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Today’s biggest bets and line moves: Bettors liking Trail Blazers’ odds vs. Thunder

Another four series openers hit the court Sunday in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Covers checks in on the action and odds movement for the later three games, with insights from CG Technology sportsbooks in Las Vegas.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers – Open: -3; Move: -2.5; Move: -3; Move: -3.5

Portland had a red-hot finish to the regular season, going 14-3 SU (8-9 ATS) to snag the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. The Trail Blazers (53-29 SU, 45-36-1 ATS) wrapped it up Wednesday with a 136-131 win over Sacramento as 3.5-point home favorites.

Oklahoma City rode a late surge to get the No. 6 seed, just one game ahead of the seventh-place Spurs and eighth-place Clippers. The Thunder (49-33 SU, 42-40 ATS) beat Milwaukee 127-116 as 4-point road faves Wednesday for their fifth consecutive victory (4-1 ATS).

“So far, the steam is coming in on the Blazers,” CG’s risk team said of action at its sportsbooks, including at The Cosmopolitan and Venetian on the Vegas Strip. “Tickets are even on the spread, but bigger money on Portland. Public money is on Thunder moneyline +140.”

Detroit Pistons at Milwaukee Bucks – Open: -10; Move: -11.5; Move: -11; Move: -11.5; Move: -12; Move: -13; Move: -12.5; Move: -13

Milwaukee not only posted the NBA’s best SU record at 60-22, but was No. 1 against the oddsmakers at 47-31-4 ATS. In Wednesday’s regular-season finale, the Bucks rested Giannis Antetokounmpo and others, went off as 4-point home underdogs to Oklahoma City and lost 127-116.

Detroit had to grind to the end to gain the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed, winning its last two games, after a four-game skid put the postseason in jeopardy. The Pistons (41-41 SU, 41-38-3 ATS) routed New York 115-89 laying 8.5 points Wednesday.

“Nobody thinks the Pistons have a chance to cover,” CG’s risk team said as the line shot to Bucks -13. “And we can’t find many takers for Detroit, even at that number. There’s also a small move on the Under, which is surprising, considering the Bucks are an Over team.”

Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets – Open: -7; Move: -6.5; Move: -6

Houston rode a late-season 11-2 SU run (9-3-1 ATS) to the No. 4 seed in the West and home-court advantage in this first-round series. The Rockets (53-29 SU, 40-39-3 ATS) won and cashed six in a row before losing their regular-season finale at Oklahoma City, 112-111 giving 3 points Tuesday.

Utah also had a big late surge, with a 13-2 SU stretch (10-5 ATS) to gain the No. 5 seed. The Jazz (50-32 SU, 44-36-2 ATS) saw their hot streak end in Wednesday’s regular-season capper, a 143-137 overtime loss at the Los Angeles Clippers, though Utah cashed as an 8-point pup.

“As of now, Rockets -6 or -6.5 seems to be the right number, as we have good two-way action,” CG’s risk team said. “Early money actually took the Jazz in the series with us, so we won’t be surprised to see them take Utah in Game 1. They haven’t showed their hand yet.”

Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.

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