NBA Playoffs: Daily best bets, odds and predictions for Thursday, May 11th

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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.

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Boston Celtics (-1, 214.5) at Philadelphia 76ers
Game 6: 76ers lead series 3-2

The betting market cannot quit the Boston Celtics despite minimal returns. As of this morning, the Celtics are 2.5-point favorites on the road in a potential close out game, but there is growing evidence that the market has overvalued this team. 

Since Game 3 of its series with Atlanta, Boston has allowed 119.9 points per 100 possessions on defense, and the team is 5-5 SU and ATS as a result. The betting market has been all over the place with its rating of the Celtics as well. Over the weekend there was a massive push toward Philadelphia before Game 4 which led to Boston closing as a slight underdog. On Tuesday, the market pushed that line up to 7.5 at some shops before the Celtics would go on to lose. Now, this line has been steamed up to 2.5 consensus, and I just wonder what bettors have seen from Boston to believe it is going to put forth a consistent effort tonight.

It leads me to a conversation that I have been having with many throughout this postseason: At what point is a situation worth an adjustment on a point spread?

The market deemed that the 76ers being in a desperate situation at home on Sunday was worth a 2.5-point adjustment, and now it is saying that because the Celtics are facing elimination it is worth a push in their direction. However, we’ve seen plenty of evidence to suggest that Boston is an overvalued team that is not as good as the market believes. Maybe desperation is a good enough motivator for the road team here, but it’s not something that I believe is worth buying into.

Lean: 76ers ML (+120)

Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns (-3.5, 226.5)
Game 6: Nuggets lead series 3-2

The same conversation about desperation’s effect on the market can be had here, but it’s interesting that bettors do not seem to be buying into it being a factor for Phoenix. 

When the Suns returned home for Game 3 in this series they closed as 3.5-point favorites because they fit the scenario of a team down two games returning home. However, the betting line was 1.5 for Game 4 which is much more representative of the gap between these two teams. Now that we are back in Phoenix for a potential close-out game the market opened the line at 3.5 but we are seeing pushback on that number with the hooks all but gone.

The Suns might have grabbed wins in the first two games at home, but it took historic performances from Devin Booker and Kevin Durant. The probability of that happening again is very low, so it is worth it to once again look toward the Nuggets like the market is today.

Denver has the deeper bench, and throughout this series Phoenix has not had an answer for their offense. The Nuggets have averaged 118.4 points per 100 possessions through five games against the Suns, and Nikola Jokic has decimated this defense for 35.0 points, 13.8 rebounds and 10.0 assists per game on 57.5% shooting from the floor. That advantage will translate on the road, and average bench production will be enough for a victory.

Best Bet: Nuggets ML (+135)