NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 5/6

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

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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 6th

*Lines are opening numbers

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers (-1, 210.5)

Game 3: Heat lead 2-0

As of this morning Joel Embiid is still listed as out on the injury report with no upgrade to doubtful which tells us the potential MVP is going to likely miss this game. His potential return for this contest is why we saw this line open in favor of Philadelphia, but now that we know he is not going to play the market has flipped to Miami -3 at every shop on the screen. That spread is in line with the opening line of Game 2 when you use three points for homecourt which the betting market has in the postseason. There has not been much movement here outside of that adjustment, and that might have to do with a lengthy injury report for Miami. The Heat have six players listed as questionable for this contest in Philadelphia, and each of them are impact players, but most have been on the injury report prior to the first two games of this series and are not in any real danger of missing this contest. If that is the case then the result of this game depends on Philadelphia showing up for four quarters.

The theme remains the same for the 76ers as we enter Game 3 tonight: put forth a better effort from beyond the arc. In the two games on the road Philadelphia shot 21.3% on 3-point attempts, and an abhorrent 4-of-20 on wide-open 3-pointers. Tyrese Maxey and James Harden hit a combined 5-of-22 3-point shots, Danny Green is 2-of-14 from deep and Tobias Harris is their best shooter in the series with a 3-of-9 mark. A change of venues could bring out the best in the 76ers’ shooters which would be a shot in the arm for an offense that has averaged 104.7 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes in this series. However, it’s not just the offense that needs a massive improvement if Philadelphia wants to steal a game at home.

Miami broke out on offense on Wednesday with an average of 1.267 points per possession, and through two games they abused Philadelphia from the perimeter by hitting 18-of-39 non-corner 3-point attempts. With no real answer at center the 76ers have had nothing for Bam Adebayo in this series either. Adebayo is averaging 23.5 points on 15-of-21 shooing and the Heat are + 41 in his minutes thus far. With Embiid likely out for this game that problem is not going anywhere, and it is hard to expect any different outcome other than the ones we’ve seen through two games. After being burned by Philadelphia in the first two games of this series I will not be involved here tonight.

Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks (-1, 219.5)

Game 3: Suns lead 2-0

Coming into this series I noted in this column that Phoenix could be a problem for Dallas due to the way the Mavericks defend and where the Suns generate most of their offense. Through two games that has come to fruition. Phoenix is averaging 134.8 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, shooting 55.3% on mid-range attempts and the team has hit a ridiculous 19-of-29 long 2-point attempts. Chris Paul has been brilliant in averaging 23.5 points on 62.1% shooting from the floor, and the Suns’ gameplan of hunting Luka Doncic has paid off. As Kirk Goldsberry of ESPN pointed out after Game 2, Doncic was the screener defender on 19 on-ball screens in the second half and Phoenix averaged 1.81 points per chance when he was the screener defender which is the highest efficiency allowed by a single defender in any half over the last three seasons. Expect that gameplan to continue tonight, especially if Doncic is not going to get any help on offense.

The reason why the Suns were so successful in that gameplan of attacking Doncic is that he is not the best defender, but also because the workload for him is so immense on offense. His usage rate the last two games of 47.4% and 45.4% is unheard of and the pressure is now on the role players to step up their play if they are to extend this series any further than four games. Jalen Brunson has scored 22 points on 9-of-28 shooting, and Spencer Dinwiddie has 19 points on 6-of-18 shooting from the floor. Doncic has been forced to lift this entire team on offense, and in the second half of Game 2 he was worked to death on defense by Phoenix. If he’s forced to carry a similar offensive load tonight then much like our first game on the schedule, it is hard to see another outcome other than the ones we have seen to this point.

The interesting part here is that the market has not really adjusted from a number standpoint. Phoenix closed -6 in Game 1 and -6.5 in Game 2 which means the current line of PK in Dallas is the exact same rating as the ones we have seen. We have seen the total slowly move upward in this series though, and the current number of 219.5 is five points higher than the open of the first game of the series which makes sense given that both games have gone Over the total. If Dallas gets to play its brand of basketball bettors should expect a slow-paced grind of a game, but we have yet to see them dictate their tempo in this series. The total is higher than what I believe it should be, especially if Dallas can come out and force Phoenix to play its brand of basketball.

Best Bet Summary

None

Season Record: 92-75-2

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