NBA betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Monday 5/23


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 Monday, May 23rd

*Lines are opening numbers

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics (-7, 208.5)
Game 4: Heat lead 2-1

There is a ton of chaos surrounding this game when it comes to player availability and because of that it makes this game nearly impossible to handicap pre-flop. For Boston, both Marcus Smart and Robert Williams are questionable to play, and Miami has Jimmy Butler along with five other players listed as questionable to play. Butler has come out and said that he intends to play, but the status on Smart and Williams is unknown. If those two cannot play for the Celtics, then this game is completely different, and the betting market got it right in pushing this line down from as high as -7.5 to 6 before news that Tyler Herro would not be available. 

Injuries aside, this matchup has been fascinating. Through three games Miami leads the series, but it is Boston that is %plussign% 4.7 per 100 possessions in non-garbage time minutes and it is Boston that has won the shot quality score in two of the three games. It’s one thing to win the metric battle though, and as we know, those do not always translate to victory (Looking at you, Dallas). The first thing that the Celtics need to do is cut into the turnovers. Through three games they have turned it over on 18.1% of their offensive possessions in non-garbage time minutes and their turnover rate of 25.1% in Game 3 was the reason they lost that game. Jaylen Brown might have scored 40 points on 14-of-20 shooting, but he and Jayson Tatum combined for 13 of the team’s 23 turnovers. Miami used those extra possessions to their advantage, scoring 33 points off those blunders which is the difference in a six-point game.


Those who believe that the Heat are a disrespected ‘dog who have been undervalued this entire postseason have quite a bit of evidence in their favor at this point. They are up in this series and have covered two of the three games to this point. Personally, I am holding strong in my belief that the Celtics are the better team and there is evidence to back my claim as well. However, until I know that both Smart and Williams will be on the floor, I will not be involved this early in the day. The news that Herro will not be available changes things for Miami. Herro has decimated the drop coverage Boston has employed at times against him, but he’s also a liability on defense. His absence is a mixed bag, but for an offense that lacks shot creation at time I would say his loss is a negative. 

From a total standpoint it should be noted that the betting market has been wrong about this series. Boston and Miami have offensive ratings of 119.6 and 114.9 respectively in non-garbage time minutes. They match up well with the other defense and both have clearly had offensive success in this series. As a result, all three games have gone over the total by an average of 16.3 points per game. The market is down to 206 as of now, but that is due to the absence of Herro who provides scoring along with lackluster defensive play.

Best Bet Summary


Season Record: 98-80-2