The beginning of Game 1 of the NBA Finals was exhilarating but Golden State quickly pulled away in the second half, ultimately winning 113-91 and easily covering the closing spread of -7.5. We did track sharp money on Golden State in the opener, where they got less than 50% of spread bets but moved from -7 to -7.5.
For Game 2, the Warriors were listed at -7 on the lookahead line before the series, but had moved to -9 before Game 1 even ended (via 5Dimes). The market recognized how much better the Warriors were in Game 1, and moved their line accordingly. Public bettors are also very reactive, so there was little doubt that bettors would be taking Golden State in Game 2 after seeing their Game 1 performance. The sportsbooks were right and more than 70% of early spread bets took the Warriors where they’re currently -8.5/-9.
But are bettors possibly overlooking LeBron and his 42-26 ATS record after a playoff loss? Perhaps, but the Warriors recent play is even more impressive, winning 28 of 29 games and covering 21 of them ATS. Since sportsbooks had to increase the line on Game 2, bets have started to come in on Cleveland, and they’re now getting nearly 40% of spread tickets. We’ve triggered five reverse-line moves on the Cavs at +9, but only at that number. This highlights that sharp bettors are looking for the best number possible.
It’s been a successful strategy to fade the public in the playoffs, but only in the Conference Finals and NBA Finals. If you’re looking to bet Cleveland, make sure you get the best price possible. Our Line Predictor and Line Watcher tools help bettors do just that.
As for the O/U, the lookahead total was 225.5 for all games in the series, but following Game 1 those all came down. Currently the total for Game 2 is 220.5 and the majority of money on the total is coming in on the Under, similar to what we saw in Game 1. You can track all the latest odds, percentages, injuries, ref assignments and more here.
2017 Playoff Trends
Visitors 47-27 ATS (+18 units)
Favorites 42-32 ATS (+8 units)
Overs 44-30 (+12 units)
If you want something fun to track during the series, Bills RB LeSean McCoy posted his Warriors -320 ticket to win the series before Game 1. Good luck, Shady.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) June 4, 2017
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