NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Thursday 5/12

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 Thursday, May 12th

*Lines are opening numbers

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers (-2.5, 208)

Game 6: Heat lead 3-2

If this series has taught us anything it is that Miami will be unable to hit a 3-point shot in this game and Philadelphia will force a Game 7 with a victory. In all seriousness, this series – like many of the series in the conference semifinals – has been about playing at home. The 76ers have been outscored by 23.7 points per 100 possession in South Beach while the Heat have a -17.0 net rating after two games in the City of Brotherly Love. Philadelphia is shooting 21.2% on wide-open 3-point attempts in Miami, but 40.9% at home. The same could be said of the Heat which shot 22.2% on those attempts on the road, but 47.5% in the three games at home. We could simply follow that trend tonight and assume that Miami will lose this game due to poor shooting, but the Heat did make some adjustments that could benefit them in this contest.

As Dan Devine of The Ringer pointed out, Jimmy Butler took on the task of guarding Tyrese Maxey in Game 5 and the results were stupendous. Maxey was guarded by Butler for 37 plays in half court settings and produced exactly zero points or assists, according to the data at Second Spectrum. Miami will likely bring that gameplan with them here today which could be a problem for the home team. James Harden reverted to his ineffective ways on Tuesday, scoring just 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the floor with only 4 assists. If Maxey is going to be tied up by Butler the onus is on Harden to score and we have seen four games that tell us he will not fill that void.

The spread for tonight is in line with where Game 4 in Philadelphia closed. There is an argument to be made that it should -3 as opposed to -2.5 given how well the 76ers have played at home and the difference between these two being slight, but with the recent result in hand the market will not likely let this get to that point. The total is down to 207 and if it closes there it would be the lowest total of the series. Three of the games in this series have gone Under, but if you believe in the shot quality metrics you would see that Philadelphia has been woefully underperforming on offense in this series. If that regression hits, and Miami hits its open shots, this could be a higher scoring affair.

Phoenix Suns (-2, 214) at Dallas Mavericks

Game 6: Suns lead 3-2

Just like the series between Miami and Philadelphia, this series has been all about the home team. Home teams in this series are 5-0 SU and ATS, with Phoenix outscoring Dallas by 19.8 points per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes on its own court while getting outscored by 12.6 points per 100 possessions in Texas. Unlike the other series though, there is a distinct argument to be made for a side here that I believe holds some water.

In the three games at home the Suns have shot a blistering 54.5% on mid-range attempts and 59.5% on long 2-point shots. That accuracy disappeared in Dallas, where they 31.7% and 35.3% respectively from those areas of the floor. Shot quality data would tell you that those figures were accurate, as Phoenix’s final point totals in both road games where identical to its Shot Quality score. Meanwhile, in two of the three games on the road the Mavericks actually underperformed what their quality of offense provided, and even lost one of those games it could have won had they performed in line with the quality of shots taken. In other words, despite the series lead for Phoenix it is Dallas which has been the more consistent team.

Which brings us to the side tonight. The betting market opened this -2 in favor of Phoenix and its been sitting at that number since open. The market has been squarely on the side of the Suns in this series, going so far as to drive this number up to -3 on Sunday for Game 4 which they lost outright. For me, the market has been too high on Phoenix so I will go back to the well in backing Dallas at home tonight.

Play: Mavericks (+ 2)

Best Bet Summary

Mavericks (+ 2)

Season Record: 95-75-2

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