Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Lakers Forward LeBron James
- The Lakers visit Portland to take on the Trailblazers (10:30 p.m. ET on TNT) in LeBron James' first game with his new team.
- Sports Insights' Bet Signals reveal how sharps have moved this line over the past 24 hours.
LeBron James will make his debut with the Los Angeles Lakers tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers (10:30 p.m. ET on TNT).
Offshore sportsbook BetOnline initially opened this game as a pick ’em around 1 p.m. ET Wednesday before adjusting to Blazers -2 a couple of hours later. The rest of the market opened Portland -2.5, and by 5 p.m. ET, the line was up to -3.
It didn’t stop there.
Even though the Lakers are receiving 64% of spread bets, Sports Insights’ Bet Signals — which track professional betting action in real time — triggered a Reverse Line Move on the Blazers early Thursday morning that pushed the line to -3.5 at essentially every offshore book.
A couple of Vegas books remained at 3, perhaps due to their proximity to Los Angeles and possibly because they fear an onslaught at Lakers +3.5.
It appears that some folks woke up and liked the value with the Lakers at +3.5. Sports Insights’ Bet Signals triggered a Steam Move on LA at 9:20 a.m. ET, pushing the line back to +3.
The see-sawing continued in the afternoon, as steam once again hit the Blazers to push them back to -3.5.
Our NBA betting power rankings appear to side with the public on this one.
The Lakers, who are ranked 9th, have about a 2.5-point advantage over the 16th-ranked Blazers. If you factor in home-court advantage, this game would be around a pick’ em, right where BetOnline initially opened the line.
In LeBron’s first game with the Heat, Miami opened -2, closed -1, and received 58% of bets before ultimately losing, 88-80, at Boston.
The Heat went 40-41-1 against the spread (ATS) that season.
That loss was nothing compared to King James’ first game back with the Cleveland Cavaliers. A whopping 77% of bettors took the Cavs against the Knicks, moving the line from Cleveland -10.5 to -13.
The Cavaliers lost to the Knicks outright and ultimately finished 39-43 ATS on the season.
How do you think his debut with the Lakers will go?