Three games are on the NBA playoff board Tuesday, starting with the reigning champion Miami Heat hosting the Milwaukee Bucks. We talk to sportsbooks online and in Las Vegas about the betting action for this trio of tilts.
Milwaukee Bucks at Miami Heat – Open: -13.5, Move: -14.5
It’s tough to go against the Heat after their dominating performance in Game 1, dropping the Bucks 110-87 as 13-point home favorites.
Oddsmakers have tacked on some extra points for Game 2, but that hasn’t scared away the public money on Miami. Books are reporting anywhere from 70 to 90 percent of the action coming in on the Heat Tuesday night.
“We’ve barely taken anything on Milwaukee. A few little bets - $10 and $20 here and there – but nothing significant,” Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, told Covers. “I don’t think we’ve taken a bet over $200 on the Bucks.”
Some offshore books have taken some buy back on Milwaukee, moving down from 14.5 to 14, but Stoneback says the way things are going, their spread could get to Miami -15 before bettors start taking a second look at the Bucks.
Boston Celtics at New York Knicks – Open: -6.5, Move: -7
New York just missed covering as a 7.5-point favorite in its 85-78 win over Boston Saturday - depending on where you got the spread - but that blown cover hasn’t deterred Big Apple bettors from coming back on their Knicks Tuesday.
Early money jumped on the Knicks, following their Game 1 victory, and pushed this spread half a point.
“Not as severe on the favorite for this one as with the Miami game, but the Knicks are very popular so far with money on them outnumbering the Celtics at 4-1,” Aron Black, of Bet365.com, told Covers.
The total for Tuesday’s game at Madison Square Garden has been trimmed a bit from its opening number, dropping from 186 to as low as 185. According to Black, action on the under is outnumbering the over at a 2-1 rate.
Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets – Open: -7, Move: -8.5, Move: -8
Money on the home side pushed this spread a point and a half before bettors bought back the Warriors as 8.5-point road underdogs. Golden State covered as a 7.5-point underdog in Game 1, losing 97-95 on a last-second layup.
“We took a couple limit plays on Denver at -7 and -7.5,” says Stoneback. “Right now we’re getting good two-way action, however, the Nuggets lead the ticket count at 2-1.”
Denver is expected to have forward Kenneth Faried back in limited action Tuesday while Golden State tries to find a way to make up for the loss of All-Star forward David Lee, who suffered a season-ending hip flexor in Game 1 Saturday.
“It’s going to be hard for Golden State to contain the boards without Lee and especially if Faried comes in at his normal or close to normal level,” says Black. “Denver is definitely not the arena on the road that you want to play in shorthanded either.”
The total for this lone Western Conference matchup is on the move too, jumping from 206.5 to as high as 208. According to Stoneback, some big bets and limit plays have come in on the over already, with the majority of action expected in the hours before the 10:30 p.m. ET tipoff. With this game being the last one of the board, plenty of parlay action will be tied into Game 2.