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Two teams are looking to notch their first wins in their second-round matchups tonight, with the Bucks in an 0-2 hole to the Nets and the Clippers dropping Game 1 to the Jazz.
The Bucks were walloped 125-86 in Game 2 in Brooklyn on Monday, a contest where they closed as the road favorite at William Hill. Now down two games in the series, Milwaukee (-155 on the moneyline) returns home and is 3.5-point chalk over Brooklyn (+135 ML). Game 3 in this pivotal Eastern Conference clash is set to tip at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.
The Nets, who are now the odds-on favorite to win the NBA championship at -110 at William Hill Nevada, actually opened at +4 and +155 on the moneyline. Brooklyn reached as low as +3 before going back up to +3.5. The total has bounced around too, as it was originally posted at 233.5, increased to 235 and is currently residing at 234.
“The sharps are on Milwaukee minus the points, and the masses are all over Brooklyn,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “This game has the potential to be our biggest decision of the NBA playoffs so far. I think we’re going to need the Bucks and the under pretty big.”
The road underdog is getting a lot of interest here. The Nets have captured 77% of the total number of tickets and 75% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets against the Bucks, as well as 83% of the total number of tickets and 83% of the total dollars wagered for all moneyline bets.
For the total, the over has gotten 59% of the total number of tickets and 68% of the total dollars wagered.
One other interesting note for this game is that the Bucks are favored by 3.5 points in the first half, the same number as the full game.
“They figure that the Bucks will come out with all they got,” Bogdanovich said. “That’s been that way for about five or six years, you’ll see high first-half lines like that. The sharps laid -2.5 and -3 on Bucks first half, so that’s why we’re at -3.5.”
In the later affair on ESPN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, the Jazz and Clippers square off in Salt Lake City. Utah eked out a 3-point home victory on Tuesday, and the Jazz (-145 ML) are 3-point favorites here over the Clippers (+125 ML).
“The Clippers may end up as a public dog when push comes to shove,” Bogdanovich said. “They played the Jazz tough in Game 1 and people love betting teams coming off a loss in the playoffs. I’m assuming we’ll end up needing the Jazz tonight, there will be plenty of Clippers money for sure.”
The Jazz have the advantage with spread bets as of now, drawing 61% of the total number of tickets and 59% of the total dollars wagered. The Clippers, however, have gotten attention on the moneyline with 51% of the total number of tickets and 68% of the total dollars wagered.
The total has moved from 221 to 223, as action on the over has come in at a strong clip. The over has collected 85% of the total number of tickets and 91% of the total dollars wagered.
Check out William Hill’s latest odds and trends for tonight’s games in the NBA Playoffs below.