NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Wednesday 5/18

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 Wednesday, May 18th

*Lines are opening numbers

Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors (-5.5, 214.5)

Game 1: Series tied 0-0

The Golden State Warriors are back in the conference finals for the first time since 2019 but awaiting them are the upstart Dallas Mavericks and Luka Doncic instead of the oft predicted meeting with the Phoenix Suns. Of these two teams it is Dallas that has served bettors the best, coming into this series with a 9-4 ATS in the postseason and a 7-3 ATS mark since Doncic returned from injury. Meanwhile, the Warriors have struggled to cover numbers consistently, posting a 2-4 ATS mark in their series win over the Grizzlies and a 6-5 ATS record in the postseason overall. Those contrasting ATS records tell us the market has overvalued the once dominant franchise while undervaluing the new kid on the block. We should keep that in mind as we evaluate how this matchup potentially plays out.

Back in the 2015 NBA Finals, the Golden State Warriors ushered in a new era of basketball with the first iteration of their "Death Lineup" when they defeated Cleveland in six games. Most believe that Dallas is here in this series because of their own small-ball lineup, but in reality it is because of their five-out offensive philosophy, dubbed "space-ball" by The Athletic’s John Hollinger. Led by Doncic, the Mavericks have been putting five shooters on the floor and by way of consistent dribble-penetration they have been forcing opponents into rotations and getting great looks as a result.

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