12/23/2009 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
As our sister article, the NCAA Basketball Edition, beginsto pick up steam after a slow start to the season, we here at theNBA Marketwatch are looking to do the same. It didn’t quite happenlast week, though, as Minnesota was outscored by 13 in both the 2nd and 4thquarters, ultimately losing 120-95. The Thunder were within 3 points ofDallas going into the fourth quarter, but a couple of calls went the wrong wayand they couldn’t muster the cover at home, losing 100-86. Our final gameis where the turnaround starts. David West had 32 points and 12 boards asthe Hornets won by eight at home against Detroit.
2009-10 NBA Games to Watch: 6-11, 35.3%*
Utah Jazz+1 over Miami Heat
Everyone knows thatUtah is a perennial juggernaut in Salt Lake City, but their struggles onthe road have continued in 2009 as they’ve posted a 5-8 away record. TheHeat have been an uninspiring team all-around thus far, and though Miami’s arenaisn’t the towel-waving frenzy it was circa 2006, they have to be disappointedwith an 8-8 home record. Dwayne Wade and Deron Williams have both hadminor injuries of late, so each team may need peripheral players to step uptheir performances.
The Heat opened as 2-point favorites at both CRIS andPinnacle,and the Public is strongly in their corner. Miami is receiving73% of spread bets as well as 62% of “junk bets” such asparlays and teasers, but their line hasn’t responded accordingly. In fact, Utah has been theteam to lose points, and are down to a pick at most offshore books. Welove significant reverse line movement, and especially when its partner is astrong Smart Money play. Tonight’s is from Bet Phoenix (23-15, +7.01 Units). Look around and you canstill find the Jazz and a point at a few books.
Oklahoma City Thunder +9 over PhoenixSuns
The Thunder have been making a valiant effort the last weekand a half, but the schedule-makers were not kind to Oklahoma City in advance ofthe winter holidays. They’ve played against the Cavaliers and Mavericks aswell as at Nuggets and Lakers. Tonight they visit a Phoenix team verylikely angry after being recently blown out at home by the Cavs.The Suns have come back to Earth after a lightning-hot start, posting only a 4-7record in the month of December. Kevin Durant’s production has also wanedof late. The NBA’s fourth-leading scorer (27.3ppg) has been heldunder 14 points twice in the last five games.
Phoenix opened as 8-pointfavorites and have grown to -9 nearly across the board as they receive 58% ofspread, 60% of moneyline and 69% of parlay bets. They certainly have thestyle to win by double digits if they are playing well, and Oklahoma Citywill hope to avoid getting into an up-and-down game with them. Still, quickshots can also lead to inefficiency on offense, and we have seen some marketindicators that fading the Suns is the sharp play. Two Smart Money plays -from Bet Phoenix (+7.01) and BetOnline (+7.36) have been triggered on theyoung Thunder, and we agree.
Oklahoma City +9
Games to Watch: 6-11 = 35.3%
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