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NBA Picks, Betting Trends: DraftKings Sportsbook Odds, Basketball Best Bets, Predictions for May 17

Julian Edlow provides NBA betting trends along with his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for May 17.

Follow along on Twitter (@julianedlow) for any potential updates — things can always change with lineup moves leading up to tipoff. Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


Per usual, I’ll put everything official up on Twitter that I bet on personally. This is a betting guide for this NBA card, and anything I’ve actually bet will include a unit amount.


Celtics vs. Heat Paul Pierce SGP Profit Boost

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Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

Celtics Series Winner (-180)

We’re in a really interesting spot when it comes to how this series between the top-two seeds in the Eastern Conference will shakeout. It’s a rematch of the 2020 ECF played in the bubble that Miami won 4-2, but both teams are significantly improved, particularly the Celtics.

Despite starting the series as Game 1 road dogs, Boston is a pretty heavy favorite for the series. Personally, I’m in a strong spot here because I have a 1-unit play on Miami to win the conference at +550 — written up back in January. So I’ll be doing some hedging here based on the number I have, but you may have also just gotten in for a half-unit as the analysis suggests (which still puts you in a good spot.

I’m taking half of what I stand to win and placing it on the Celtics series line, which for me is risking just over 2.5-units. I do really like the Celtics in this series, but Miami really needs this Game 1, especially coming in with significantly more rest.

Dating back to 2005, teams in the playoffs with four or more days rest playing teams on two days rest are 31-18-1 ATS, per BetLabs. Then just look at how the Celtics have played — performing with their backs against the wall. The Celtics never had a series lead over Milwaukee until they won the series 4-3. A lot of adjustments will need to be made to matchup with the Heat, and Miami has had a lot more time to prepare.

Ultimately I need to pass on this game, but if you want to bet it I’d recommend a small play on the Heat moneyline (-125). We’re already protected with the ability to profit on either side of the series, but if Boston does indeed drop Game 1, I plan to add.

If you’re neutral here and don’t have any of the futures I’ve given out, I’d be looking at Boston for the series, playing some now and some after Game 1 if they lose. If you want to get really cute, you do have the option to bet Miami to win Game 1 and the Celtics to win the series at a +230 price.

My prediction for the series in Boston in six, which also is a market for the Celts 4-2 at +265. You can also consider a Celtics series spread -1.5 at even money. But for now I’m just putting 50% of what I stand to win if Miami wins the series on the Celtics pre-series, and we’ll see where things go. Hopefully this captures enough to help you bet the series (or Game 1) based on where your open bets stand.

One final spot to consider is the status of Marcus Smart, who does have props open. Smart is questionable with a foot sprain, and if he sits, Derrick White will see a massive boost. Firing on some White props (which are not offered yet) would make sense if Smart winds up ruled out.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Celtics PG/SG Marcus Smart (foot) and PF/C Al Horford (health protocols) have been ruled out for Game 1 on Tuesday night vs. the Heat.




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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.


The contents contained in this article do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment.


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