NBA Playoffs: Daily best bets, odds and predictions for Thursday, May 25th

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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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Miami Heat at Boston Celtics (-7.5, 214.5)
Game 5: Heat lead series 3-1

Despite a commanding series lead for Miami it seems that the momentum is slowly shifting in Boston’s favor after just one win. The Celtics are sizeable favorites back at home with a high probability of forcing a sixth game in this series, and their odds improved when it was announced that Gabe Vincent would miss the game tonight with a sprained ankle. 

The consensus number as of this morning is 8.5 right now, and while many will question why this line is right where it was for Game 1, remember that Vincent’s injury is now factored into this number. Vincent has been one of the many key factors in this series lead for Miami. He’s averaging 14.8 points per game on 54.5% shooting from the floor and 47.4% from beyond the arc. His absence also just adds to the rash of injuries the Heat have experienced in this series at the guard position, as Tyler Herro continues to recover from a hand injury suffered in the first round.

For those who still do not want to buy into Boston at this point I don’t blame you. The Celtics are 9-8 ATS in this postseason and 3-5 ATS in their last eight games overall. Inconsistent play has been their calling card, and laying some of these big numbers has been a losing proposition for bettors. Finding a cheaper number in-game for the home team here could be the way to go. Another is looking toward this total.

I believed that this was a series in which the total was correlated to the side. For Miami, if they were going to win games it would be through their shot-making which has been extreme at times throughout this postseason. All three games in which they won in this series have gone over. Meanwhile, if Boston is going to win these games it is going to be when its defense shows up, and in the lone win in this series the game fell just under the number. The absence of Vincent only helps that theory.

Lean: UNDER 216