NBA Betting Guide for Friday 5/27/22: Irish Eyes Are Smiling on the Celtics Entering Game 6
We could be on to the NBA Finals after tonight. The Boston Celtics are at home with a chance to close it out in Game 6, and they've blown the Miami Heat out in three of the past four games. Will Boston advance, or does Miami survive?
Betting on the NBA can be tricky, but you can rely on numberFire to help. We have a detailed betting algorithm that projects out games to see how often certain betting lines hit. You can also track spread bet percentages at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Where do our algorithm, our power rankings, and the betting trends identify value in tonight's games? All odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook, and all ratings are out of five stars.
Heat +8.5 (-110) - 2 Stars
There should warning signs around this spread just by looking at the total.
With only 201 total points projected in a slog, Miami getting 8.5 of them is incredibly valuable. I'm as concerned as anyone that many of the Heat's key rotation pieces are significantly banged up, but it's just hard to imagine the top overall seed doesn't grind out a better effort with their season on the line.
They're due for massive regression from deep, and we've even seen that shot carry them to a win in Boston. They've shot just 21-for-81 (25.9%) from three-point range in the past two games, and this is a team even with that factored in shooting 35.1% from deep for the playoffs. They'll be better.
Although he's truly questionable, Tyler Herro might make a difference if he can return with Miami's season on the line. They had a +5.8 net rating with him on the floor this season compared to just +3.1 without him. He's been fighting this groin issue and struggling in the playoffs, but Miami just needs a dynamic offensive player.
numberFire's model sees Miami covering the spread 62.5% of the time, which is a no-brainer value against 52.5% implied odds.
Over 201.0 (-110) - 1 Star
There were just 173 total points in Game 5, so the over seems nonsensical in this spot. It took truly terrible basketball to reach the low point, though.
The Heat shot just 31.9% overall on Wednesday, but so much worse was a 7-for-45 (15.6%) effort from the three-point range. As mentioned, this is a team that is shooting 35.1% just as an average with that game included, and if they had posted even just that mark, the game would have seen 197 points.
If either team is hot from the field, this total seems frighteningly low. After all, the first three games of this series saw 215, 229, and 212 total points. Miami's dry spell from behind the arc has drastically shifted how oddsmakers feel about the exact same tempo and pace from then.
Our model -- never a huge fan of the over that's usually higher because of the public's preference to bet it -- thinks that this game sails beyond its projected points total 56.0% of the time. Of the 20 most similar profiles to this one in numberFire's database, 11 of them surpassed this total.
While it's a close call reliant on Miami's injured squad turning it around, the over seems like the lean here.
Swaim-Game Parlay (+525)
Al Horford Over 7.5 Rebounds
Al Horford 1+ Threes Made
Marcus Smart 1+ Steals Recorded
Jimmy Butler Over 4.5 Assists
Just one game a day means it's Same-Game Parlay season now more than ever on FanDuel Sportsbook. For some fun, I drop 0.25 units a day on one to see if it hits. Feel free to tail mine...or create your own!
That verbiage is intentional. Our model believes the Celtics win this game a whopping 70.7% of the time. With so many blowouts and wild quarters in this series, I'll keep to yesterday's winning formula and make the cornerstone Celtics ML (-420).
I'm looking at Big Al Horford today for a couple of his props. Horford's been a calming presence in Boston's frontcourt, averaging 9.3 rebounds per contest in the playoffs. He's collected at least eight boards in 9 of his past 11 games, but he's landed squarely on that number in four of them. Therefore, I'm willing to pay the alternate price on his prop of Al Horford Over 7.5 Rebounds (-230) rather than tempt fate by being a rebound shy on the standard one.
That's not all, though. He's drained a three in every game this series, and he's averaging 2.0 makes on 4.1 attempts for the entire postseason. The hefty price on this prop just isn't hefty enough to sway me away from Al Horford 1+ Threes Made (-450) in a game Boston is projected to win comfortably.
I let the model do the talking from here. It projects Marcus Smart for 1.7 steals at the median today. Smart hasn't secured a steal in three games despite averaging 1.1 per game for the playoffs and 1.7 per game in the regular season. numberFire's Austan Kas likes the value of Smart securing a pair of steals in this one, but playing it safe, Marcus Smart 1+ Steals Recorded (-290) mixes in well.
Finally, we do like the Heat to keep this one within striking distance. As a result, Jimmy Butler might have an easier time compiling stats. Butler is averaging just 3.0 assists per game in this series, but averaging 7.4 potential assists in this span, he's fallen victim to Miami's aforementioned dumpster fire from three. Butler is projected for 5.0 assists by our model, so Jimmy Butler Over 4.5 Assists (+110) has a solid price attached to it.