Tuesday NBA Finals Picks & Predictions: Our Best Bets for Lakers vs. Heat Game 4 (Oct. 6)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
- How many ways can you bet Game 4 of the NBA Finals? Our experts count three.
- Tonight, they're making plays on first-half/full-game parlays, full-game spreads and series finish props.
- Check out their analysis and picks for those wagers below.
We finally have a series on our hands. Jimmy Butler single-handedly made sure this year’s NBA Finals would not end in a sweep and now that the Miami Heat are down 2-1 to the Los Angeles Lakers entering Game 4, there’s a lot more pressure to go around for both squads.
So, where’s the value? Our staff is here to break down their favorite NBA bets for Tuesday night’s Finals slate and has found three betting angles in the matchup.
NBA Finals Betting Picks
Brandon Anderson: Lakers 1H, Heat Moneyline
|Lakers odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Heat odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-335/+275 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||218.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
Game 3 was much more of a blowout than it looked. Miami was much more than a monster Jimmy Butler 40-point triple-double. The Heat won all four quarters of Game 3. They saw Meyers Leonard and Kelly Olynyk completely outplay Anthony Davis, and the shooting ability of the Heat’s two big men continues to take Dwight Howard out of the game.
Miami changed its defense by not switching and would’ve won even more comfortably if not for huge shooting nights from Markieff Morris and Kyle Kuzma’s nine combined 3s.
The Lakers have now failed to win six straight quarters against a team missing the heart and soul of its defense and its leading scorer. That’s not great. Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have gone completely missing. Davis was nearly perfect the first half of this series but weirdly absent the second half. Weirdest of all was LeBron James, whose 25-10-8 line obscured how disengaged he seemed at times and hid the eight turnovers he committed that plagued the Lakers.
In Game 3, I bet on LeBron having a big game to put the series away and lock up Finals MVP, and it didn’t happen. He was beaten soundly by Jimmy Butler, the first time ever when a player had more points, rebounds, and assists than LeBron in the same Finals game. I still like LeBron at +250 (PointsBet) to record a triple-double. He’s come one or two rebounds and assists away all three games.
But something smells a bit off with the Lakers. Not enough to bet on the Heat at around -7.5 or the moneyline at +250. There’s not enough value there for me. If the Heat do win, I think they do it by coming from behind like they’ve done so often this postseason, wearing the Lakers down and pulling away late.
I’m looking for an opportunity to bet the Heat live in the first half after they’ve fallen behind the Lakers enough to give serious moneyline value, say +400 or better. But there’s another way to play at PointsBet, where you can bet the Lakers to win the first half but the Heat to win the game at +750. That’s my angle here, playing the long odds for another Heat mental and physical comeback late.
The Pick: Lakers first half/Heat moneyline (+750)
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Raheem Palmer: Lakers Series
After the Heat’s Game 2’s 10-point loss, Butler assessed the gravity of his team’s uphill battle in this series by saying, “We got to play damn near perfect in order to beat those guys.”
Well, in Game 3, the Heat got a 40-point triple-double from Butler that included 12 free throws, got Davis in early foul trouble that knocked him out of rhythm while limiting him to just 33 minutes and forced 19 Los Angeles turnovers, including 10 in the first quarter.
James had eight turnovers, Davis took just nine shots and Caldwell-Pope and Green combined to go 1-of-11 from the field. You couldn’t ask for more if you’re the Miami Heat, and yet the Lakers still led 91-89 in the fourth quarter before Butler’s game-tying floater and Olynyk’s subsequent 3-pointer gave Miami the lead for good en route to a 115-104 victory.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra made some adjustments by using Olynyk to space the floor to open up the lane for drivers with Bam Adebayo out. Adebayo is questionable for Game 4, and his absence would mean that Miami is fighting an even bigger uphill battle with a laser-thin margin for error.
The Lakers have had one misstep in each of their playoff series, eventually closing out each series in five games. I don’t think we’ve seen anything to make us believe that trend will change here. I like the Lakers to win Game 4, but I’m not seeing much value in laying 7.5 points in this spot from a numbers perspective, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Adebayo’s status.
I’m taking the Lakers -143 to win the series, 4-1.
You’re essentially betting a two-team parlay that the Lakers will win both Games 4 and 5. The Lakers are -300 on the moneyline for Game 4, and the price of -150 for the series assumes that the Game 5 line will be Lakers moneyline will be priced at -400 should they win. Check out our Parlay Calculator to see for yourself.
Betting it this way also allows you a middle/arbitrage opportunity to bet Miami on the spread before or live during Game 5 and hit both bets, or sit tight with the Lakers moneyline bet knowing you have the best of it.
The Pick: Lakers win series 4-1 (-143)
Matt Moore: Lakers -7.5
I wrote more on my Game 4 thoughts here, but here’s the gist of how I’m approaching Tuesday’s game.
Los Angeles just didn’t try very hard in Game 3. That’s an easy and seemingly lazy narrative, but it consistently shows when you go back and watch the clips from the loss. The Lakers looked very much like a team that thought they had the series won.
Sometimes, that mentality can snowball. The Clippers kept saying they were fine against the Nuggets, who kept hitting the Clips until they cracked and were out.
However, the Lakers have been mentally tougher and have better leadership with a stronger team identity. James will get them refocused, and a veteran roster will recognize its failings after seeing it on film and respond accordingly.
I’d rather get this under 6.5 points, obviously, but I’m comfortable all the way to -9.5. The Lakers have been the better team. It took a monster game from Butler for Miami to win Game 3, and it’s unlikely he replicates that performance in this spot. I don’t think Adebayo’s return helps the Heat much either.
The Lakers have won games by an average of 13 points in the three games following a loss this postseason, and they won by 14 in all of the victories. So, if we assume the Lakers bounce back and win this game, then the number has value below at least 10.
The Pick: Lakers -7.5 (Bet up to 9.5)