With Oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich


Back as promised with a rundown of what professional wagerers are thinking about the NBA Championship series between the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat that begins Tuesday Night.

I'll also take another look at the market ratings we've been running throughout the playoffs.

First, the sharps (industry jargon for the Wise Guys) are in the interesting position of thinking Miami is the better team, but not by as much as the market is pricing them. That's why you've seen the following happen.

*Miami opened around -200 to win the series in many places. That means they'd have to theoretically win two out of three times for Heat backers to break even. Sharps thought that was too high, and bet Dallas for value in a way that's brought a stabilized moneyline down to around -170 or -175 as we go to press. Most sharps I‘ve talked to think 160 to 180 is the right range.

*Miami opened at -5 at home in the series opener. But, we're now seeing Miami -4.5 everywhere. Maybe it will change by the time you read this. I actually wouldn't be surprised if square money (bets from the public) moved the number back up to -5. Squares love betting on favorites, and they love betting from LeBron. Were that to happen, I believe sharps would come back in on Dallas +5.

One of the biggest things that separates sharps from squares is the ability to bet with confidence on the team they think is inferior. Sharps don't accept a worse price figuring their pick will win anyway. If they think Miami is the better team…and the price should be -160 to -180…they're going to bet on DALLAS if they see -200 or so. A square will think 'I like Miami to win, I've got to find a way to bet Miami.' Squares think team. Sharps think price.

Oh, the total has dropped from 188 to 187, which is a sharp move to the Under. Squares don't bet totals early. When they do bet, they bet Over. The fact that sharps DIDN'T want to wait for a public move to a higher number suggests some extra enthusiasm for that first game Under.

I haven't moved my market ratings in a while now. The prices are very much in line with these:

Miami 81
Dallas 79

If you pencil in three points four home court, that would make Miami -5 at home, and +1 on the road before you make adjustments for bounce-backs, injuries, etc…

I've talked to many people I trust since the conference finals ended last week. The long layoff allowed for a lot of discussion! I don't know of any sharps or oddsmakers who currently have Miami as three points better on a neutral court. I know some who have the difference at 1.5 points or 1 point rather than two.

It's interesting that both of these teams have done very well against the spread so far in the playoffs. By my count:

Dallas 12-2-1
Miami 10-5

The Heat were just 2-3 ATS in their first series against Philadelphia. They're 8-2 ATS since. So, the market has been underestimating both teams for a few weeks now. Or, overestimating their opponents!

I have some very strong opinions about how this series is going to play out. I will have a big play in the opener Tuesday…and I've already mapped out my strategy for Game Two Thursday and Game Three Sunday based on how the early action plays out. You can purchase my BEST BETS here at the website with your credit card. Or, sign up for the whole championship round in advance and enjoy discounted rates.

Don't forget to check out my baseball too. A few of my favorite pitchers will be on the mound between Tuesday and Friday. I plan on making a lot of money in BOTH sports for my clients.

If you have any questions, call my handicapping office at 1-877-822-2276. I won't be able to talk to you directly because championship week is so important for my employer Cal-Neva. One of my representatives will be happy to get you set up.

In the most important sporting events of the year, you know the best information is going to come to you DIRECT FROM NEVADA!

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by VegasSportsMasters.com. For more information on NICK BOGDANOVICH'S handicapping packages, call 1-877-822-2276.


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