Should You Bet The Heat To Finish Off The Hawks?

Should You Bet The Heat To Finish Off The Hawks?
© USA Today

You can be certain that Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra is constantly reminding his players not to take Game 5 against the Atlanta Hawks lightly, because they are up 3-1 in the series with each win by double figures.

The Heat are a complete playoff team and may be undervalued as a No.1 seed.

The Heat played Game 4 without their quarterback, Kyle Lowry, but as has been the case all season, the fill-ins have stepped up to earn wins.

No matter what combination of players are on the floor, the Heat play well under the leadership of Spoelstra’s 14 seasons as Miami’s head coach.

Last season he was named one of the Top 15 greatest coaches in NBA history.

Tipoff for Game 5 is 7 p.m. ET.

What Do the Analytics Tell Us?

In their three wins, the Heat have outscored the Hawks by 18.3 points per game.

Playoff favorites of 4.5 or more points that have outscored their current opponent by 10 to 15 points per game have gone to a 27-6 straight-up record, for 82% winners, and 20-11-2 against the spread, for 64.5% winning bets.

This included a stellar 20-11-2 Under record over the past five playoff seasons.

I am leaning toward betting the the Heat minus the points, currently priced at -7 at BetMGM Sportsbook.

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Following a 130-117 Memphis Grizzlies loss in Game 1 to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the next three games have seen far less scoring. The markets have adjusted accordingly.

The Grizzlies bounced back in Game 2 with a dominating 124-96 home win, covering the spread by 21.5 points. The total closed at 240.5 points. The game played Under by 20.5 points.

In Game-3, a 104-95 Grizzlies victory, the Under won the money by 38.5 points.

The betting community then went heavy on the Under in Game 4, which closed at a price of 232 points.

That Under bet lost the money in Game 4 by five points in a 119-118 Timberwolves win that evened the series at 2-2 heading into Game 5, which tips off at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Betting Edge Goes To The T-Wolves

Over the last 10 playoff seasons, teams like the Grizzlies — which lost Game 1, won Games 2 and 3, then lost Game 4 — have produced a losing 47-70 straight-up record, for 40% wins, and a 44-73 record against the spread, for 38% winning bets.

During the regular season, these two teams were the two best scoring offenses in the NBA, with the Timberwolves averaging 115.9 points per game and the Grizzlies averaging 115.6.

However, they were not scoring efficiently and instead relied on a fast-paced style of game to score points.

In the shot-attempts category, Grizzlies ranked 18th during the season, making 46.1% of their shots. The Timberwolves ranked 22nd, hitting 45.7%.

In shots per game, the Grizzlies ranked tops in the league at 94 shots, but 24th in shooting efficiency ratio, at 1.101.

The Timberwolves ranked 5th, averaging 90.4 shots per game and a solid 10th with a 1.139 shooting efficiency ratio.

In this matchup, the slight edge goes to the Timberwolves’ offense.

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Profitable NBA Betting System

The following betting system has earned a 48-20 ATS record betting on the first-half line, which has been good for 71% winning bets over the last five seasons.

So, we are expecting the Timberwolves to get out of the gate fast and to cover the +3.5-point first half betting line as offered at BetMGM Sportsbook.

The requirements are to bet on road playoff underdogs of two-to-six points that have failed to cover the spread in two of their last three games.

Live In-Game Betting Strategy

This is a game that has the potential for the Timberwolves to be leading at the half and then for the Grizzlies to mount a comeback and win the game.

Playoff teams coming off a road loss of three or fewer points in Game 4 have produced a 20-6 straight-up record, for 77% wins, and a 17-9 against-the-spread record, good for 65.4% winning bets.

Historically, home teams favored by 2.5 to 7.5 points, after trailing at the half but winning the game, have produced a 74-44-4 against-the-spread record, for 63% winning bets.

These results are based on the closing betting line before the game starts, which I call “pre-flop.”

If the Timberwolves are winning the game at the half, the live in-game betting line on Memphis is going to be less than the current line of 7 points, 
for instance, and somewhere potentially near pick-em.

This fact makes the against the spread for 2.5-to-7.5-point favorites a 79% ATS winning-betting opportunity.

That is all there is to it, and I like betting the Timberwolves +3.5 points, using the first half betting line.

If this bet wins, take the Grizzlies in-game to cover that spread.

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Playoff Scoring Droughts

The first-round NBA playoffs games have experienced significant scoring declines.

Monday night saw two of the three games go more than 20 points Under their posted totals.

The 76ers looked horrible on offensive, scoring just 88 points in a 103-88 loss to the Toronto Raptors. The 191 points scored in the game were 20.5 points fewer than the 211.5-point closing total.

The Utah Jazz were even worse offensively in their 102-77 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, with a combined total of 179 points scored, playing Under the closing total of 212.5 points by 33.5 points.

Overall in the NBA playoffs so far, the Under is 19-15, for 56% winning bets.

Conventional wisdom would initially point toward believing that the Over is an attractive wagering opportunity involving teams coming off offensive struggles.

However, the Under is 66-33-6, for 67% winning bets following a playoff game in which the previous game played Under the total by 20 or more points over the past five seasons.

Moreover, if the previous game was part of any ongoing series against the same opponent (not a closeout game) the Under is 56-26-6, for 68.3% winning bets over the last five playoff seasons.

Plus, the Under is 12-6-2 if the home team in the current game is leading in the series following a game that played Under by 20 or more points.

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