Sunday NBA Finals Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Lakers vs. Heat Game 6 (Oct. 11)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
- The Miami Heat spoiled the Los Angeles Lakers' chances at clinching in their Mamba jersey's on Friday and can push this series to the brink on Sunday.
- Jimmy Butler and the Heat enter as 6-point underdogs, but are hoping to beat the odds for a third time in this series.
- Joe Dellera breaks gives a full game breakdown, including a betting pick.
Lakers vs. Heat Betting Odds
|Lakers Odds||-6 [BET NOW]|
|Heat Odds||+6 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-260/+215 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||214.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
I’m shocked that I’m even writing a Game 6 guide, but Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat extended the NBA Finals on Friday night against all odds. Danny Green missed a crucial 3-pointer, while Markieff Morris pulled off his best J.R. Smith impression to end Game 5.
Can the Heat continue their comeback and force a winner-take-all Game 7, or will the Lakers finally finish the series?
Anthony Davis looked hurt down the stretch of Game 5, and his ankle clearly was affecting his movement. He’s listed as probable for Sunday night, so I cannot imagine a circumstance where he doesn’t play. He might not look 100% as the game progresses, though.
LeBron James delivered a gargantuan performance in Game 5 (40 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and three steals), and I think we will see that type of output again in Game 6. One thing that has been consistent during the series is his assist numbers: They decline during the NBA Finals as he seeks out his own shot. LeBron is averaging 8.2 assists this series, which is down from a career-high 10.2 during the regular season. However, his Finals average this year is more consistent with his career NBA Finals average of 7.8 assists per game, per StatMuse.
A big reason for LeBron’s dip in assists during the Finals is that he is either facilitating the offense to get the perfect pass to an open shooter or hunting his own mismatch. This eats at the clock and leads to fewer possessions. LeBron dictates the pace of the game from an offensive and defensive perspective.
Another change for LeBron: When he’s on the court during the Finals, the Lakers’ pace dips. During the regular season, the Lakers played to 101.20 possessions per game with him on the court. This has dropped all the way down to 94.80 during the Finals. The only Lakers lineups that are averaging a pace of over 100 possessions per game are those without LeBron on the floor, per NBA Advanced Stats.
Bam Adebayo has been completely removed from the injury report, while Goran Dragic remains listed as doubtful for Game 6 due to the tear in his left plantar fascia.
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Miami’s shots finally started to fall in Game 5, a trend led by Duncan Robinson cooking from 3-point range to the tune of a 7 for 13 performance from behind the arc. The Heat, as a team, shot 42.4% (14 for 33) from 3-point range. I’d expect that percentage to go down in Game 6, considering Miami has shot 36.6% from beyond the arc in this series.
The Heat will be relishing the day off on Saturday, given that they shortened their rotation to seven players for Game 5. Butler played 47 minutes and is at 42.7 for the series, which is a massive increase from his 33.8 mpg in the regular season. Fatigue could hit Miami like a ton of bricks if the rotation sticks at seven without Dragic.
Butler is leaving it all out on the floor, but Miami will have to keep that 3-point shooting going if it has any chance against the Lakers.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This season, the Lakers were 16-7 straight up after a loss, including a 4-0 mark in the postseason. In those four postseason victories, they are winning by an average margin of 10.75 points. Los Angeles is listed as 5-point favorites for Game 6, which is the smallest spread since Game 1 when the Heat had both Adebayo and Dragic healthy. I think this line is too low with the Lakers looking to avoid Game 7 at all costs.
Additionally, I like the under. Miami is due for some regression from its 3-point shooting performance in Game 5, and the pace in this series has slowed to a crawl of 94.80 possessions per game. Given those factors, I expect the under to be actionable. The line movement is indicative of this, as the total has dropped from opening at 216 down to 214.5. It is back up to 215 on PointsBet as of Saturday night. I would not go lower than 214, but this total seems too high considering how hot Miami was from deep.
Picks: Lakers -5, under 214.5