NBA Playoffs: Daily best bets, odds and predictions for Saturday, May 20th

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

May 20, 2023 11:32 AM


Welcome to your source of daily analysis of the NBA Playoffs! Here we will break down each game, discuss betting angles, give predictions and more. For more discussion make sure to check out our daily NBA betting podcast: Hardwood Handicappers.

Also make sure to use each one of our betting tools at the disposal of VSiN Pro subscribers!

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Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers (-4, 224)

Game 3: Nuggets lead series 2-0

Desperation has a price according to the betting market, and tonight that price is an extreme one. 

Los Angeles closed as a 5.5-point underdog on Thursday night in Denver and lost that game despite leading for most of it. The game landed on five, so we can surmise that the line was somewhat accurate, but even if you came away thinking the Lakers “found something” in each of the two games in Denver this line move is extreme.

This line is an 11.5-point flip from Game 2 in Denver and that makes absolutely no sense. Unless you believe these two teams are equals and that homecourt in the postseason is worth 5.5 points, but there is not a person in the world who believes that to be the case. The betting market is over adjusting due the scenario that Los Angeles finds itself in, and that is a dangerous thing for backers of the home team.

Let’s look to last night for a recent example. The market loves the trend of teams which lose Game 1 at home coming back and blasting their opponents in the second game of a series. We saw the line close -10 in favor of Boston, but the result was not what bettors expected. Not only were they paying a tax for the situation, they also lost the result outright. This is an extremely similar scenario.

If we believe the 5.5-point lines in Denver were accurate, which they seem to be given the results, this line should be closer to 2.5 than the consensus price available. It won’t be fun to take a shot against a popular betting trend, but the value is too much to pass up here.

Best Bet: Nuggets ML (+200)

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