Stephen Curry. Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
- Sharps are betting a pair of NBA games on Thursday night, headlined by Milwaukee Bucks-Golden State Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT).
- Wiseguys are also getting down on Los Angeles Clippers-Portland Trail Blazers (10 p.m. ET, NBC Sports NW).
The 2018-19 NBA season is now three weeks old. So far, it’s been a profitable start for contrarian bettors. Overall, dogs have gone 84-75 against the spread (ATS).
Meanwhile, teams getting less than 40% of spread bets have gone 53-40 (57%) ATS, winning +10.69 units. Tonight, sharp bettors see a small board offering a pair of valuable contrarian opportunities.
After analyzing Thursday’s four-game slate using Sports Insights’ Sportsbook Insider Pro betting tools, I’ve pinpointed two NBA bets that professionals are focusing on, starting at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. ET.
Betting Terms to Know
Steam Move: Sudden, drastic and uniform line movement across the market caused by an overload of sharp action from respected players.
Reverse Line Movement: When the betting line moves in the opposite direction of the betting percentages. It’s a top smart money indicator.
Line Freeze: When one side is getting heavy betting, but the line won’t budge, indicating sharp liability on the other side.
Juice: The tax or commission that bettors must pay sportsbooks in order for them to accept your wager. A -115 juice means a bettor would have to wager $115 to win $100.
Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers
10 p.m. ET
Sharp angle: Clippers (+5.5)
The public loves favorites, home teams and teams laying short spreads. They also love betting teams with better records than their opponents. Damian Lillard and the Blazers check off all the boxes tonight.
The Blazers (8-3) opened as five-point favorites against the Clippers (6-4). Heavy public betting on Portland (76% of bets), pushed the line up to Blazers -6.
That’s when sharps got down hard on the Clippers at an inflated, undervalued price.
The Clippers also fit two valuable Bet Labs Systems: Small NBA Road Dogs Against Public on the spread (58.5% ATS since 2005) and on the Moneyline (+93.42 units, 8.2% ROI since 2005).
An added cherry on top for Clips backers: all three refs are “away” refs. Since 2005, home teams have lost more than 35.86 units combined with Kevin Scott, Sean Wright and Jonathan Sterling calling fouls.
Milwaukee Bucks at Golden State Warriors
10:30 p.m. ET
Sharp angle: Bucks (+6)
No Draymond Green? No problem!
Despite the Warriors (10-1) being without one of their key starters and facing an elite opponent, Average Joes are still pounding Dub Nation, no questions asked.
This heavy bias has created a rare contrarian opportunity for sharps to buy low on Giannis and the 8-2 Bucks getting a handful of points.
Despite receiving 77% of spread bets, the Golden State line has remained frozen at -6. In fact, it’s even dipped to -5.5 throughout the day. This signals sharp liability on the Greek Freak and company.
Just like the Clippers, the Bucks fit the same two Bet Labs systems: Small NBA Road Dogs Against Public on the spread (58.5% ATS since 2005) and on the Moneyline (+93.42 units, 8.2% ROI since 2005).
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