William Hill Sports Book: NBA Playoffs & College Football

Whether it’s NBA playoff action tonight or an enormous college football slate on Saturday, there’s plenty to look forward to this week in sports. Here are William Hill’s latest odds and trends.

Anthony Davis gave the Lakers a 2-0 Western Conference Finals lead after his buzzer-beating three on Sunday night. The Nuggets, however, haven’t shied away from big series deficits, coming back down 3-1 against the Jazz and Clippers this postseason.

The Lakers are 6.5-point favorites (-260 on the moneyline) for tonight’s Game 3 showdown at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Meanwhile, the Nuggets are priced at +220 to win this contest outright, while the total sits at 214.

“The Lakers look unbeatable, and you can only pull a rabbit out of your hat so many times if you’re Denver,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “For the Nuggets to have a series comeback like that a third time, those odds are astronomical. Lakers look like the dominant team, but hopefully Denver can make these next couple games competitive.”

The majority of William Hill bettors believe that will happen in Game 3.

The Nuggets have received 58% of the total number of tickets and 61% of the total dollars wagered among all spread bets for Game 3. Additionally, many William Hill bettors think the Nuggets will pull off the upset, as Denver has captured 56% of the total number of tickets and 69% of the total dollars wagered for all moneyline bets for tonight’s contest.

The biggest straight bet for Game 3 as of now at William Hill, though, has come in on the Lakers. A Nevada bettor placed $4,000 on Lakers -6.5 for a total potential payout of $7,636.35.

Regarding the total, William Hill bettors are expecting a high-scoring affair. The over has brought in 71% of the total number of tickets and 85% of the total dollars wagered.

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Tomorrow night, the Celtics look to even the Eastern Conference Finals at two apiece with the Heat. Boston is a 3-point favorite (-160 moneyline) with the total residing at 210.5.

“Both series have attracted a similar handle for their games,” Bogdanovich said. “Game 3 for the Celtics in a must-win last Saturday was the biggest NBA handle that I’ve seen on a game. It was that big of a decision, and it was all on Boston. That decision was bigger than 13 of the NFL games we had this past Sunday. I’m sure we’ll need the Heat in Game 4 too.”

A William Hill New Jersey bettor thinks that both underdogs will emerge victorious in their next game, as a $5,000 moneyline parlay was placed on Nuggets +230 and Heat +135 for a total potential payout of $16,500.
College Football Preview

Several of the best teams in the country will be on the field this upcoming weekend, as the majority of ranked teams are scheduled to play this Saturday. Not only do we have three top-25 battles on the horizon, but the SEC will be making its season debut as well.

“The first couple of weeks didn’t have the best games, and we still had really good action,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “So I’m excited to see it this week with the big boys out there like Alabama and LSU. We’ve got a full slate, so it should be quite interesting Saturday to see what kind of business we’ll do. I think it’ll be outstanding.”

Defending national champions LSU will be hosting Mississippi State at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT, as the No. 6 Tigers are 16.5-point favorites at William Hill. One William Hill Nevada bettor placed $2,200 on Mississippi State +17 (-110) for a total potential payout of $4,200, the biggest bet on any Week 4 SEC game thus far.

“It’s going to be a big learning situation for us with LSU given everyone who’s gone,” Bogdanovich said. “I’ve heard some people say they’re seven points less than last year, even 10 points, 14 points. But like most of these super programs, they just reload. It just depends how long it takes them to hit their stride.”

LSU is one of five SEC teams that is favored by at least two touchdowns in its opening matchup, along with No. 2 Alabama (-27.5 at Missouri), No. 4 Georgia (-26 at Arkansas), No. 5 Florida (-14.5 at Ole Miss) and No. 10 Texas A&M (-30.5 vs. Vanderbilt).

The two SEC contests with the tightest spreads are No. 16 Tennessee as a 3.5-point road favorite at South Carolina and No. 8 Auburn as 7.5-point chalk in a ranked showdown with No. 23 Kentucky.

“For the most part, SEC conference games have a bigger handle than the other conferences,” Bogdanovich said. “It also really depends on the quality of the game and the time of the day and the network it’s on. The 5:00 [p.m. PT] ESPN game every Saturday usually does the most business just because it’s the biggest game, it’s on national TV and it has more of a shelf life.”

The three biggest Week 4 wagers as of now, though, are all on games featuring other conferences outside of the SEC. NC State +7.5 at Virginia Tech, Texas -17 at Texas Tech and Troy +14.5 at BYU have each drawn $3,300 bets at William Hill.

One game that has seen some interesting early line movement is Iowa State at TCU. After opening as a 3.5-point road favorite, the Cyclones reached as high as -4.5. However, there’s been strong action on TCU of late, as the spread has dropped below the key number of 3 and now sits at Iowa State -2.5.