How Has Sharp Money Affected the Jazz-Warriors Game 1 Line?
After sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round, the Golden State Warriors (71-15 SU, 44-40 ATS) will begin their second-round series against the Utah Jazz (55-34 SU, 40-44 ATS) tonight at the Oracle Arena. The Jazz may be feeling fatigued after defeating the Clippers in Game 7 of their first-round series on Sunday, while the Warriors should be rested following their week-long layoff.
With all of their key players finally healthy, the Warriors are clearly the cream of the crop in the NBA. Bookmaker, one of the sharpest offshore sportsbooks, lists Golden State at -4300 to advance past the Jazz, -465 to win the Western Conference and -285 to win the NBA Championship. Not surprisingly, they opened as huge favorites in tonight’s matchup.
After opening as 12.5-point favorites at Bookmaker, public bettors immediately hammered the Warriors, with 61% of spread tickets and 85% of parlay/teaser tickets taking the home favorite. With public money pouring in on the chalk, Bookmaker was forced to adjust the spread from Golden State -12.5 to -13.5. After public money artificially inflated the line, sharp money buyback on the Jazz caused the line to move from Golden State -13.5 to -12.5.
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“We’ve seen both sides of the betting spectrum on Golden State tonight, so we have large liability there at this point,” stated Scott Cooley, a spokesman from Bookmaker. “[We] attracted a little bit of Jazz money momentarily at +13.5, but not much. The total is a split with the public siding with the over and the wiseguys on the under.”
Casual bettors live their life by the mantra “life’s too short to bet unders” and seem to exclusively bet the over. This tendency has historically created value on the under, and that edge is magnified during the playoffs as more casual bettors enter the marketplace. Since 2005, the under has hit at a 50.3% rate during the regular season and a 51.8% rate during the postseason.
At the time of publication, 79% of tickets and 87% of money had taken the over, but the total had actually dropped from 208 to 206.5. This 1.5-point reverse line movement confirms Cooley’s assertion that sharp money has been pounding the under.
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As you can see from the line graph, the total for Game 1 was posted on Sunday evening and remained unchanged until late on Monday morning when there was a Pinnacle steam move and reverse line movement alert triggered on the under, which caused the total to drop from 208 to 207 at Bookmaker.
Pinnacle caters to professional bettors, which means they take higher limits and therefore have sharper line moves. That’s one of the reasons why bet signals triggered at market-setting sportsbooks like CRIS and Pinnacle are consistently profitable across all six major US sports. The Pinnacle NBA steam move has gone 369-317 (53.8%) for totals this season and 1,752-1,539 (53.2%) since their inception in 2007.
It’s also worth noting that although the Warriors are renowned for their explosive offensive firepower, they were actually tied for the best under record (50-32) during the regular season. Despite that impressive performance, the majority of tickets were placed on the under in just 4 of 82 games.
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