available for the NBA, or for Major League Baseball.

Are you wearing your Vegas Golden Knights jersey? There everywhere you go in Las Vegas, with the NHL Finals beginning Monday night here in the sports betting capital of the world. Ticket takers at the betting windows are adorned in their VGK gear. The Statue of Liberty outside New York, New York has been wearing a huge jersey for weeks. Celine Dion wore one on stage the other night. Sports books are going to lose several million dollars if the Golden Knights win the series because of futures betting. When you think you’ve seen everything…there’s always something new to come along and surprise you.

Thanks for reading. Your friend in Las Vegas will talk to you again Thursday around lunch time.

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