NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 5/20

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 


Welcome to the daily NBA betting market report, your source for analysis on the betting lines for the day in professional hoops. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, or check out The Edge daily at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.

All game lines via VSiN NBA Odds page.

Market Report for Friday, May 20th

*Lines are opening numbers

Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors (-6.5, 214)

Game 2: Warriors lead 1-0

There are quite a few people who watched Golden State’s 112-87 victory on Wednesday who are ready to write the eulogy for the Dallas Mavericks, but I am not one of those people. One game is not enough to get a read on how a series plays out, and we just need to look back on Boston’s victory last night for a perfect example of that. There were some very concerning aspects of Dallas’ loss that should make Mavericks backers uneasy, but there was also plenty to build on that could allow them to be much more competitive tonight.

First and foremost, the health of Luka Doncic is paramount. Doncic spent most of the game grabbing at his right shoulder while wincing in pain and it clearly limited him throughout the loss. He finished the game with 20 points on 6-of-18 shooting from the floor while hitting 3-of-10 3-point attempts, many of which were short and hit the front of the iron. Doncic told the media he experienced “a little bit of pain” in the shoulder but that he should be fine with treatment. I would expect that he shows up with that kinetic tape that appeared on his shoulder midway through the series with Phoenix, but its worrisome that this injury continues to linger. If a better version of Doncic shows up, then we can expect a better version of Dallas as well. 

According to Shot Quality data the win by Golden State was an “upset” with the Mavericks underperforming their expected score by 20 points and losing 16 points on 3-point attempts. The NBA tracking data tells us that Dallas had 28 wide-open 3-point attempts but shot just 28.6% on those attempts on Wednesday. I do not need to tell you that should the Mavericks experience better luck on their shooting this game becomes much closer than the first game between these two clubs.

The line moving to 6.5 after closing 5.5 in Game 1 is not surprising given that the Warriors covered in relatively easy fashion on Wednesday. However, given what we know about the quality of offense that the Mavericks did not capitalize on it would not be wise to lay a full point more when no injury or absence has taken place. The injury to Doncic worries me but after some consideration I have decided to add Dallas tonight. I believe in what the data has told us about the first game, and there is no reason to come off my priors after one game. With a 6.5 available that is worth a play tonight.

Best Bet Summary

Mavericks ( 6.5)

Season Record: 98-78-2

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Matt Youmans: Heat (+8.5) at Nuggets. View more picks.


The Lombardi Line: Both the Nuggets and Heat shot poorly in Game 1 of the NBA Finals - and the total is down five points in Game 2 (219.5 to 214.5). Consider betting the OVER if you expect any positive regression. View more tips.