NBA Best Bets for Wednesday, June 12th

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 (-1, 213.5) at Dallas Mavericks


For the first time since April 9 – a road game against Milwaukee – the Boston Celtics are underdogs. The status of Kristaps Porzingis has pushed this number toward Dallas, but the market cannot help itself when it comes to teams in the Mavericks’ situation; that situation being a team down 2-0 in a series going back home for Game 3.

Generally the betting market likes to bet the home team in this spot for the game and the first half. We also usually see the first quarter line juiced up higher than it usually should be. However, this is a trend the betting market has completely caught up with.

Today, Dallas is not only a 2.5-point favorite for the game, but a 2.5-point favorite for the first half and a 1.5-point favorite in the first quarter. Bettors looking to bet on a strong start to this game for the Mavericks are getting no value. In fact, the value is on the Celtics in the first half, without question.

Even with the Porzingis injury, this seems like an overreaction by oddsmakers and the betting market.

Boston has absolutely torched Dallas’ interior defense through two games in this series. The Celtics are 34-of-41 (82.9%) at the rim. They are picking on the Mavericks poor perimeter defenders – Luka Doncic – and it is paying off. And yet, there is still massive room for improvement from the Celtics.

Boston is averaging 54.5 drives to the basket per game in this series. They are passing out of those drives 51.4% of the time. Those drives lead to catch-and-shoot opportunities, which the Celtics have yet to hit consistently. Through two games they are shooting 33.3% on 30.0 catch-and-shoot attempts from deep. They shot 40.6% on such attempts in the regular season.

The constant driving and kicking is also generating high quality looks. Boston has generated 36 uncontested 3-point attempts in this series, but it is shooting just 36.1% on such shots. It shot 41.6% on wide-open 3-pointers in the regular season.

Porzingis’ potential absence is impactful, but I believe it to be more impactful on the total. Porzingis missing time means an appearance from Luke Kornet, and that means Doncic has a drop defender to target on offense. It also means the lobs could be a threat once more for the Mavericks. The market has responded the way I believed, which would be to bet this game over the total.

However, I do not believe the Porzingis injury to mean that Dallas is suddenly live to win this series. I also do not believe it means the Mavericks deserve to be favored to this degree over a team which has had its number through two games while not playing its best basketball.

Best Bet: Celtics ML (+120)