How Should Bettors Handle Summer League Line Movement?

How Should Bettors Handle Summer League Line Movement? article feature image

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: New York Knicks forward Kevin Knox

  • There are six Summer League games on Thursday.
  • The betting lines are on the move.
  • Here is one strategy bettors can follow to profit from the shifting odds.

After five days of basketball in Las Vegas, the 2018 NBA Summer League playoffs tipped off on Wednesday.

Even though these matchups aren’t as heavily bet as regular-season games are, they draw enough action to force oddsmakers to adjust the lines.

In five of the eight games played, the betting line shifted. Four of the five teams that saw the line move in their direction won outright. Those same squads went 3-1-1 against the spread.

Six games are on the slate Thursday, and the lines for the two early games, Pelicans-Heat (4 p.m. ET) and Celtics-Knicks (4:30 p.m. ET), have already moved.

Should bettors follow the line movement? Let’s use Bet Labs to find out.

Yesterday’s results were the exception, not the rule. Since 2016, when we began tracking Summer League data, it has been profitable to bet against line movement. According to Bet Labs, teams that saw the line increase by a half-point or more (become bigger underdogs or smaller favorites) have gone 77-57-5 (57%) ATS.

But all the value lies with the underdogs. Teams that become bigger underdogs are 67-37-6 (64%) ATS, while teams that become small favorites are 10-20-1 (33%) ATS.

Here are the matches for today’s slate of games:

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Miami Heat (4 p.m. ET): The line in this game has flipped. The Pelicans have moved from 1-point underdogs to 1-point favorites.

  • Play: Heat +1

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks (4:30 p.m. ET): The Celtics opened as one of the biggest favorites on the board.  Boston has moved from -4 to -4.5.

  • Play: Knicks +4.5

I expect the lines for the later games to move, so be sure to check back. Or try Bet Labs for a month (just $49) and get alerts sent to your phone!

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