May 8 NBA Playoffs: Celtics and Rockets Worth a Look Tonight
Our favorite guide to betting the NBA playoffs highlights the Celtics and Rockets as plays worth considering for Wednesday evenings NBA action. Accordingly, we are backing both road dogs to cover the spread tonight. We are also taking the Warriors versus the first half number.
Sharp money bettors have been rock solid this NBA postseason, covering 62% of contests to date, for a 21% return on investment (ROI). Data at our disposal says this rock-star showing is no abnormality. Since the 2015-2016 season, this cohort has cashed in at a similar 58% rate in professional basketball playoff action (detailed betting data is not available prior to this point).
Boston Celtics +9 @ Milwaukee Bucks
At present, the Celts have attracted only 42% of the spread bets tracked by The Action Network. However, 54% of actual dollars wagered versus the number have come down on Boston. This positive discrepancy between the percent of dollars laid and the spread bet volume is indicative of bigger, more keen bettors' bias toward the crew from Beantown. Consistent profits have accrued to tailing this cohort.
Also favoring the road team in this evening's early game, we note that in the first two rounds of the playoffs, teams entering game 5 in position to close out a series have been solid fades ATS. Betting against this spot has generated a 12% ROI since 2005.
Houston Rockets +6 @ Golden State Warriors
Similar to the betting flows disparity observed for the Celtics-Bucks matchup, only 40% of spread bets are behind Houston as of the time of this writing, however, 48% of the money is with the Rockets, hinting that more serious bettors are rocking with the Rockets.
Despite the endorsement of the sharpest bettors though, we must admit to being a bit nervous about backing Houston here, as we know that playoff game 5's are tough for teams off consecutive wins. Squads that collected W's in postseason games 3-4 are a lowly 20-32-1 ATS in game 5, for a -24% ROI since 2005. Further, at 9-16-1 ATS, the numbers are just as bad when we hone in only on Western Conference teams in this position.
Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors -3.5 1H
Despite the butterflies we feel in our gut over the mere thought of betting against the most talented core in basketball, when it matters most, no less, our discipline will not allow us to simply ignore the signal in favor of the Rockets. In a compromise effort to both stay true to our approach AND address our anxiety, we are also getting down on the Warriors -3.5 1H. Western Conference teams (especially) on two-game losing streaks within a series tend to get the job done against the first half line.
This system has amassed a 30% ROI since 2005, and is 4-1 ATS so far this season (for a 54% ROI).