NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Sunday 5/29

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 Sunday, May 29th

*Lines are opening numbers

Boston Celtics (-2.5, 200) at Miami Heat

Game 7: Series tied 3-3

Despite a 3-2 series lead with a closeout game on its homecourt, and despite the betting market believing they are the best team by a mile in this series the Boston Celtics find themselves in another Game 7 scenario, but this time it comes on the road. The Celtics have squandered away quite a few opportunities in this series, and so they must win tonight to move on to the NBA Finals despite having outscored the Heat by 10.8 per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes of this series.

Boston might have an overwhelmingly positive net rating, but their offensive execution has killed them in this series. The Celtics have turned it over on 16.9% of their possessions in non-garbage time against the Heat, and in losses they have a 20.3% turnover rate compared to the 12.9% rate in wins. That lack of execution has plagued them all season and is a big reason why they have been so poor in clutch minutes. In the regular season they finished 26th in net rating (-9.5) in clutch minutes and averaged just 0.977 points per possession. That issue has returned in this series, as Boston has averaged just 0.75 points per possession in the few clutch minutes we’ve seen in this series. In a tight elimination game that has a high probability of having clutch time can the Celtics overcome their issues on that end of the floor. It seems clear that they won’t be going away anytime soon, so should bettors be laying this big of a number with Boston on the road?

Even with these lackluster performances from Boston that have caused the team to face another elimination scenario I still believe them to be the better team in this series. Having said that, I do not know if they are this much better than Miami. The overwhelming support for the Celtics by the betting market has been quite surprising and the fact that they are laying this number in a Game 7 setting on the road is overzealous in my book. At the very least the Heat should be about -1.5 back at home in an elimination game, so there is some point spread value on the home team here. With futures on both teams there is no need to get involved personally, but Miami would be the side for me tonight.

As far as the total is concerned, it is not surprising that the market has bet this down five points to the 195.5 that dominates the board right now. The market has believed this to be a lower scoring series to begin with, but four of the six games have gone Over and by an average of 15.25 points per game. The only play for this would be Over the total given how much bettors have lost on the number to this point.

Best Bet Summary


Season Record: 98-82-2

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