NBA action report: The lines are stable and the action is light at the books


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The Eastern Conference finally gets in on the second-round act in the NBA Playoffs tonight. Covers talks to Jeff Stoneback, manager of The Mirage sportsbook, and Johnny Avello, executive director of race and sports for Wynn Las Vegas, about tonight’s two games.

Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers – Open: Cavaliers -7.5; Move: none

The top-seeded Cavaliers swept No. 8 Detroit in the first round and have now had a full week off to prepare for the second round. On the flip side, No. 4 Atlanta needed six games to put away No. 5 Boston, wrapping up that series on Thursday night with a 104-92 victory as a 3-point road favorite.

“The line hasn’t moved, but the total has seen some movement,” Stoneback said earlier today, noting bettors are looking at the under in Game 1. “We opened the total at 201.5, and now we’re down to 200.5.”

Avello added that the lopsided series price reflects the reality of expectations for both books and bettors.

“The Cavs, of course the 1 seed, are a $6 favorite, which means put up 6 to win 1. [Bettors] are certainly not gonna lay 1-6 on the Cavs,” he said. “And on the other side, you take back 4.5-1 on the Hawks.”

Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs – Open: Spurs -7.5; Move: none

Top-seeded San Antonio boatraced Oklahoma City in Game 1 of a Western Conference semifinal on Saturday, winning 124-92 as 6.5-point home chalk. That kept the Spurs perfect in the postseason at 5-0 SU and a solid 4-1 ATS. The blowout led to a modest upward adjustment for Game 2, though the line has been stable.

“That game has not moved at all either. There’s been very limited action so far on both these games,” Stoneback said. “One thing about these playoff games is we take a lot of action on them, but usually not until a couple hours before the games start.

“There will be some very large bets. We’ve got some casino guests firing away closer to game time.”

Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.

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