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The second day of the NBA play-in tournament tips off tonight, with a gigantic matchup in the seventh place vs. eighth place game to determine the No. 7 playoff seed in the Western Conference.
In last night’s action, the seventh-place Celtics clinched the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference after dispatching the eighth-place Wizards. Washington will now face the ninth-place Pacers tomorrow for the No. 8 seed after Indiana crushed the 10th-place Hornets.
“The handles for the [play-in tournament] games last night were about twice as much as a typical regular-season game,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “There was good action to them. It’ll only pick up from there, obviously Warriors-Lakers will be a monster tonight.”
It doesn’t get much better than Steph Curry vs. LeBron James with the stakes this high. The two foes will square off at Staples Center at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on ESPN. The Lakers opened as 5-point favorites and first went down to -4.5. Now the defending champions are back up to -5.5 and -240 on the moneyline. Meanwhile, the eighth-place Warriors are +200 on the moneyline and the total is presently at 218.5 from 222.
“I’d say the handle for Warriors-Lakers will be three times bigger than any other play-in [tournament] game,” Bogdanovich said. “I’m expecting that [handle] to be every bit as good as any NBA playoff game. The public is coming in on the Lakers pretty hard. We’re high on the Lakers with straight bets, moneyline straight bets, moneyline parlays, regular parlays. So we’ll need Steph and the bunch.”
The Lakers have collected 63% of the total number of tickets and 76% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets against the Warriors, as well as 68% of the total number of tickets and 88% of the total dollars wagered for all moneyline bets tonight.
That is highlighted by one New Jersey bettor who put down $20,000 on Lakers -5 (-110) for a total potential payout of $38,181.82, which is the biggest bet taken thus far at William Hill for Warriors vs. Lakers.
William Hill bettors are divided on this total, though, as the over has generated 76% of the total number of tickets and the under has the advantage with 66% of the total dollars wagered.
The earlier matchup this evening is between the ninth-place Grizzlies and the 10th-place Spurs at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. The winner of this contest will face the loser of Warriors vs. Lakers for the No. 8 seed on Friday, and the team that drops this showdown is eliminated from playoff contention.
The Grizzlies (-175 ML) are 4-point chalk at home over the Spurs (+155 ML). After the spread was opened at 4, it went down to 3.5 before coming back up to its original number. The total has dropped 2.5 points, swinging from 225 to 222.5.
Memphis is drawing 72% of the total number of tickets and 73% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets vs. San Antonio. It’s tighter for moneyline wagering as of now, with the Grizzlies possessing the advantage in both total number of tickets (66%) and total dollars wagered (52%). There’s also alignment on this total from William Hill bettors, as the over is seizing 74% of the total number of tickets and 54% of the total dollars wagered.
Check out William Hill’s latest odds and trends for tonight’s Spurs vs. Grizzlies and Warriors vs. Lakers clashes below.