By Harvey Hoffman
The NBA is back in the bubble and so is massive interest in betting.
The Brooklyn Nets beat the Milwaukee Bucks last night 119-116.
But the real story is that the Nets were an 18 1/2-point underdog.
So, they easily covered and won the whole game.
BetMGM said it hadn’t had a spread that high for an NBA game in at least 10 years. The moneyline on Milwaukee was as high as -5000, meaning a bettor had to bet $500 on the Bucks to win $10. And the Nets won straight up, 119-116. It’s the largest NBA upset in terms of the point spread since 1993, when Dallas won as a 19.5-point underdog against Seattle, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
According to Elisa Richardson, the head of PR at BetMGM, there were two significant moneyline bets on the Nets at BetMGM in New Jersey. One was a $600 wager at 13-to-1 to pay out $7,800, and there was a $400 bet at 13-to-1 to pay out $5,200.
There was also an $11,000 wager to win $1,833 on the Bucks moneyline in the first quarter. That bet lost when the Nets led at the end of one quarter.
Richardson said before the game 60 percent of bets were on the Nets and 40 percent were on the Bucks, though the Bucks had more money bet on them. That means a lot of small bets were on the Nets, with larger bets on the Bucks.
The largest known point spread for an NBA game, according to multiple sources, came in 2008 when the Boston Celtics were a 22.5-point favorite over the Miami Heat. The Heat were a 13-59 coming into the game and the Celtics, with Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, were 57-15. The Celtics won 88-62. Chris Quinn and Ricky Davis each scored 14 to lead the Heat.