Here’s How To Bet Friday’s NBA Playoff Games

Here’s How To Bet Friday’s NBA Playoff Games
© USA Today

There is a huge difference being up 3-2 in an NBA playoff series as opposed to 2-3. No team knows that better than the Boston Celtics. 

Emotionally, a bettor would think that a team like the Celtics, which blew a 14-point lead with 10 minutes remaining against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, would not be a bounce-back candidate. 

The analytics tell us otherwise. Teams that won on the road in Game 4, as Boston did Monday in Milwaukee, then lost at home in Game 5, like the Celtics did on Wednesday, are 15-5 straight up and 16-4 against the spread for 80% winning bets in Game 6.

The betting markets are seeing 63% of the tickets backing the Bucks, but the line has not moved from its opening price of the Bucks being favored by 1.5 points. 

This implies that the so-called sharp money is on the Celtics. In other words, the average bet size on the Celtics is significantly larger than the average bet size on the Bucks.

For the Friday night game in Milwaukee, with the Bucks up 3-2 in the series, I like the Boston Celtics to win. I’ll play it +1.5 points on the spread, as offered by BetMGM Sportsbook.

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Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr Still Out

The Golden State Warriors will be forced to play tonight’s Game 6 against the Memphis Grizzlies without the guidance of head coach Steve Kerr, who continues to recover from COVID-19. The Warriors are leading the series, 3-2.

I think it is obvious that Golden State is missing his guidance, especially after their Game 5 loss, in which they trailed by 51 points entering the 4th quarter.

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Can Memphis Win Without Morant?

But the Grizzlies have a missing element of their own, superstar playmaker Ja Morant.

Reports indicate Morant will not be available for Friday’s game in the Bay Area. Morant has been sidelined with a right knee bone bruise. 

During the season, Memphis has played sensational basketball without the injured Morant. The Grizzlies are 21-6 straight-up, for 78% winning bets, and 20-7 against the spread, for 74.1% wins, in games this season without Morant stepping onto the court. 

Even more surprising, is the Grizzlies have covered the spread by an average 12.4 points per game in those matchups.

That run of good luck might not hold out for Memphis Friday night, though, in a possible season-ending game for the Grizzlies.

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What the Markets Tell Us

I expect the Warriors to win this key NBA betting matchup.

The Warriors are 28-3 straight-up, and 22-9 against the spread, as a home favorite this year. In the game on Friday, the Warriors are seven-point home favorites.

In tonight’s game, which could clinch the series for Golden State, I like betting on the Warriors minus the points, currently at -7 as offered at BetMGM Sportsbook.

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