NBA Best Bets: Starting the Postseason Golden

May 19, 2021
NBA Best Bets: Starting the Postseason Golden

We made it! Postseason basketball! Full intensity basketball without regard for rest days or minutes limits is here! The NBA playoffs really are a different season and we will treat them as such. You’ll notice the table below is different from what you’ve seen in the past. I still have a projection, but it’s a little simpler and I’ve also included information from each teams’ games against one another in the regular season. Unless you have some missing players, the closing lines are efficient and good indicators of what to expect in the playoffs. I listed the starters for each team so that you can pick out any games without a key player. Now, let’s finally get to some basketball.

Projections for May 19, 2021

My Projection Game 1 Score Game 1 Spread Game 1 Total Game 2 Score Game 2 Spread Game 2 Total Game 3 Score Game 3 Spread Game 3 Total
San Antonio Spurs 110.8 131.0 2.0 230.0 112.0 (3.5) 219.0 102.0 (4.0) 221.5
Memphis Grizzlies 114.0 119.0 (2.0) 230.0 129.0 3.5 219.0 133.0 4.0 221.5
Spread (3.1) 12.0 San Antonio Spurs (17.0) Memphis Grizzlies (31.0) Memphis Grizzlies
Total 224.8 250.0 Over 241.0 Over 235.0 Over
San Antonio Spurs Memphis Grizzlies 12/23 San Antonio Spurs Memphis Grizzlies 1/30 San Antonio Spurs Memphis Grizzlies 2/1
REST 3+ 3+ 3IN4-B2B 3+ 3IN4 1
STARTERS DeMar DeRozan Dillon Brooks DeMar DeRozan Brandon Clarke DeMar DeRozan Brandon Clarke
Keldon Johnson Kyle Anderson Keldon Johnson Kyle Anderson Keldon Johnson Kyle Anderson
LaMarcus Aldridge Jonas Valanciunas LaMarcus Aldridge Xavier Tillman LaMarcus Aldridge Xavier Tillman
Lonnie Walker IV Grayson Allen Lonnie Walker IV Dillon Brooks Lonnie Walker IV Dillon Brooks
Dejounte Murray Ja Morant Dejounte Murray Ja Morant Dejounte Murray Ja Morant
Golden State Warriors 108.6 115.0 8.5 226.5 91.0 2.5 221.0 97.0 2.0 225.0
Los Angeles Lakers 112.3 113.0 (8.5) 226.5 117.0 (2.5) 221.0 128.0 (2.0) 225.0
Spread (3.6) 2.0 Golden State Warriors (26.0) Los Angeles Lakers (31.0) Los Angeles Lakers
Total 220.9 228.0 Over 208.0 Under 225.0 Push
Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Lakers 1/18 Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Lakers 2/28 Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Lakers 3/15
REST 3+ 2 1 1 B2B 2
STARTERS Andrew Wiggins LeBron James Andrew Wiggins LeBron James Andrew Wiggins LeBron James
Draymond Green Anthony Davis Draymond Green Markieff Morris Draymond Green Markieff Morris
James Wiseman Marc Gasol Kevon Looney Marc Gasol Kevon Looney Damian Jones
Kelly Oubre Jr. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kelly Oubre Jr. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Kelly Oubre Jr. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Steph Curry Dennis Schroder Steph Curry Dennis Schroder Steph Curry Dennis Schroder

LEGEND

  • EFG% (Effective Field Goal Percentage)= (FG + 0.5 * 3P)/FGA
  • TOV% (Turnover Percentage) = TOV/(FGA + 0.44 * FTA + TOV)
  • OREB% = ORB / (ORB + Opp DRB)
  • FT Rate = FT/FGA
  • Oliver % = Shooting (40%) + Turnovers (25%) + Rebounding (20%) + Free Throws (15%)

Best NBA Bets of the Day (May 19, 2021)

Golden State Warriors +5.5 and +194 at Los Angeles Lakers

It looks like everyone is playing and LeBron James says his ankle is okay, so I guess we shouldn’t be too worried about him. With everyone on the floor, there are a lot of interesting matchups in this game. Steph Curry will likely put up big numbers going against Dennis Schroder, but the Warriors don’t have any wings who can slow down LeBron James. Draymond Green can do a good job against Anthony Davis, but the height discrepancy is a big advantage for Davis, who is comfortable just shooting over Green. The Lakers bench is the better of the two and Kyle Kuzma can be an X factor every night. Overall, the matchup favors the Lakers and it should come down to whether Curry or LeBron can take greater advantage of the mismatches.

You can see above that the Lakers did well against the Warriors this season with a 26-point win at the end of February and a 31-point win two weeks later—Anthony Davis missed both contests. Green went down in the second quarter of that 26-point loss. The market still opened more or less at the same spread for game three. The Warriors were on a back-to-back and possibly looking ahead to a road trip for that third game. We see a 3.5-point adjustment from that game for tonight. I would credit most of that adjustment to Anthony Davis playing.

A lot has happened since that last game. The Lakers have struggled against stronger competition and picked up most of their late wins against lottery teams or teams in bad scheduling spots. Anthony Davis still doesn’t look like his best self and James was limited even before tweaking his ankle in the last game. The Warriors finished the season on a 6-0 run with wins over Utah, Phoenix and Memphis. My projections have this game lined at 3.5. If I toggle things to focus on earlier in the season, I get closer to a number we can bet tonight. I think this is a great spot for the Warriors against a less-than-themselves Lakers team. Let’s grab the points and put a little bit on the moneyline. Golden State should keep this close and with the right Curry performance, they could win.

Risk: 1.1 units on Golden State Warriors +5.5 at Los Angeles Lakers to win 1 unit at FanDuel.

Risk: 0.5 units on Golden State Warriors +194 at Los Angeles Lakers to win 0.95 units at FanDuel.

Quick Slate Rundown (May 19, 2021)

San Antonio Spurs +4 at Memphis Grizzlies

This game came in very close to my projections. You’ll see that the market had the Spurs favored in their last two meetings, but both were in San Antonio and much earlier in the year. Memphis has been much better with Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr. both healthy. The Spurs had an awful finish to the season with a 2-10 record in their last 12 games. Now, they knew they were in the play-in game scenario and didn’t have to win to hold onto that. They also played some of the league’s best teams during that stretch. From a matchup perspective, the Grizzlies big men should dominate this matchup, but I just don’t know what I’m getting from San Antonio. Even without Derrick White, they still have the guards to attack the Grizzlies and keep this game close, if not win outright. I thought about backing Memphis for a while, but ultimately decide to pass given the unknown that is the Spurs.

For the most up-to-date picks check out my Twitter or subscribe to our Discord. This sheet from Dan Rivera tracks all my betting picks (and those from the rest of the betting staff) on the year. Just click on the tab with my name on it for the results.


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