Best NBA Bets Today: EXPERT Picks & Predictions for NBA Playoffs 05/17
Best NBA Bets Today, May 17, 2023:
- Over 210.5 total points (-110) @ BetMGM Sportsbook)
- Kyle Lowry Assists Over 4.5 (+115) @ bet365 Sportsbook
Game 1 of the Western Conference finals provided a thrilling experience, and now we eagerly await the excitement of Game 1 in the Eastern Conference finals. The Boston Celtics will host the Miami Heat in a highly anticipated rematch of last year's Eastern Conference finals.
To help you make informed decisions for tonight's NBA action, our team of analysts has carefully selected some of the best NBA bets. The Miami Heat will heavily rely on their role players to support their star players and overcome the Celtics. On the other hand, the Boston Celtics will be seeking consistency from their star players.
Below, you will find our best NBA bets today for the Heat vs. Celtics matchup. Stay tuned for an exciting game ahead!
NBA Best Bets Today: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics - Over 210.5 points (-110 @ BetMGM Sportsbook)
- Date: Wednesday, May 17 | Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
- Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
- TV channel: TNT
- Over/Under Odds: O/U 210.5 (-110) @ BetMGM Sportsbook
Historical data supports the likelihood of the Over hitting in games where one team is coming off a Game 7, with a success rate of 62.1% (36-22-2) since 2003. When that team is playing at home, the Over has hit at an even higher rate of 71% (17-7). Moreover, in 15 out of 24 instances, the home team has allowed the opponent's win total to exceed expectations.
Both teams heavily rely on three-point shooting. The Miami Heat, in particular, emphasize outside shooting due to their limited interior firepower and playmaking abilities, especially with Jimmy Butler nursing an ankle injury. On the other hand, the Boston Celtics consistently launch long-range bombs.
Last year, their matchups were grueling defensive battles, resulting in an average total of 203.6 points per game. Both teams employed switching schemes and boasted strong defensive statistics during the regular season, which justified the lower totals.
However, it's crucial to recognize that these teams have evolved since last year. Their defensive approaches have shifted, with a reduction in switch-heavy strategies and an increase in drop coverage. Additionally, both teams have displayed improved offensive performances, with the Celtics' offense showing notable growth and the Heat's offense finding its stride in the second half of the season.
The current total is based on an assumption that these teams are similar to their previous iterations. While there are similarities, there have been significant enough changes to suggest that the total points scored will exceed expectations.
Considering these factors, the Over 210.5 points bet (-110 odds available at BetMGM Sportsbook) holds strong potential in this game.
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Best NBA Prop Bets Today: Kyle Lowry Assists Over 4.5 (+115) @ bet365 Sportsbook
Kyle Lowry's consistent playmaking ability has been crucial to the Miami Heat's success in the playoffs. In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics, Lowry is expected to continue his high level of play.
During the regular season, Lowry averaged 5.1 assists per game, and in the Heat's last round, he averaged 5.7 assists per game. Despite being past his prime, Lowry has cleared 4.5 assists in 28 out of 55 regular season games and in five of his 11 playoff games. In the Heat's close-out game against the Knicks, Lowry even contributed nine rebounds and four assists to secure the team's spot in the Conference Finals.
Given Lowry's importance to the Heat's success and their need for consistent playmaking in Game 1, it's likely that Lowry will be heavily involved and have plenty of opportunities to record over 4.5 assists.
At +115 on bet365 sportsbook, Lowry is a good bet to record over 4.5 assists, especially considering his improved production and increased playing time in recent games.
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