Thursday, May 19

May 13 NBA Betting Trends – See Where the Public and Sharp Money is for Celtics vs Bucks, Warriors vs Grizzlies

Jaren Jackson Jr. celebration

May 11, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. celebrates his assist against the Golden State Warriors during game five of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Joe Rondone-USA TODAY Sports
  • The NBA public betting trends for the Friday, May 13th playoff games are out
  • In the Western Conference series, sharp money is pouring in on the Grizzlies in both the ATS market and on the moneyline versus the Warriors
  • On the Eastern Conference side, the public is are all over the defending champs, as the Bucks look to close out the Celtics at home.

A pair of elimination games in the NBA are the main attractions in the sports world on Friday night. Both the Warriors and Bucks can close out their respective Second Round series, and join the Heat in the conference final round.

As you can see below in our NBA public betting trends, the betting action in both of Friday’s contests is very lopsided in the ATS market, but for completely different reasons.

May 13 NBA Betting Trends

Teams Spread % Handle % Bets Total % Handle % Bets Moneyline % Handle % Bets
Boston Celtics +1 33% 32% Over 212 56% 64% -105 52% 45%
Milwaukee Bucks -1 67% 68% Under 212 44% 36% -115 48% 55%
Teams Spread % Handle % Bets Total % Handle % Bets Moneyline % Handle % Bets
Memphis Grizzlies +8 89% 48% Over 218.5 57% 72% +300 62% 31%
Golden State Warriors -8 11% 52% Under 218.5 43% 28% -400 38% 69%

Odds and data as of May 13th at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Starting in the East, 67% of the money and 68% of the against the spread bets are on Milwaukee as 1-point home favorites versus the Celtics. The close proximity between percentage of handle and percentage of bets suggest most of this action is coming from the public.

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In the nightcap, it’s the sharps that are making a stand. Just 48% of the tickets are on the Grizzlies as 8-point road ‘dogs versus Golden State, but a whopping 89% of the money is backing Memphis. It’s a similar story on the moneyline, as only 31% of the tickets are on the Grizzlies, but those bets make up 72% of the handle.

The larger the gap between the percentage of the handle and the percentage of the bets is, the more likely the action is coming from sharp bettors who tend to bet bigger.

Public Backing Bucks and Over

There’s plenty of reasons to like Milwaukee to eliminate Boston on Friday. From a historical standpoint, teams that win Game 5 when tied 2-2 have gone on to win their playoff series 82.2% of the time in NBA history.

If the Bucks are going to follow that trend, they’re more likely to close out the series at home where they’ve been fantastic over the past two postseasons. Milwaukee is 13-3 at the Fiserv Forum over its past two playoff runs, including 3-0 in elimination games.

I wouldn’t fault anyone for backing the Bucks as a short home favorite, but just remember Milwaukee is only 2-7 against the spread in its nine meetings with the Celtics this season.

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As for the total, I’d be a little more cautious about following in the public’s footsteps. 64% of the tickets are on the over, but that’s only accounting for 56% of the money. What that tells us is the sharp bettors who are taking a position on the total, are likely playing the under.

Milwaukee ranks first in defensive rating during the playoffs, while Boston was the top ranked team in that category during the regular season. The last two games in this series have gone over, but prior to that the under had hit in each of the Bucks’ first eight postseason outings.

  • Pick: Under 212 

Sharps Shoveling Money on Grizzlies

When the public thinks of a Memphis team taking on Golden State without Ja Morant, naturally they’re going to want to lean towards the Warriors. However, the Grizzlies have been exceptional both against the spread and straight-up as underdogs without Morant all season.

Memphis split Games 4 and 5 without their leading scorer and they should have won both. They blew a 12-point fourth quarter lead in Game 4 to lose by three, but rebounded in a big way in Game 5. The Grizzlies throttled Golden State 134-95 on Wednesday, completely embarrassing Steph Curry and co.

Memphis is now 20-7 against the spread without Morant this season, winning outright as an underdog eight times. No sensible person is going to tell you the Grizzlies are better off without him, but the stats suggest they’ve been more efficient.

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Grizzlies Playoff Advanced Stats With/Without Morant

Morant’s Status OFFRTG DEFRTG NETRTG
Active 110.7 109.5 1.2
Not Active 112.1 94.7 17.4

In two playoff games minus Morant, Memphis has a better offensive rating, and a significantly better defensive and net rating compared to games where he’s been active.

As far as the total goes, one look at the percentages tells you everything you need to know. 72% of the tickets are on the over, but they’re accounting for only 57% of the money. Much like the Celtics vs Bucks total percentages, that screams public money.

Pick: Memphis Grizzlies +8 

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