Pro bettors backing favored Rockets in Game 2 vs. Warriors

May 16, 2018 |

The Houston Rockets were built to tear down the NBA dynasty in the Bay Area but after Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, it looks as though the Golden State Warriors are on their way to a fourth-straight trip to the NBA Finals.

CG Technology runs the sportsbooks at eight locations in Las Vegas – including the Venetian, the Hard Rock and the Cosmopolitan – and its Lead Data Analyst William Bernanke spoke to Covers about the line movement and action in Wednesday’s two playoff games.

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets: Open (-2, 224.5); Current (-1.5, 224.5)

The Warriors were 1.5-point underdogs in Game 1 and won by double digits, but oddsmakers opened with the Rockets as short chalk again for Game 2. It represents just the eighth time this season the Dubs enter a game getting points and they’re 2-5 against the number with the underdog tag on the campaign.

Books and bettors know Wednesday is a must-win situation for Houston. Only four of the last 26 NBA teams to go down 0-2 – with the first two games on their home floor – ended up winning the series outright. The Boston Celtics did it last year, but that was against the Chicago Bulls in the first round.

About 90 percent of the over-the-counter tickets are on the Warriors at CG Technology sportsbooks, but two-thirds of the money bet on the game’s spread is on the Rockets according to Bernanke.

“The sharps are laying the points with the Rockets,” Bernanke says. “The public is taking the Warriors with the points and the moneyline.”

The Over/Under line opened on point with the Game 1 number – where a bad beat robbed a payout for many Under bettors – and the majority of the action seems to be on the Over. There have been four times more Over bets placed than Under at CG Tech, but the money is pretty close to even.

Winnipeg Jets at Vegas Golden Knights: Open (-145, 5.5); Current (-130, 5.5)

It’s difficult to get a good read on this game because of how much support the Golden Knights get at Nevada sportsbooks. Bernanke says 80 percent of the moneyline action on this game has been bet on the home team and 95 percent of all the puckline dollars are on Vegas as well.

Bernanke says the sharps and public bettors are backing the Golden Knights to win Game 3 of the Western Conference final, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from the moneyline odds movement.

“Despite the seemingly one-sided action, the line has dropped a bit which indicates a market move,” Bernanke says. “Let’s see how the line moves as we get closer to game time.”

CG Technology moved the moneyline odds from Vegas -140 to -130 and it increased the payout on the puckline from +180 to +230. The Over/Under line is sticking at 5.5 but there was a 15 cent move on the juice from Over -120 to Under -115.