NBA Best Bets for Monday, May 13th

Welcome to my daily column of NBA best bets! Here at VSiN we have a ton of NBA content daily, so make sure to keep tabs on Zach Cohen who is doing an excellent job handicapping the league on a daily basis.

NBA Best Bets

Boston Celtics (-8, 209.5) at Cleveland Cavaliers

 

The betting market showed some early support for Boston in this contest, and I couldn’t help but agree. We saw on Saturday that the distance between these two teams is vast when the shots aren’t falling at the same rate they were on Thursday night. The Cavaliers averaged only 1.058 points per possession and shot 33.3% from distance. Some of that is regression, and some of it was a swarming Celtics defense which flexed its muscles after a tough loss the game prior. That effort should remain tonight.

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Boston’s offense is also a constant issue. The Celtics are viewed as a shooting team, and rightfully so as they have attempted 43.5% of their attempts in the playoffs from beyond the arc. But, they have been very balanced in this series with Cleveland. Boston is averaging 1.203 points per possession in three games despite shooting just 33.6% from deep. They have taken advantage of Jarrett Allen’s injury and attacked the rim. As a result, the Celtics are 52-of-72 (72.2%) at the rim. If Allen is out once more, that advantage will remain in place.

Betting this contest so early does present some challenges. It is likely that the market drops the hook once Donovan Mitchell – who is listed as questionable – is announced as active. Allen could also return, driving the number down even further. We’re already seeing the 8.5 disappear this morning. I would highly recommend waiting for the market to take shape with injury news before attacking.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks (-2.5, 214.5)

The bettors who shape the market are in on Oklahoma City once again. This marks the fourth consecutive game in which market setters have supported the Thunder, but for now they are 1-2 ATS. A bounce back for Oklahoma City is not out of the question, but water will need to find its level for some of the Dallas role players if the Thunder are to avoid a massive series hole.

It is fascinating to see how strongly the market feel here, but neither the side nor the total will be the target for me here. Instead, we’ll go to a player prop tonight to sweat out.

The most valuable role player for Dallas to this point of the series has been P.J. Washington. Over the last two games Washington is a combined 22-of-41 from the field and 12-of-23 from deep. His efficiency has been insane, especially from deep. In the regular season Washington shot just 31.4% from beyond the arc as a Maverick. He is a career 35.4% shooter, but that figure has been buoyed by the first two years of his career. Since 2021 he is just a 34.2% shooter.

It’s about more than just regression though. The market has changed its perception of Washington, and that – along with standard regression – is worth taking a stab here. His 3-point prop has gone from 1.5 to 2.5 for the second straight game. His point total prop has gone from 10.5 in Game 1 to 15.5 for tonight. Los Angeles played Washington as a non-shooting factor and he finished the series averaging 10.8 points per game on 31.3% shooting from deep. I’ll bank on some regression here for a player whose props have been altered in a big way.

Best Bet: Washington UN 2.5 3P (-118) | Washington UN 15.5 PTS (-130)

Record: 122-126-3 | Units: -13.8