NBA Finals Best Bets: Our Experts’ Favorite Picks for Lakers vs. Heat Game 6 (Sunday, Oct. 11)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat during Game 4 of the NBA Finals.
- After the Miami Heat staved off elimination in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Los Angeles Lakers will try to close out the championship once again on Sunday night.
- Check out our staff's best bets and analysis for Lakers-Heat Game 6 below.
Remember last week when everyone thought this series would be a sweep? The Miami Heat certainly remember. With the help of some classic performances from Jimmy Butler, the Heat have forced a crucial Game 6 with the Los Angeles Lakers and could very well be on their way to a deciding game with a win.
So, where’s the value today? Our staff is here to break down their favorite NBA bets for tonight’s NBA Finals matchup:
- 7:30 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat
Lakers vs. Heat Game 6 Odds
|Lakers odds||-5 [BET NOW]|
|Heat odds||+5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-200/+170 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||214.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
NBA Finals Game 6 Betting Picks
Brandon Anderson: Lakers -5
A couple days ago, we all thought we had this figured out. The Heat were too banged up. The Lakers were too talented. LeBron James was too good with the championship trophy right there in house waiting for him to bask in all the confetti.
And then the game happened. For the second time in three games, Jimmy Butler was the best player on the floor, again posting a monster triple-double in a gotta-have-it spot to will his team to a win like a champion.
Suddenly, there are so many things we don’t know.
Is Anthony Davis healthy? Will Goran Dragic play? How much does Butler have left in the tank after playing all but 48 seconds Friday night?
Will Miami continue to get random great games from Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Kelly Olynyk when they need them most? And can a LeBron-led team really blow a 3-1 lead?
Honestly, I don’t know the answer to a lot of those questions. But there’s one thing I do know.
James is the best basketball player in the world, and I have the opportunity to bet on him to win a championship tonight by two shots, really one shot plus a few clinching free throws. And I am going to take that opportunity.
James has won 17 of his past 19 close-out games. And, yeah, one of those two losses just came two days ago, but I still like my chances. Even if Davis is limited or gone entirely, I still get James vs. Butler and I’m still taking LeBron, no matter what I’ve seen over the past week.
No other play makes sense here. Five points isn’t a big ask for the best player in the world. Keep it simple tonight. Bet on LeBron and the Lakers to get the job done.
This time, they will.
The Pick: Lakers -5 (-110)
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Malik Smith: Heat First Half Spread
The Miami Heat have been the most profitable first half team to bet in the postseason (13-6-1 against the first half spread, per our Bet Labs database). And despite some ugly showings in the first half of Games 1 and 2, they’ve bounced back well and covered the first half spread in their past three games.
It’s pretty clear the Heat are the more desperate and scrappy team and they have come out aggressive early even in their losses. We’re at the point of the series where fatigue will really start to become a factor — Jimmy Butler’s legs can only handle so many 40-minute nights in a row.
I think the Heat can psych themselves up to play at the amazing level we saw in Friday’s game, but I’m not comfortable betting them to keep that up for 48 minutes. I’ll back the Heat to cover the first half and keep this game close in the early going.
Matt Moore: Lakers First Quarter Spread
Ha ha! Brandon didn’t steal the Lakers first quarter bet this time! Vengeance is mine! The Lakers have won the first quarter in three of the five games, and done so by more than the first-quarter spread (-1.5, -115) in all three of those games.
I’m expecting a lesser Jimmy Butler game since he never goes big back-to-back, a better defensive game from the Lakers’ frontline, some defensive adjustments from Frank Vogel, and a good start for the purple and yellow.
The Lakers’ small-ball lineup with Markieff Morris at center has +16 plus/minus across the four games it’s been used in the first quarter. Expect more of that, and while Morris’ involvement makes me nervous, the Lakers will find enough answers to walk out of the first quarter with a win coming off a frustrating loss.
The Bet: Lakers -1.5 first quarter (-115)
Raheem Palmer: Lakers Player Prop
When you have a team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the table is already set. With an average of 56 points, 22 rebounds and 11 assists from your co-stars, you just need your supporting cast to step up occasionally and fill the gaps.
Much has been made of James’ decision to pass to Danny Green for the potential series clinching basket in the closing moments of Game 5. We’ve seen throughout LeBron’s 17 year career that he will always make the “right” basketball play, often empowering teammates to perform in the clutch. Green has been anything but clutch, shooting just 33% from behind the arc in the postseason after shooting an abysmal 25% in seeding play.
He’s also scoring just 6.8 points per game despite starting and playing 22 minutes per game. Dwight Howard is also providing a mere 2.8 points per game in his starting minutes as well. If there’s a testament to the greatness of James and Davis it’s that the Lakers are up 3-2 despite not getting much from multiple starters.
Back in the 90’s, “So So Def” recording artists Xscape put out a No. 1 R&B hit, “Who Can I Run To?” You have to imagine the Lakers are wondering the same thing right now, especially with a hobbled Davis.
Anyone want to take a wild guess who’s third in minutes (30.8), field goal attempts (11.2), free throw attempts (2.2) and points (12) for the Lakers in the NBA Finals?
Yes. KCP, who once air-balled a potential game-winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds of a game is the Lakers third leading scorer in these playoffs.
There’s no time for sticking with guys who haven’t proven they can get it done. Despite a 1-of-5 shooting night in Game 2, Caldwell-Pope has been LA’s most reliable role player in the Finals and the playoffs as a whole where he’s shooting 38.4% from behind the arc.
I’m backing him in Game 6.
Our FantasyLabs tool likes the over on both his points and rebounds propositions and I think there’s some value combining them.
The Bet: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope Over 14.5 Points + Rebounds (-118)
Reed Wallach: Heat Player Prop
A lot of prop making is based on averages. Well, Duncan Robinson’s rebounding average for the Finals stands at 3.0 per game. If we dive in a little bit more, we see that more times than not, he has actually been able to get over this total, and we are now getting a discount on him to do it again.
Rebounds can be somewhat random. Considering there is constant motion and shots careen off the rim at any different angle, trying to project rebounds is not an exact science, but we can use context clues to help us derive value in specific cases.
At +110, this Robinson low rebound total seems within range, and something I would make more of a coin flip given his play in the Finals. In three of the five games this series, he has grabbed four or more boards, which would cash this total. In the other two matchups he grabbed no rebounds and then a single one. Those two poor rebounding games from Robinson are deflating this number.
Robinson is going to be on the floor a ton, which helps create opportunities to be in on rebounds. He is fresh off a seven-three performance in Game 5 and has been able to help space the floor to give Jimmy Butler more room to operate on the wing with less Laker help. To quote Butler after the Game 5 win, “[Robinson’s] going to be the reason that we win the next one.”
Considering he is going to be on the floor a ton barring foul issues, coupled with the randomness of rebounds, this bet is showing value at anything above -105. Our FantasyLabs Player Prop Tool gives this a 10 out of 10 rating, making this a surefire play from me.
The Bet: Duncan Robinson Over 3.5 Rebounds (+110)