Can Boston and Memphis Keep Home Court Advantage?
Higher seeds are at home for tonight’s NBA games. So far the trend has been that home teams are faring better in these playoffs.
Will that continue?
Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics
7 p.m. ET, TNT
The Celtics opened as 5.5-point home favorites and expect this line to dip lower toward -4.5 points as tip-off approaches.
In Game 4, the closing line had the Bucks priced as 1.5-point home underdogs after opening as 2-point home favorites.
Will The Celtics Follow the Home Favorite Trend?
In their 41 regular season home games this season, the Celtics earned a 28-13 straight-up record for 68.3% wins. They went 18-21-2 against the spread, good for 46.2% winning bets, and had a 20-21 Over-Under record.
As a home favorite, the Celtics went 26-12 straight-up and 16-21-1 against the spread for 43.2% wining bets.
When they were a 3.5-9.5 home favorite, they were 17-7 straight-up, for 48% wins, 11-12-1 against the spread for 47.8% winning bets and 9-15 Under for 62.5% winning Under.
The Bucks were priced as road underdogs in 13 of their 41 games and went 4-9 straight-up and against the spread with a 6-7 Over-Under record.
So, the initial angles to point to a Celtics advantage tonight.
What the Trends and Angles Show
The Bucks are 15-5-1 against the spread when their previous game played over the total.
If you like Boston, you’ll like that they are 20-9 against the spread after having won six or seven of their last eight games in the past three seasons.
Plus, they are 37-20-1 against the spread after playing two consecutive road games in the last three seasons.
From my predictive models, the Celtics are expected to score 111 or more points and shoot at least 48% from the field.
When at home and have met or exceeded this pair of performance measures in the past five seasons, the Celtics have gone on to earn a 102-20 straight up record for 83.6% wins and 79-41-2 against the spread for 65.8% winning bets. They also have a 94-26-2 Over-Under record.
If a playoff game, the Celtics have produced an 11-4 straight-up record and a 10-5 against the spread mark for 67% winning bets. They have a 13-2 Over-Under record, good for 86.7% winning Over bets.
I am betting the Celtics minus the points.
Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
10 p.m. ET, TNT
This season, the Memphis Grizzlies went 20-6 straight-up and 19-7 against the spread, with a 13-13 Over-Under record when playing without Ja Morant.
When installed as a home underdog and Morant out, the Grizzlies are 4-1 straight-up and against the spread including a 4-1 Over-Under record.
In the four wins, the Grizzlies covered the spread by an average of 18.5 points and won the game by an average of 22 points.
Will Ja Morant Play Tonight?
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins declined to reveal the results of an MRI exam performed on Morant's knee Monday.
"Obviously, we are going to continue to work with our doctors to try to figure out what is going on,” he said on Tuesday. You could take from this the MRI was negative and the team is considering letting him play.
So, if you like the Grizzlies, betting on them as early as possible is the preferred strategy. If it looks like Morant is playing that Warriors -4 line will move.
What This Betting Angle Shows
Betting the Over with a road team that is playing no more than their sixth game over the past two weeks, has lost four or five of their last six games to the spread. In a game with a posted total between 210 and 219.5 points that team has earned a 57-26 Over record, good for 68% winning bets over the past five regular and playoff seasons.
I am going to bet the Over 218 points as offered at DraftKings and BetMGM Sportsbooks.
Other Bets I like Tonight
Brook Lopez of the Bucks Over 17.5 points and assists at -110 as offered at BetMGM.
Marcus Smart Under 17.5 points and assists at -110 as offered at DraftKings.
Steph Curry 30-plus points, with Klay Thompson 20-plus points and the Warriors -3.5 points at +425 as offered at BetMGM.
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