Will the West again be the best, as it has five of the past six years? Covers talks about action on the NBA All-Star Game with Matthew Holt, COO of CG Analytics in Las Vegas, and Mike Jerome, lines manager for offshore sportsbook TopBet.eu.
East All-Stars vs. West All-Stars – Open: -6; Move: None
There’s really no getting around that the NBA’s Western Conference has been the better, more competitive group for several years now. This year, three teams out West – Golden State, San Antonio and Houston – have more wins than East-leading Cleveland.
Last year, the West won 196-173, easily cashing as a 5.5-point favorite in Toronto. So it’s no surprise the West is laying 6 this year in New Orleans, with a roster full of the likes of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, James Harden and more.
“There’s a slight lean toward the West, with 1.5 times more money wagered on the West overall,” Holt said late this morning. “It's still early, with over five hours until game time, but as of right now, we have taken about the same amount of handle on the All-Star Game as we did on last night’s 3-point contest. I’m not sure if that shows how popular the 3-point contest is, or how little people care about the All-Star Game itself.”
TopBet.eu opened the West a tick higher at -6.5 on Saturday morning, but action has favored the East.
“Early Sunday morning, we got a sharp bet on the East +6.5, so we moved the West to +6,” Jerome said. “On spread bets, 63 percent of cash and 68 percent of bets are on the East +6.”
The East has also proved a popular moneyline wager at TopBet.eu, dropping to +195 after opening at +205.
Last year’s All-Star Game featured 369 points scored, far surpassing the total of around 318, depending on the shop. So this year’s total is astronomical, opening at 348.5 at CG books – including at The Cosmopolitan, Venetian and the M – and 349.5 at TopBet.eu.
“Saturday morning, we got a sharp bet on the over and moved it to 352, and Sunday morning, we got more sharp money on over 352, so we moved to 353.5,” Jerome said.
The total was also on the rise at CG books, sitting at 353 this afternoon.
TopBet.eu was also seeing significant action on Russell Westbrook to win the game’s MVP award, an honor he earned each of the past two seasons. The Oklahoma City superstar opened 6/1 and is now at 4/1.