Sharps and public split for Game 2 between Heat and Raptors


USA TODAY Sports

Tonight’s NBA Playoffs docket features just one game, but we’ve got a trio of sources weighing in on the contest. Covers talks to Aaron Kessler, supervisor at the Golden Nugget sportsbook; Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology; and Greg Sindall, senior oddsmaker for online site SportsInteraction.

Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors – Open: Raptors -4.5; Move: none

Toronto got a halfcourt heave from Kyle Lowry to force overtime in Game 1 of this Eastern Conference semifinal series on Tuesday night. But Miami still escaped with a road win and cover in a 102-96 decision as a 3.5-point underdog. The Raptors will be desperate to not fall into a 2-0 hole on their home court, but that fact hasn’t necessarily won over more bettors.

“We’re getting good two-way action,” Kessler said from his downtown Las Vegas book. “The Heat are just so public right now. People really like them this time.”

Indeed, at CG books in Vegas – including the Cosmopolitan, Venetian and the Palms – the line opened a tick higher at Raptors -5, but has been bet down to 4.5.

“So obviously, there’s been some Heat action,” Simbal said. “But we did take a Raptors moneyline bet that was a bit sharper money. The smarter money has been on the Raptors moneyline, and the public is taking the Heat plus the points.”

At SportsInteraction, it was a little different story, since the online shop opened at Toronto -4.

“We’ve been taking public money on the Raps all day and have moved to -4.5,” Sindall said. “Right now, 74 percent of the handle is on Toronto. I would not be surprised to see this line move out to 5 before tipoff.”

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

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