Three teams -- the Knicks, Heat and Spurs -- can book their tickets to the second round of the NBA playoffs on Sunday. We talked to an oddsmaker straight from the strip about the line moves for all four NBA games Sunday:
New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics - Open: +1, Move: +1.5
The Knicks are looking to send the Celtics into a summer of soul-searching, and even with J.R. Smith suspended for Game 4, the MGM Grand still isn't getting action on Boston.
"The Celtics are in the same boat as the Lakers," Craig Sasamura, oddsmaker at the MGM Grand told Covers
. "They're looking ahead to next year and are getting old."
The MGM opened the game at New York -2 and it hasn't moved.Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks - Open: +9.5, Move: +9
Miami is looking to get out of the first round as quickly as possible, and may have to do it without Dwyane Wade who is suffering from a knee injury.
But the book is still seeing big money coming in on the Heat. They opened Miami as a 9-point favorite and it could get to -9.5 by tipoff.
"We're probably at a 10-1 Heat ticket count," says Sasamura.
Sasamura says Miami is not quite the public team the Lakers are in Vegas because of its proximity to Los Angeles, but the Heat are closing the gap.
"With LeBron, the Big Three, the long winning streak, they're (Heat) are becoming the Lakers of the East Coast."San Antonio Spurs vs. Los Angeles Lakers - Open: +9, Move: +12
Speaking of the Lakers, they will be without Steve Nash and Metta World Peace for Game 4 against the Spurs, and the line has moved sharply.
The MGM Grand opened the game at San Antonio -9.5 , but sharp money moved it to -10.5 quickly, and it's currently at -11.5.
"They've thrown in the towel, you could tell," says Sasamura, referring to the Lakers. "When you have Jodie Meeks trying to pick up the slack for Kobe, it's not working."Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors - Open: +1.5, Move: +1
The only series that will not end Sunday is between the Nuggets and Warriors. Golden State is 3-0 ATS in the series, but the Nuggets opened as 1.5-point favorites at the MGM.
"In the playoffs, Denver hasn't played their best ball yet and the public expects them to tie it up and go back to Denver," says Sasamura. "It's a wash game right now."
The playoffs have been full of predictability so far, with home teams going 20-6 SU and the public has an easy way to make money.
"You could blindly bet the home teams and you'd be making money somewhere down the road," Sasamura notes. "The first round of the playoffs should be cut down, maybe to four teams in each conference."