NBA Betting Guide for Monday 5/29/23: Can Boston Complete a Historic Comeback in Game 7 Against the Heat?
Betting on the NBA can get a little overwhelming throughout the season because there are games every day, and there's just a lot to track throughout the season and entering every night -- spreads, over/unders, injuries, and so on.
But you can rely on numberFire to help. We have a detailed betting algorithm that projects out games to see how often specific betting lines hit. You can also track spread bet percentages at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Where can we identify value in tonight's NBA odds?
(All offensive, defensive, and net rating splits come from PBPStats.com and account for medium-, high-, and very high-leverage situations unless otherwise noted. Unless otherwise noted, all injury news and notes come from the official NBA injury report.)
Miami Heat at Boston Celtics
Boston Celtics Moneyline (-300)
Lean: Over 203.5 (-110)
A few days ago, it felt pretty impossible to anticipate a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Miami Heat, but after some dominant games by Boston and a wild ending to Game 6, that's where we are.
And the Celtics are now in the driver's seat as 7.0-point home favorites in Game 7.
Going back to that Game 6, the Miami Heat ultimately wound up with 24 points on 21 field goal attempts from Jimmy Butler (5 of 21), but he owes a lot of that to going 12 of 14 from the free-throw line.
The other half of their star duo, Bam Adebayo, went 4 of 16 from the field and 3 of 4 from the line for just 11 total points. He was outscored by fellow starters Caleb Martin (21 points) and Gabe Vincent (15).
In games with Butler, Adebayo, Martin, and Vincent (who is questionable) active but with Herro off the floor, Miami holds a net rating of -1.5 and an offensive rating of 114.3.
As for the Celtics, their offense is reversing course after some horrid three-point shooting to start the series. They didn't get a lot of help from deep in Game 6 (7 of 35 for 20.0% as a team), yet they were substantially more efficient from the field despite that (43.6% to 35.5% for the Heat).
Notably, the pace in this series has been cut drastically.
From Games 1 through 3 (the Miami wins), the teams averaged 96.2 possessions per game. From Games 4 through 6 (the Boston wins), that number is 89.3.
That explains why the over/under is so low (203.5). The under has hit in each of the past three games after the over hit in the first three.
But even using the expected scoring outputs (based on regression of underlying values), these teams should have averaged 206.7 points per game rather than 209.7 per game as they did in Games 4 through 6. The pace is already down, and the efficiency has a lot of room to grow.
For that reason, the over is the more appealing side, though the best overall play here is just taking the Celtics to close it out at -300. numberFire's model likes the Celtics to win this game 78.5% of the time, implying odds of -365.