NBA Betting Market Report (Thursday, Dec. 12): Line Movement, Sharp Action on All 4 Games

NBA Betting Market Report (Thursday, Dec. 12): Line Movement, Sharp Action on All 4 Games article feature image

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Hassan Whiteside

You might be familiar with Action Network through our content, but we also provide a host of tools for bettors, season-long fantasy players and DFS fanatics. One I want to highlight in this piece is Sports Insights’ live odds page, which allows you to see real-time odds movement and how lines are moving.

As a bettor, it’s not only interesting but important to note where sharp money is coming in on a game. Sometimes a team will get 70% of the spread bets, but the line will actually move drastically in the favor of the other team.

Aligning yourself on the side of smart bettors — or just making sure you’re not consistently on the square side — can be invaluable for those looking to step up their betting game.

In this piece, I’ll walk through both NBA games on the schedule tonight and show how to use the Sports Insights tools to analyze line movement and why the movement has occurred. For reference, here are a few phrases I’ll use, if you aren’t familiar with them:

  • Steam move: Sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the entire sports betting marketplace. Steam is the result of a sudden overload of money placed at multiple sportsbooks and, in most cases, occurs due to betting groups, betting syndicates and a few key players with the resources to “get down heavily” at multiple locations, all at once.
  • Reverse line movement: Betting line movement that contradicts the public betting percentages

Odds as of Thursday afternoon and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.

76ers at Celtics

  • Spread: 76ers -1.5
  • Over/Under: 211.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT

Kemba and Tatum vs. Simmons and Embiid. We’re in for quite a treat in TNT’s first matchup of the evening.

The 76ers actually opened as underdogs on the road in this spot at +1.5 but have since been pounded by sharp bettors. We initially tracked a steam move on the 76ers at +1.5 when it opened, but bettors even found value on Philly as a small favorite, hitting again at -1.

This is a classic Joes vs. Pros affair: 63% of the bets so far are on Boston, but Philly is getting 60% of the money, highlighting the sharp action.

Of note, there was a steam move on the Celtics at +2 shortly after the Sixers announced Al Horford was questionable to suit up. That pushed the line back to Sixers -1 and it’s since settled in at -1.5.

The over is getting the majority of tickets and money, and there haven’t been any steam moves on the total.

Steam moves tracked: Sixers +1.5, Sixers -1, Celtics +2

[In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at FanDuel]

Cavaliers at Spurs

  • Spread: Spurs -11.5
  • Over/Under: 219
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: League Pass

There’s been little action on the spread in this one. Right after odds were posted, sharp bettors hit the Spurs at -10, pushing it to -11.5. It dipped to -11 for a very short period of time but has settled back at -11.5 for most of the day.

There’s been much more action on the total, although sharp bettors seem to be split on this one. There were steam moves earlier in the day on over 219.5 and 219, but then there were two steam moves on the under, both at 220.

The public is all in on the under, which is getting an astounding 68% of the bets and 93% of the money.

Steam moves tracked: Spurs -10, Over 219.5, Over 219, Under 220, Under 220
[In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at FanDuel]

Mavericks at Pistons

  • Spread: Mavericks -6.5
  • Over/Under: 219.5
  • Time: 9 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: League Pass

Interestingly most of the action on the spread in this game occurred before the Pistons announced Andre Drummond was questionable to play. The first steam move was on the Pistons at +5.5 and shortly after there was one on the Mavericks at -5.

After the Drummond news, there was a steam move on the Mavericks at -5.5, which pushed it to -7. It’s since settled at -6.5.

The over/under has been all over the place, and we’ve tracked two steam moves, both on the under at 219 and 220 (the latter after the injury news).

Steam moves tracked: Pistons +5.5, Mavs -5, Under 219, Mavs -5.5, Under 220
[In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at FanDuel]

Blazers at Nuggets

  • Spread: Nuggets -6.5
  • Over/Under: 214.5
  • Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT

The public in this one is all over the Nuggets, who are getting 63% of the bets and 84% of the money. Sharps seem to be less enthused, however, as we’ve tracked just one steam move when things opened at Nuggets -5.5.

The over/under is a little boring, too. There was a steam move on over 213, which pushed things back up to the opening number of 214, but since then we’ve seen zero action.

Neither of these teams are reliable, and it seems the sharps are staying away — at least so far.

You can stay up to date on all market moves at Sports Insights.

Steam moves tracked: Nuggets -5.5, Over 213
[In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana or West Virginia? Bet now at FanDuel]

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