12/30/2009 5:00 PM EST
By The Team at SportsInsights.com
Welcome to the NBA edition of Sports Marketwatch, wherethe Team at SportsInsights gives sports fans an unprecedented glimpse into the NBApoint-spread marketplace. If you ever wanted to know what was really happeningon the sportsbook side, you now have an all-access pass with Sports Marketwatch!Initially, the NBA Edition of Sports Marketwatch will be a weekly columnpublished on Wednesdays, normally around 5PM, Eastern Time.
The staff at SportsInsights.com analyzes the marketplace, and especially thesports betting industry’s largest and most reputable sportsbooks, to identifywhich games the public is chasing and which ones the Sharps are pounding. Let’stake a look at what’s in store for tonight’s NBA games.
SportsMarketplace – NBA Edition
Another week, another split for our NBA Edition of Sports Marketwatch. TheJazz spread the ball around well and had ten different players score pointsagainst the Miami heat. Unfortunately, half of them – including twostarters – scored 4 points or less, as Utah put up a stinker of a game, losing80-70. Our bigger underdog, the Thunder, who were getting 9 points whilevisiting the Suns, became the first Western Conference team to win outright atPhoenix this season. Young phenom Kevin Durant paced Oklahoma City with 38big points in the 117-113 victory.
2009-10 NBA Games to Watch: 7-12, 36.8%*
Atlanta hawks +6 over Cleveland Cavaliers
These two Eastern Conference giants played last night in Atlanta, andthey were on track for a barn-burner until the fourth quarter buzzer sounded,adding some metaphorical ice to both the Cavs’ veins and the Hawks’ jumpshots inone fell swoop. Atlanta scored only 10 points in the fourth quarter andlost by 11. Tonight they travel to Cleveland, where Ohioans will all beacting as witnesses to King James’ 25th birthday party. You might think aspecial occasion such as this would be a boon to the team, adding motivation andexcitement to what would otherwise be just 1 game out of 82. You wouldthink that, wouldn’t you? Well, I am here to tell you something… Thattheory is wrong. I was also born on December 30th, and it is the one dayall year that no one wants to party, preferring to save their energy andenthusiasm for tomorrow night. BronBron will clap his baby powder into theair, and Shaq might even snap some pretend pictures, but don’t get too excited.You’ve been warned.
Home-and-home match-ups like this are a great way to illustrate howquicklythe Public sways to and fro. Last night, despite getting 2+ points atmostbooks, only 56% of spread bets came down on Cleveland. Tonight, afterdominating yesterday’s fourth quarter, the Cavaliers opened up giving 6points to the visiting Hawks at both CRIS and Pinnacle. This time, 63%ofspread bets are on Cleveland. In spite of this action, we have seensolidreverse line movement across the sports marketplace, with most booksmoving downto Cleveland -5.5. Partially responsible is a Smart Money play fromBetOnline (+4.18 Units Won) this morning, and it triggered some Steam aswell.You can still find Atlanta getting 6 points at BetPhoenix, WSEX andBodog.Happy birthday, LeBron. And Tiger. And me.
Phoenix Suns -4.5 over Boston Celtics
The 2009 Sunsare entirely capable of beating the Celtics. Only 2 of their 12 lossesthis season have come at home, and they’re coming off a 15-point mashing of theLakers. So Steve Nash & Co. definitely could beat the Celtics. Butwe’re even more fond of their chances to defeat THESE Celtics. Boston, whohas been without Paul Pierce for a few games now, will also have to take thecourt tonight without Kevin Garnett and recently-returned Glen Davis.Shelden Williams is questionable too, so if Kendrick Perkins isn’t up to thetask of guarding Amar’e Stoudemire, the Eastern Conference leaders will be introuble. To keep up with Phoenix’s high-octane offense, they will likelyrely heavily on the perimeter shooting of Rasheed Wallace, Ray Allen and EddieHouse. That’s an arsenal some teams would kill for, but it’s far from afull-strength squad.
This game opened as a pick ’em at Pinnacle, and Boston received a smallmajority early spread bets. After Garnett was downgraded to doubtful,however, the line grew quickly toward Phoenix, stopping finally at -4.5.Despite a small positive move on Boston, attempting to buy back against theGarnett market reaction, we believe there is value to be found on Phoenixtonight. Boston is still receiving 52% of spread bets, 60% of moneylineand 55% of parlay wagers. Betting against the public and an extremelyshorthanded team looks like a smart bet to us. Take it soon, as the linemay grow as game time approaches.
Games to Watch: 7-12 = 36.8%
It should be an exciting night in the sports marketplace. Keep SportsMarketwatch picks handy and your browser pointed to SportsInsights.comfor thelatest real-time updates, using our exclusive Sports Investing tools.We’ll be back next Wednesday with the new edition of the SportsMarketwatch –NBA Edition.
Enjoy the games!
The Team at SportsInsights.com