NBA

NBA Betting Guide for Wednesday 5/18/22: Can Luka Keep It Rolling By the Bay?

The Western Conference Finals begin Wednesday with the Dallas Mavericks visiting the Golden State Warriors. How should we wager on them?

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.

Mavericks +5 (-110) - 1 Star

I've been totally wrong about this Mavericks squad all postseason, so I don't mind the nudge from the model on this one.

The Mavs (+4.0 net rating) have a better net rating than the Warriors (+3.8) during these playoffs, and their competition has inarguably been tougher. Their run went through the defending conference champions and top overall seeded Phoenix Suns.

Golden State also has a terrible habit of giving the ball away. Their 15.8 turnovers per game in the playoffs tower over any remaining mark (Boston; 13.4). That's how they played the Grizzlies tight in Game 4 and lost a blowout in Game 5 even though Memphis was missing Ja Morant for both contests.

This first game will go a long way in determining the competitiveness of the series. Golden State has far more top-end talent, but the Mavs have the best player in the series -- Luka Doncic.

With urgency squarely in their corner, a Dallas spread bet seems totally logical and the side I'd rather back for a unit. numberFire's model expects Dallas to cover the spread 53.6% of the time.

Under 214.5 (-110) - 4 Stars

Just like the model, I concur this is the better bet on the board.

The Dubs just aren't as high-paced as that 73-win squad in 2016 was. They were just 14th in the NBA during the regular season in terms of pace, and their 99.82 pace during the playoffs is just the fourth-highest mark. They're no longer an outlier team in terms of possessions.

As for Dallas, they were the slowest regular-season team in the league. That has a lot to do with Doncic's willingness to isolate at his own speed.

The combined pace of these two squads in the playoffs is just 192.32 possessions per game. Even with two offensive ratings above 114.0, that's just very slow for this total.

numberFire's model expects the under to cash here 67.7% of the time. That's tremendous value on a -110 (or 52.5% implied probability) bet.

Of the 20 most similarly-profiled games to this one in numberFire's model, 11 fell short of their projected total.

Swaim-Game Parlay (+519)

Under 214.5
Luka Doncic 8+ Rebounds
Draymond Green Over 6.5 Assists
Draymond Green 1+ Blocks

Just one game a day means it's Same Game Parlay season now more than ever on FanDuel Sportsbook.

Under 214.5 (-110) -- a bright green flag from our model -- is a great building block for tonight's lay.

In addition to that, it feels pretty elementary to throw Luka Doncic 8+ Rebounds (-320) into the mix. Doncic has averaged 15.0 rebounding chances per game, and he's converting at a 67.0% clip that we saw close to his regular-season mark. It seems to be part of the Dallas offense to let Luka grab the board and bring the ball up the floor, and less Maxi Kleber as both teams go small should only increase his chance rate.

Scoring props with Golden State are always tricky, but Draymond Green has a couple of props that seem like tremendous opportunities. Green is actually fourth among all players in the NBA's postseason with 13.9 potential assists per game. He's had at least five dimes in 16 of his last 17 games extending into the regular season. Therefore, Draymond Green Over 6.5 Assists (-140) feels like a mark that's achievable even if this game gets out of hand.

In those same 17 games, Draymond has also posted a block in 14 of them. One of the exceptions came in the Game 6 thumping of Memphis. With regression -- hopefully -- on our side, Draymond Green 1+ Blocks (-186) is another addition that could hit by the end of the first quarter. As mentioned with Doncic, the small-ball nature of this series means he's likely to spend more time at the five protecting the rim for Golden State, as well.