The money pays the same, but it’s instructive for bettors to take a clear-eyed view of their winning wagers. Did they make a good call, was the game a coin flip that could have gone either way, or did they get lucky?
Here are some of the highlights from Wednesday’s games:
Good call: Thunder +5½ v. Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers have already clinched the top seed in the Western Conference, and they played like it against Oklahoma City.
The Thunder led by eight after the first quarter and by 15 after the third quarter before cruising to a 105-86 victory.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis combined for only 28 points for the Lakers, going 0-for-8 total on 3-pointers. Los Angeles went 5-for-37 (13.5 percent) on 3s overall and hit only 65.5 percent of its free throws (19-for-29).
The line started at Lakers -6½ at some books before ticking down. With the Thunder still fighting for playoff positioning, Oklahoma City seemed like an obvious play.
But they all do when the game is over.
Other good calls:
— Under 218 Thunder-Lakers (landed 191).
— Boston Celtics -9. It turned out there wasn’t much left in the tank for Brooklyn on a back-to-back after the Nets upset Milwaukee as 19-point underdogs Tuesday. Boston rolled to a 149-115 win, and the game sailed over 223½.
— Over 227 Nuggets-Spurs (258).
— Colorado Avalanche -135 in a 4-0 victory over Dallas in an NHL round-robin game.
— Arizona Diamondbacks +130 and over 9½ in a 14-7 home victory over Houston.
— MLB unders in general (11-5 on the day).
Coin flip: Blackhawks +110 vs. Oilers
The final hockey game of the night provided plenty of drama.
Chicago took a 2-1 lead in the first period, then Edmonton took a 3-2 lead after the second period. The Blackhawks tied the game with less than six minutes to go, and overtime loomed.
However, Jonathan Toews found the net with 1:16 to go to give Chicago a 2-1 lead in the playoff qualifying round series, despite playing on the Oilers’ home ice in Edmonton, Alberta.
Neither team ever led by more than one goal, and shots were about even, too (Oilers 28-25).
Other coin flips:
— Utah Jazz -5. The game hung around the number throughout the fourth quarter before the Jazz made some late free throws to secure a 124-115 victory over Memphis.
— The Milwaukee Brewers (+120) held on for a 1-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
You got lucky: Marlins +105 and -102
Miami wasn’t particularly fortunate to win either game of a doubleheader against Baltimore, but an underdog usually doesn’t sweep a twinbill if it scores a total of three runs, even in the seven-inning games mandated for this season.
The Marlins won the first game 1-0 behind Brian Anderson’s solo home run, then took the second game 2-1 behind Anderson’s RBI single.
That won’t happen every day.