Today’s line moves include three from the NBA and a look at the latest from the Super Bowl. We are passing on college basketball only because the two biggest line moves involve Villanova and Wichita State as large favorites and the fact is they have the talent to cover the numbers and do so if they are inclined. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (Slight leans no longer graded), to see what we are thinking. See you back here tomorrow.
NBA – (507) DETROIT at (508) BOSTON 7:35 ET FSD, CSN-NE
Intriguing line movement on this contest, with the total dipping from 210 to 207.5. Why I say this is because both teams are trending the opposite way. Detroit despite a plethora of injuries is on 7-1-1 OVER move, including the past four, while Boston 8-4-1 OVER during its recent stretch of playing very good basketball. It appears NBA bettors are taking into consideration the last two meetings which happened in the past six weeks, when neither team reached the century mark and both contests went below the number. If you look at the average scores on the season with the Pistons on the road and the Celtics at home, both come in at 203 total points or less, making the UNDER a solid value.
Betting Trend – 76% backing Under
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Under
NBA – (511) GOLDEN STATE at (512) WASHINGTON 8:05 ET ESPN
With Golden State the darlings of the Association, they attract daily attention both on the side and total. For this Warriors road tilt, it is the total where the action is, up from 224 to 225.5. In Golden State’s last five away games, they have permitted 101 points a game, which is more than five points below season average when on the road. This signifies two things, improved defensive commitment by Curry and company and opposing teams dealing with the pressure of trying to keep up scoring wise and missing shots. While Washington is 23rd in points allowed at 105, the Warriors have been consistent in scoring about 115 PPG. Though I would truly like to go against the public, Golden State is 11-2 OVER away after playing a game as a road favorite this season.
Betting Trend – 80% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Over
NBA – (513) MIAMI at (514) DALLAS 8:35 ET SUN, FSSW
Miami’s No.2 scoring defense was no match for Houston last night, giving up 115 points to the Rockets in defeat. Heading west to Dallas, the total in the Heat and Mavericks matchup has crumbled from 194.5 to 192. On the season, Miami allows just 96 PPG and the Mavs have been more off target of late in scoring only 95.6 PPG in their last five outings. This totals movement is supported by the Heat at 20-3 UNDER after a combined score of 205 points or more.
Betting Trend – 80% Backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Play Under
SB50 – (101) CAROLINA vs. (102) DENVER 6:30 ET CBS
As has become the norm, the actual starting point of the Super Bowl line has become murky, with lots of reports, presumably all factual, but the playing field is not level. In doing our best to find the facts, sportsbooks who wanted the first number out, they made Carolina a 5.5-point favorite. (Interesting to note, one unnamed oddsmaker was quoted as saying “Carolina would have been -3.5 (over Denver), but was moved to -5.5 after blowing out Arizona, to feed public perception.”)
Later, after the books took bets from limited bettors, with limits on wagers made, the “official” line was Carolina -4, with a total of 45.
Not unexpected, Carolina has been bet up to -6 at most wagering outlets. Early betting like this is usually what books call “squares” or normal bettors who prefer favorites and OVER’s on totals. In checking, most sportsbooks were primarily taking Panthers money, which has forced the books to keep raising the number, with nearly 80 percent of bets placed on Ron Rivera’s club the first week.
The two driving forces are the perception Carolina is the better team and Cam Newton is the superior quarterback. Impossible to argue with either situation and let’s remember Denver was fortunate to get top seed, with New England losing at Miami in Week 17 and the Broncos pulling off a rare victory over San Diego that same day in spite of -4 turnover differential.
With the Panthers this large a favorite, many sharps were sitting on the sidelines hoping the number went to 6.5 or 7, looking to get Denver at that price, which would seem to be great value, considering they have the NFL’s best defensive team. This also set up the potential to be on both sides of a key number like 6.
Regardless, people are suckers for a good story and with Peyton Manning expected to retire, having this kind of defense, backed with sentiment of -fairy tale- ending, just like the person who brought him in to play quarterback, John Elway, this will be too good for many to pass up and look for closing number of -4.5 or -5.
The total’s open of 45 had seen a minor push to 45.5, which was anticipated. Since, 45 is where 70 percent of the books are. The total is a function of how you view the game. If you prefer Denver, chances are the UNDER is more appealing because of their defense, how they are expected to run the ball and Carolina’s stop troops also being exceptional.
If you like Carolina, hard to ignore 13-5 OVER record, with the No.1 scoring offense and check this out: The Panthers are 7-0 OVER after a game with a turnover margin of +2 or better this season and what we found fascinating is they allowed 22.6 PPG in those contests.
Betting Trend – 70% backing Carolina and 69% on Over