NBA action report: Totals dropping, public likes Warriors

Jason Logan
There are just two games on the NBA playoff schedule Tuesday, both coming in the Western Conference. We chat with Jeff Stoneback, sportsbook manager at the MGM Mirage in Las Vegas, about the action and betting patterns heading into tipoff.

Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets – Open: -7.5, Move: -8, Move: -7.5

You would think the Denver Nuggets would be the popular play with their backs against the wall at home in Game 5, but the Warriors’ impressive stretch of three straight wins is convincing bettors and could trim this spread even further by the 8 p.m. ET tipoff.

“Most of the money is on the Warriors right now,” Stoneback tells Covers, stating that the action is 3:1 in favor of Golden State. “They’re up 3-1 and people think eight points is a lot for a team that’s outplayed (Denver) so far.”

“This is one of the rare NBA playoff games in which we’ll need the favorite to win,” he adds.

The total is also on the move dropping from as high as 214 points to 211.5. The Warriors’ high-powered offense is averaging almost 119 points in their three wins and has pushed each of those games over the number. However, money is coming in on the under and moving this total down.

“(Denver) gets into these high-scoring shootouts and it has them down 3-1,” says Stoneback. “They’ve got to slow the Warriors down if they want to give themselves a better chance.”

Memphis Grizzlies at Los Angeles Clippers – Open: -5.5, Move: -5, Move: -5.5

Memphis took full advantage of its home court and knotted this first-round series at 2-2, covering the spread in the past three games. According to sportsbooks, action is relatively split for the late game with a slight 57 percent lean toward the Clippers.

“They’ve had some tight games so far,” says Stoneback. “Getting five points is tempting in this series, granted it is in L.A. The public seems to like giving the five points also.”

The total has been trimmed a bit, moving from 180.5 to 179.5. The Clippers and Grizzlies have combined for a 3-1 over/under mark so far in this series while the under was the profitable play a 1-3 over/under in their regular season encounters.

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