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, June 5th
*Lines are opening numbers
Boston Celtics @ Golden State Warriors (-4, 215.5)
Game 2: Celtics lead 1-0
The talking point from Game 1 on Thursday for most is that the Celtics’ hot shooting is not likely to sustain itself as head into Game 2 tonight, and I would agree with that sentiment. Boston tied a Finals record with nine made 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter while also becoming the first team in NBA history to win a Finals game by double-digits after trailing by double digits entering the fourth quarter. Record-setting performances tend not to repeat themselves the next game. However, I believe that if your focus is on the Celtics’ shooting on Thursday and that is the basis of your handicap for this game tonight you are off to a bad start.
Boston dominated that fourth quarter in part because of its shooting, but also because of a defense that held Golden State scoreless for a five-minute stretch that allowed them to go on a 17-0 run to close the game. The Celtics made a clear adjustment in the final frame, going from a switch rate on pick-and-rolls of 18% in the first three quarters to 29% in the final one, according to former Mavericks executive and basketball bettor Harlabob Voulgaris. That shift in philosophy completely stymied a Warriors offense which had won the third quarter 38-24 while averaging 1.52 points per possession. So sure, it is likely that Boston will not shoot like that again in this game, but what is stopping the best defensive team in the NBA from defending like that again?
Chalking up the Celtics’ shooting to an anomaly also ignores another key factor in that run which is the Warriors’ defense. According to the NBA tracking data Boston had six wide-open 3-point attempts in that fourth quarter and they hit four of those. The rate at which they hit them does not matter, but the fact that in one quarter the team generated six 3-point attempts with a defender six feet or further away does. If you extend the sample size back to include the series with Dallas then Golden State opponents are averaging 23.7 wide-open 3-point attempts per game and Boston had 23 total in Game 1. There are certainly ways in which the Warriors can adjust to limit those open attempts, but for six games this has been an issue and an opponent finally made them pay.
Which brings us to Game 2 of the NBA Finals. After the Warriors lost outright as 3.5-point favorites we have seen the market adjust this number, but not in the direction one would think. Golden State is now laying a half-point more and, in a few spots, a full point more. Why? You will likely hear that the Warriors are the play because they “won’t play like that again” or because they are “desperate” to get a win at home to avoid falling down two game in the series. That is worth a point to a spread?
Boston is the better team in this series and homecourt is worth 3.5 points in this postseason. This number today would tell you that somehow Golden State got a point better between the first two games, and the betting market is back in full force with 83% of the handle and 76% of bets at DraftKings on the home team as of this morning. That will not be me. I do not care about situations or spots. I care about the numbers and by the number this line is yet again too high on the favorite, so give me Boston once more.
As far as the total is concerned, I would look to play this Under personally. The efficiency in the last game by both teams was very strong, but Cleaning The Glass had it as a 93 possession game which is extremely slow. Should the efficiency dip, which is likely, this is going to look much different today from a scoring perspective and bettors are getting five more points than they were in the first game total at the open.
Best Bet Summary
Celtics (+ 4.5)
Season Record: 99-82-2