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 Tuesday May 3rd
*Lines are opening numbers
Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics (-4, 215)
Game 2: Bucks lead 1-0
Boston ran into a legitimate NBA defense on Sunday and was reminded how hard a path to the Finals is. The Bucks held them to just 0.89 points per possession, forced 18 turnovers and won on the glass 54-48 in a Game 1 victory. Boston faced little interior resistance against Brooklyn, but it was different story against Milwaukee, as the Celtics were held to just 10 made baskets inside the arc, all of which came at the rim on an inefficient 45.5% shooting.
The efficiency at the rim needs to improve, but that is easier said than done against a team that allowed the fifth-fewest attempts to opponents at the rim. It is not all doom and gloom for Boston though. They performed very well on the defensive end of the floor themselves, limiting the Bucks to 1.031 points per possession and 0.756 points per play in half-court settings. Where the Celtics’ defense failed, and where the game was won, was in transition -- where Milwaukee added 7.2 points per 100 possessions and averaged 1.5 points per play compared to the miniscule 0.58 points per play for Boston. Most of that transition work came off steals for the Bucks, so a better handle on the ball will allow the Celtics to limit the damage in that facet of the game. At the end of the day, this game backs down to the number for me.
Home court is still only worth a point in the postseason, even as the sample size grows. If that is the case, then the number of 4.5 would tell us that Boston is the better team by 3.5 points -- which is very strong. On Sunday the Bucks were the play because of the number; if the number is going to stick, then the play remains the same.
Play: Bucks (+ 4.5)
Golden State Warriors (-2, 227) at Memphis Grizzlies
Game 2: Warriors lead 1-0
Sunday was a missed opportunity for Memphis, and that could be the difference in a series with a team that has the championship experience of Golden State. It is unlikely that Klay Thompson will be held to 15 points on 6-of-19 shooting again, or that Stephen Curry has another inefficient performance like the 8-of-20 he put forth on Sunday. One would assume that Draymond Green does not get ejected again, either. On the other hand, can the Grizzlies count on Jaren Jackson Jr. to replicate the 33 points on 6-of-9 3-point shooting performance that he had? It is unlikely, which is why I believe the Warriors are in a better situation than the market believes.
This line is down to 1.5 at a few shops and it is not surprising, as there are many who believe the zig-zag theory is still a viable option despite evidence to the contrary (16-19 ATS this postseason alone). I would not look past Golden State here personally. Despite poor shooting nights from their stars they averaged 1.17 points per possession in the win. They took it to Memphis at the rim, going 25-of-36 within four feet and despite having the smaller team they posted a 34.0% offensive rebounding rate and won the rebound battle 52-47 on Sunday.
A correction in shooting along with the continued ability to get into the paint could lead the Warriors to a win and cover, along with a 2-0 series lead tonight.
Best Bet Summary
Bucks (+ 4.5)
Season Record: 92-73-2