What Sharps Think About NBA Playoffs

With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


Sharps (professional wagerers) haven't been very aggressive yet in the early days of the NBA playoffs. These themes are popping up:

  • Sharps have been liking UNDERS. The totals that have moved have dropped. And, there's generally a preference for Overs early in a series, then Unders in the later games when pace slows down and referees call fewer fouls. Totals dropped off their openers in all four Saturday games. We've seen big drops Sunday in New Orleans/LA (185 down to 182.5 at press time), and Denver/Oklahoma City (202 down to 199.5). Looks like the Wise Guys are expecting a defensive year.
  • Sharps have been betting UNDERDOGS at the SERIES PRICES, but those have generally been value bets rather than large investments. Oddsmakers posted some very high prices on series favorites out of the gate. Many sharps thought they were too high.

This can be tricky for squares (the public) to understand. It's not that sharps think the wrong team if favored when they bet Philadelphia plus a huge number vs. Miami. They just think Miami will win the series less often than the oddsmakers are suggesting. If the oddsmakers have Miami winning 97% of the time, and sharp think the true odds are 90%, they'll bet the dog to win the series for a value play. Over a year, or a lifetime of bets, you win enough upsets to justify those longshots.

  • Sharps have been QUIET. That may be the most important news. The Wise Guys just aren't stepping out yet in terms of big money. They generally prefer dogs over favorites because lines are often stacked against favorites. Public money barely hits the NBA any more until the playoffs start. They've started! So, we should see some line inflation for the favorites. But, sharps have noticed in recent years that favorites have become very aggressive in openers because they want to set a tone for the series. The best spots for big underdog bets are later on once you have the ebb and flow of emotions working for you.

I do expect some serious action from sharps in this coming week. You'll see some bounce back bets off Game One losses for series dogs that they respect. You'll see some very big Game Three bets in the home openers for dangerous teams that play in front of rabid crowds. Oddsmakers know these are coming, and will try to defend against the money with their openers.

I know some of you are waiting until later rounds to get involved. You're not excited about watching Miami until they're playing Boston or New York in the next round. You love Derrick Rose, but Chicago-Indiana isn't a series that grabs you. The Lakers are the team you follow most in the West. You're not afraid of New Orleans at the moment.


Don't focus on being entertained...and maybe having some side action to sweat. Focus on finding bad numbers so you can make some money. The first round of the NBA playoffs can be very easy to beat if you know the teams well, you know the personnel matchups, and you know how the rhythm of a playoff series generally works. If you wait until the second round, you're leaving money on the table.

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Be sure to check on combination packages with baseball too. Oddsmakers are off to a very rough start in the Bases because so many big name teams have played below expectations out of the gate. The mix of NBA playoff action and early season MLB is very potent because you can pick off great spots every day of the week.

I have something very strong on the Sunday NBA playoff card for my clients based on my own handicapping. And, my access to Wise Guy moves is going to pay off very handsomely starting Monday because they're about to strike! All through the NBA playoffs, you can rest assured that the best information will come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!


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