Daily public money update: Bettors like Suns to close it out

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game winning shot against the Los Angeles Clippers in the second half during game two of the Western Conference Finals for the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena
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I'm an NFL handicapper here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up. For Andrew Ortenberg media enquiries, please email contact@pickswise.com.
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We’ve got some nice NBA playoffs, NHL playoffs, and MLB action to report on Monday, so it’s a full day. There are a lot of big games, which always attract some big public sides. Let’s take a look at where the public money is going as bettors once again try to beat the books, with the Suns leading the way.

NBA: Suns -5 vs. Clippers

The Suns won an ugly game on Saturday night to take a 3-1 lead over the Clippers. Now, the public is expecting them to close out the series on Monday. 61 percent of the bets and 76 percent of the money are laying the points with Phoenix here, per DraftKings’ internal numbers shared with us.

The big split between those two percentages indicates there have been some very large volume bets on the Suns as well. Given that Phoenix just managed to win by four on the road despite both Devin Booker and Chris Paul shooting atrociously, it’s hard to argue too much. The Suns are up 3-1 while playing far from their best basketball, so we like them to close it out here at home as well.

MLB: White Sox -132 vs. Twins

Looking at the baseball slate now, bettors are lining up to back Chicago. This one is interesting since the White Sox have been in a bit of a funk lately, going just 2-7 in their past nine games. Clearly, that wasn’t enough to scare anybody away. 80 percent of the tickets and 80 percent of the money are on them as a modest favorite here against Minnesota.

Additionally, 81 percent of the bets and 93 percent of the money are on their run line at -1.5.  The Twins have actually won seven of their past nine, and it’s a bit unusual to see the public back a cold team and fade the hot one. But Kenta Maeda is on the mound for Minnesota, and he’s been shaky. He has a 4.85 ERA and almost never goes more than five innings, ensuring we’ll see a lot of this suspect Twins bullpen. With Lucas Giolito on the mound for the White Sox, we’re taking them too.

NHL: Lightning -195 vs. Canadiens

Finishing things up with some playoff hockey and the start of the Stanley Cup Finals. This is hockey’s biggest stage, and the public knows who they like in Game 1. The Lightning are a big favorite, and the public isn’t about to back an underdog. 67 percent of the bets and 74 percent of the money are on Tampa’s money line at -195.

54 percent of the bets and 70 percent of the money are on their puck line at -1.5. But Canadiens goalie Carey Price has been fantastic lately, and the Lightning didn’t exactly look like a dominant force while getting taken to seven games by the Islanders. We think Montreal has a decent chance to steal Game 1, so we’re taking them on the money line at an inflated price.

NHL: Canadiens @ Lightning under 5

Now here’s something we don’t see every day, a public under! Recreational bettors often gravitate toward overs, especially in big games. It’s more fun to root for lots of action, so that’s usually the way these things trend. But not tonight. 58 percent of the bets and 76 percent of the money are on the under 5.0 here for the opening of the finals.

Given the way Price has played lately, it’s actually not too hard to understand. Thanks to his net-minding, the Canadiens have allowed two or fewer goals in eight of their past nine games. Outside of one eight-goal eruption against New York, the Lightning’s offense has looked pretty pedestrian recently. We’ve got to bank on a defensive struggle here too.

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