Sports Marketwatch: NBA Playoffs Edition

Dan FabrizioSenior Analyst IApril 19, 2008

Sports Marketwatch
NBA Playoff Edition
4/19/2008 10:11AM EST

By The Team at

Welcome to this week's edition of the Sports Marketwatch – NBA Edition, where the Team at SportsInsights gives sports fans unprecedented insight into the NBA point-spread marketplace.

If you ever wanted to know what was really happening on the sportsbook side, you now have an all-access pass with Sports Marketwatch! The NBA Edition of the Sports Marketwatch will be published on Fridays, normally by 5 p.m. Eastern time. 

The staff at speaks directly with the line managers at some of the sports betting industry’s largest sportsbooks about which games the public is chasing and which the Sharps are pounding.

We’ll take a look at what’s in store for upcoming NBA games.

Sports Marketplace – NBA Playoff Edition

The Rockets won and Miami pushed last Friday, for a positive day 1-0-1 MarketWatch week.  Year-to-date performance is still nothing to write home about, but at least we’re closer to respectability. 

With the NBA Playoffs coming up, the Sports MarketWatch is looking forward to additional value in the NBA marketplace.  Historically, games of national attention and importance have more of a public following and add to the edge for sharp sports investors.

2007-08 NBA Games to Watch: 16-19-2 = 45.7%


Sports MarketWatch 4/19/08 – Playoff Games to Watch

Washington Wizards +3.5 over Cleveland Cavaliers (Saturday)

This is a No. 4 vs. No. 5 seed match-up, and it should be a great series.  The line opened appropriately for a close match-up: Cleveland -2.5 (Cleveland is home).

Perhaps due to the LeBron James factor, almost 70 percent of the bets are coming in on Cleveland. 

Currently, most books are staying in the 2.5- to 3-point spread range.  However, there are some 3.5’s appearing.  We’ll “bet against the public” and take the 3.5 points in this potential dogfight of a game.

Washington Wizards +3.5

Toronto Raptors +6.5 over Orlando Magic (Sunday)

A huge 80 percent of the bets are coming in on Orlando.  Orlando coasted into first place in their division while Toronto finished the regular season at .500. 

Orlando finished with a 25-16 home record while Toronto had a 16-25 road record.  On the surface, the 6.5 points seems like a soft line.

However, these are the types of games and “trap” lines where there is value on the “other side!”  The sportsbooks seem eager to take action on Orlando -6.5 and are leaving the line steady even with the steady barrage of public bets on Orlando. 

We believe that there is some smart (and big) money balancing the public action on Orlando.  We’ll bet against the public and take the side of the sportsbooks. 

Toronto Raptors +7  Skybook

Denver Nuggets +8.5 over LA Lakers (Sunday)

People are already talking about a Lakers-Celtics final, but there is a lot of basketball to be played before the NBA Finals roll in.

The Lakers finished with the best record in the Western Conference.  Partly due to their hot play near the end of the season, and partly due to the public’s love of superstars like Kobe Bryant, the Lakers are collecting almost three of every four bets in Game One of their series with Denver. 

With almost 75 percent of the bets landing on the Lakers, the line actually decreased from the opener of Lakers -9 to -8.  Our sportsbook contacts told us this game had some big bets coming in on Denver.

Our readers know this is our cue: we’ll join the “smart money” and “bet against the public.”  The Lakers might be the “best of the West” – but the point spread is a great equalizer! 

Denver Nuggets +8.5 Matchbook

Games to Watch: 16-19-2 = 45.7%

Washington Wizards +3.5

Toronto Raptors +7  Skybook

Denver Nuggets +8.5  Matchbook

It should be another exciting weekend in the sports marketplace.  Keep Sports MarketWatch picks handy and your browser pointed to for the latest real-time updates, using our exclusive Sports Investing tools.

We’ll be back next Friday with the new edition of the Sports Marketwatch – NBA Edition.

Enjoy the games!

The Team at