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5 Tips for Betting the NBA

The curtain is ringing down on the NBA season, but gamblers have one more bite of the betting apple come Friday. Who’s coming out on top in the Best of 7 final, the legendary Lakers or the Miami Heat? Let’s take a look.

The Los Angeles Lakers lead the Miami Heat 3-1 in the Best of 7 final, and opened as -7 across major sportsbooks for Game 5. L.A. will try to capture the championship in this game. If the Heat wins, Game 6 is Sunday.

Here are some wagering considerations:

  1. Five has been L.A.’s magic number this post-season. The Lakers put away three teams in exactly that number of games to reach the finals: the Portland Trail Blazers, the Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets. All teams fought them hard, but the Lakers had just a little more in the tank.
  2. LeBron James steps up when it matters. Expect the chance of a multi-point, multi-rebound game as James knows he only has to do this one more time to wrap up the season. The Akron Hammer had 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists in Game 4, a taut 102-96 Lakers triumph. The game may have revealed something else…
  3. The Heat played their hearts out, but couldn’t win. A couple of twists and turns burned them. Trailing by 3 points late in the third quarter of Game 4, Miami failed to run the clock down and take the final shot of the period. The Heat missed a shot with eight seconds left, the Lakers got 3 more points before the quarter ended, and the Heat went down 6 when they had been looking to tie the game. If the Heat play their best game and still can’t get in front of the Lakers, will Los Angeles pull away in the final quarter of Friday’s game?

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  1. The over-under of 216.5 is right about in the middle. No real edge there, so instinct can determine that pick. The first four games of the series have bounced back from high to low games. The high was 238 points in Game 2. The low was 198 in Game 4. The Lakers won both of them.
  2. The sportsbooks have had an interesting relationship with the Lakers all year long. Los Angeles was the consensus pick to capture a championship when the season began. After the Covid shutdown and the resumption of pro sports, the books used the Lakers in numerous promotions to generate betting interest. The Lakers have been good for NBA betting action. The books will have to pay a substantial amount of money to the Lakers if they win, but at least the Lakers were sensibly priced at less than 3-1.

At WilliamHill.com, when you place a $50+ bet on the straight, pregame, full-game point spread on the Lakers or Heat game, you’ll get $1 cash credit for every point above 20 points by any player!

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Dave Bontempo, a multiple award-winning writer and broadcaster, has covered sports for the Associated Press, ESPN, HBO and Showtime and called boxing matches on every major network. Dave is a winner of the Sam Taub Award for broadcast excellence given by the Boxing Writers Association of America, and is a member of both the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame. He writes regularly for iGamingPlayer.com and Global Gaming Business magazine.

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