Big NBA Payday For Sportsbooks on Sunday (all In The Final Minute)

Myles ValentinContributor INovember 2, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01:  Kobe Bryant #24 (R)  of the Los Angeles Lakers is fouled by Zaza Pachulia #27 of the Atlanta Hawks during the NBA basketball game at Staples Center on November 1, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With most of the attention on the NFL and the World Series, sportsbooks queitly made a killing on three NBA games on Sunday. All of the dramatic action taking place in the final minute of play.


Celtics 97, Hornets 87

spread -11 BOS, 65% of money on Boston

Chris Paul and his Hornets kept the game close until the Celtics pulled away in the final three minutes of play. The game was out of reach for normal viewers, but bettors on both sides had a dramatic ending.

Okafor was sent to the line with 29 seconds left to go, hitting one free throw which put the score at 97-87. Celtics attempted to cover on the following possession with Ray Allen driving to the hoop, but the shot clock ran down and Okafor blocked his fellow UCONN alum's layup attempt.

Hornets cover by one point.

Nuggets 133, Grizzlies 123

spread -10.5 DEN, 75% of money on Denver

It was a high scoring affair in Denver and this one went down to the final minute for bettors.

Kenyon Martin fouled O.J. Mayo on a critical play, in which the second year player converted for a three point play that put the score at 129-121. Then the see saw battle began with Billups hitting two free throws after being intentionally fouled.

With Denver up 131-121 and 40 seconds left  Memphis called a timeout and made two key substitutions: Hamed Haddadi and Steven Hunter.

Haddadi would go on to block Joey Graham which then led to a Hunter dunk on the other side of the court.

Then Arron Afflalo broke the hearts of Nugget bettors by going for a two point shot instead of three.

He hit putting the score at 133-123, but the Nuggets failed to cover by half a point.


Lakers 118, Hawks 110

spread -8.5 LAL, 75% of money on Los Angeles

Lakers bettors were ecstatic going into the 4th quarter with the homeside up 98-76. That 13.5 cushion against the spread went away with the Hawks outscoring the Lakers 34-20 in the 4th quarter.

Attention should be paid to the final 1:41, where the Hawks managed to cover the spread by half a point with an 8-0 run to end the game. The Lakers however did their best to cover by attempting to hit from beyond the arc three times. All three attempts missed.


Sportsbooks make money by balancing out the action on both sides. Lines are set with the intention of producing this balance but sometimes the above situation occurs where the action is uneven.

With the majority of money on the Celtics, Nuggets, and Lakers, a cover by any of these teams would mean a loss for the books.

Fortunately by some divine intervention, the teams that needed to hit for sportsbooks, covered.

All by less than a point.

Sportsbooks build hotels, most people don't.

NBA, where amazing happens (for bookies)