Got my wires crossed yesterday for football writeups, but everything is aligned properly today and I have the latest info on the AFC title game. In other line moves, have a total of five from the NBA or college basketball. 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 on Thursday.
NBA – (503) MIAMI at (504) WASHINGTON 7:05 ET (side and total) SUN, CSMA
With Miami having lost five of six (2-4 ATS) and averaging only 87.8 PPG in the process, sports bettors have attacked the overnight line on the Heat. Starting a five-game road trip in Washington after losing to a miserable Milwaukee crew 91-79 last night, Miami is up from -2.5 to -4.5 and the total has drifted downward from 199 to 196.5. This quote sums up the Heat’s problems, “We obviously have to work on our mental toughness right now,” forward Chris Bosh said. “We’re kind of weak in that area.” The Wizards are coming off two home losses and are hardly thriving. Consider Washington is 11-22 ATS after failing to cover the spread in consecutive games and Miami is 17-5 UNDER after playing a game as a home favorite.
Betting Trend – 87% backing Washington and 59% on Under
Doug’s VPID Take – Miami covers and Under
NBA – (509) UTAH at (510) NEW YORK 7:35 ET (side and total) RTRM+, MSG
With Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis both hobbled, New York has been lowered from -4 to -2.5 against Utah and the total has tumbled in similar fashion from 188 to 186.5. Reports now have Anthony as ‘probable’, with no word on Porzingis, but nothing has yet to happen on either the side or the total with this information, which appears to suggest a less than 100 percent Carmelo will not a great impact on this contest. The total has more appeal as both teams defense has not been very strong in recent outings, which should relate to better looks at the basket. The side looks like crapshoot, thus a slight lean, with Utah only 6-14 SU on the road.
Betting Trend – 66% backing Under and 67% on New York
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Over, slight lean with New York
CBB – (531) WAKE FOREST at (532) NORTH CAROLINA 7:00 ET ESPN2
Let’s play Jeopardy! The answer is: Basketball bettors have lifted North Carolina two points to -18 at home over Wake Forest. The question is: How do the Demon Deacons keep up with the Tar Heels? North Carolina gave a rather laissez-faire effort against N.C. State, winning by 12 as 16-point home favorites despite having +9 turnover edge. Wake Forest will try and slow the shot clock some, but will want to make amends for embarrassing 28-point loss to Syracuse. The Heels are only 5-7 ATS handing out double digits this season and 1-10 ATS in last 11 ACC home tilts. Wake has come back strong off bad losses with 10-2 ATS record after a home beatdown of 20 or more points. Roy’s boys cover if they want to, just not sure they will.
Betting Trend – 75% backing North Carolina
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Wake Forest
NFL – Sunday (311) NEW ENGLAND at (312) DENVER 3:05 ET CBS
From a numbers perspective, the interesting aspect of New England being favored by -3 is the closing number of the last meeting two months ago was the Patriots were favored by -2.5, with Brock Osweiler Denver’s starting quarterback, not Peyton Manning. This sums up what oddsmakers think of the 39-year old Manning these days. Early in the week, four of every five bets placed were on the Patriots and over 60 percent had New England juiced at -3 (-120) or were at -3.5. Don’t expect this to move much by game time.
The total opened at 44 and a couple books went up to 44.5, otherwise, the market started relatively quiet. Again, this could go to 45, with New England backers believing their team will move the ball and not settle for field goals like Pittsburgh last week, being more efficient in the red zone.
My initial reaction to see the money line split on Monday night was a surprise, because the public always goes fishing trying to hit a longer shot in this situation. However, that has since changed with the Pats at around 75 percent to win the game for wagers.
Betting Trend – 75% backing New England and 58% on Over