NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Monday 5/9

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 Monday, May 9th

*Lines are opening numbers

Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks (-1, 209.5)

Game 4: Bucks lead 2-1

Milwaukee might be the one with the series lead here, but the Bucks have hardly separated themselves in a hard-fought series. They have only averaged 100.7 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes, and through three games they own a -2.4 net rating in this series. That is not to say that Boston is the clear favorite going forward in this series. The Celtics might have a positive net rating through three games, but they have only put up 103.1 points per 100 possessions and Jayson Tatum has largely been contained by the Bucks’ defense (20.0 points per game, 34.8% shooting from the floor). There is barely an edge to be had for either team in this series.

The betting market has made an adjustment on the side, and the adjustment is correct I would say. For a majority of the time between Games 2 and 3, the line sat at Milwaukee -3 but eventually reached as low as -1.5 at a few shops on Saturday. The wild finish allowed Boston to cover a majority of numbers and we have now seen this line open at Bucks -1 which is where it sits now. By my ratings the Celtics are the better team, especially with Khris Middleton on the sidelines, so this number sitting on -1 is accurate. That adjustment has me sitting this game out from a side perspective, but there is an interesting angle on the total.

All three of these games have gone Under by an average margin of 18.6 points per game. It has been a rock fight of a series up to this point, and as a result we have seen the total go from 218.5 in Game 1 to the 211.5 that is currently up at a few shops. Bettors might be tempted to bet this game under yet again, but there are some indicators that we could get this game over that total. First, we have the seven-point adjustment from the first game. Second, we have the pace of this series, which has not been the slowest. These two have averaged 98.7 possessions per game and Saturday we saw a 103-possession game between these two. If you factor in shot quality for both teams, Game 3 graded out to be a 115-114 final as opposed to the 103-101 score we saw. 

Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors (-9, 227)

Game 4: Warriors lead 2-1

The story here is the injury to Ja Morant and his status for this game and the series going forward. Morant is officially listed as doubtful, but as we saw with Joel Embiid that status means nothing. The betting market has adjusted this line accordingly, making Golden State a 10.5-point favorite due to Morant’s status and the whipping the Warriors handed out on Saturday night, but should the adjustment be this strong? The betting line opened Golden State -9 which was already an indication of Morant’s status for this game. After the announcement that he was doubtful we got another 1.5 points added to the line, which seems somewhat overzealous.

Memphis did go 20-5 without Morant on the floor, and when he was not on the floor in the regular season they were much better on defense in allowing 106.9 points per 100 possessions to opponents. If you sift through the numbers there is an argument to made that the record with Morant is built on bad teams and others which were missing some of their best players, but there is something to be said about a team that has 25 games without its best player under its belt. Golden State set records with its offensive performance on Saturday, so we will likely get some regression from them and we’re getting what I believe to be an inflated number with the off chance Morant might still play. With all of that considered, I am going to take a chance on the underdog here tonight.

Best Bet Summary

Grizzlies (+ 10.5)

Season Record: 93-75-2

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