NBA Finals Best Bets: Our Experts’ Favorite Picks for Heat vs. Lakers Game 5 (Friday, Oct. 9)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
- The Los Angeles Lakers can take home the franchise's 17th NBA championship with a win over the Miami Heat in tonight's Game 5.
- Do our experts think Miami can stave off elimination, or will L.A. finish the job with another dominant victory?
- Our staff breaks down their favorite bets for Game 5 of the NBA Finals below.
For the fourth time in this postseason, the Los Angeles Lakers enter Game 5 of a series with a 3-1 lead and a closeout on their collective minds. The Miami Heat find themselves in a must-win situation for the first time in the playoffs despite the fact that they’ve played nearly every game with that mentality.
So, where’s the value today? Our staff is here to break down their favorite NBA bets for today’s NBA Finals Game 5 matchup:
- 9 p.m. ET: Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Heat vs. Lakers Game 5 Odds
|Heat odds||+7 [BET NOW]|
|Lakers odds||-7 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+245/-320 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||216 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
NBA Finals Game 5 Betting Picks
Brandon Anderson: Lakers First Quarter Spread
It’s been a fun season. Fine, it’s been a weird season. Either way, it’s about to be over.
The Heat are down 3-1 in the series, down Goran Dragic, down a healthy Bam Adebayo, and down to their last rites now. We know by now that the Heat, of all teams, certainly will not roll over. The Lakers are going to have to play all 48 minutes and will not walk into a coronation. But this is a wrap.
Jimmy Butler will always have that epic Game 3 performance as the first line on his Hall of Very Good plaque. But the Lakers adjusted in Game 4 by going under every screen and daring Butler to shoot. In a weird way, Adebayo’s return also clogged up the Heat offense some.
Instead of Butler just playing iso with shooters around him — with Kelly Olynyk or Meyers Leonard at center — there was a non-shooter out there clogging things up. Oh, right, Butler also had Anthony Davis defending him most of the game.
The Heat just don’t have enough scoring options left. They were running Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson off screens for contested fadeaway 3s down the stretch with the season on the line. They were underdogs already, and the loss of Dragic as a ball handler and a creator was simply too much for this offense.
The Heat proved their point by pushing all the way in Game 4. I think the Lakers know they have all the answers now and know they’re 48 minutes away. I like them to come out and make an immediate first-quarter statement.
They’ve been a great first-quarter team all postseason, and their starters are much better. Maybe Miami pushes back from there, or maybe everyone’s just ready to get out of the bubble. I’m not interested in sweating a backdoor cover in a Finals I’ve already seen too much of.
Give me that Lakers first quarter for one final win this season. I’ll be counting my winnings for my own victory lap by the time the Lakers take theirs.
The Pick: Lakers -2 First Quarter
Joe Dellera: Lakers First Half/Full Game ML
Black Mamba Jerseys in a clinching game? You love to see that. I took the Lakers in 5 (+300) as my best series bet so hopefully you tailed and are sitting on a nice moneyline bet for tonight’s game.
The Lakers are undefeated while wearing those jerseys with a win over each of their playoff opponents. More importantly, the Lakers are 2-2 against the spread in those games, covering by an average margin of 2.375 points. (Of note, in Game 2 against the Heat the line moved and closed at -10.5 just before tip, otherwise we are looking 2-1-1.)
That being said, I agree with Brandon, and I don’t want to sweat a backdoor cover. Miami has made a living coming from behind this postseason, and they are just 5-8-1 on the first half moneyline as a dog, per Bet Labs. On the other hand, the Lakers are 12-6-1 straight up and 11-8 ATS in the first half, including 3-1 SU in this series.
If you’re rooting for the Heat, don’t expect their shooting to save them. In fact, the Heat have a higher eFG% than expected by nearly 2% while the Lakers are shooting 2.5% worse than expected in this series, per Cleaning the Glass.
The Lakers are closing out on the Heat shooters and only 21.3% of their shots can be categorized as “wide open” compared to 27.1% for the Lakers, per NBA Advanced Stats. The Lakers have forced Miami to take 9.5% of their shots with a defender within 2 feet of them; when Miami ripped through the East they attempted just 7.1% of their shots under those circumstances.
Playing the Lakers is exhausting. They have the length and athleticism to close out on shots, push you in transition and create matchup problems in the paint and on the wings.
This is too much to ask of the Heat, and aside from a perfect performance by Butler in Game 3, the Lakers have had their way in this matchup. Expect the Lakers to take care of business tonight, end this series and cash those futures.
The Pick: Lakers Double Chance 1H ML/Full Game ML (-150)
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Matt Moore: Parlay Lakers Moneyline/Total
I am still trying to recover from Tyler Herro forcibly removing my innards with a fish hook with his backdoor 3-pointer with one second left in Game 4, so I tried to stay away.
But combining a take from Justin Phan on the under (currently at 216.5 at BetMGM, Phan nabbed it at 218.5 early) along with the Lakers moneyline on a Single Game Parlay gets us +153, and that number I like quite a bit.
If the Lakers win, it’s because they held the Heat’s offense down again, smothering the supporting cast while daring Jimmy Butler to beat them on his own. If the Heat win, it’s likely because the Lakers’ offense failed to launch, which has happened routinely in the playoffs. (The Lakers can win even if their offense is poor, which gives us an alternative scenario.)
I want to bet the Lakers, but I don’t like the number. So I’m combining the moneyline and under to get a nice return and calling it a season.
The Pick: Lakers ML/Under 216.5 (+153)