Here is the official NBA handicappers preview. At first glance, the Lakers would seem to be the better offense. But first impressions are the tool of the square player, not the sharp.
“Pro bettors don’t use the fantasy basketball stats that the novice fan salivates over,” says Bill Gould of Lines-Maker.com.
Boston scores 98.8 points per game compared to 102.3 for the Lakers. Does this make LA the better offense? Not to the sports bettor. Boston shoots 47.9 percent against teams that normally allow just 45.8 percent.
“That +2.1 shooting percentage difference is immense,” says Gould. Compare that to the Lake Show shooting 46.1 percent to defenses that permit that exact 46.1.
The raw numbers suggest Boston is better on defense allowing 94.8 points per game contrasted with the Lakers 97.7 points per game. However, the more foretelling stats used by professional gamblers suggest otherwise. The Lakers permit teams to hit 44.5 percent of their shots, which is holding foes to 2.1 percent below their normal average. Boston allows 44.9 to 46.1, just 1.2 percent.
Boston enters the finals 62-37 straight up and 45-5 against the spread. They’ve played their best on the road at 31-18 outright and 26-22 to the sportsbook numbers.
The Lakers are a stunning 42-7 straight up at home, yet 21-27 against the spread, Overall, they are 69-29 outright and 43-53 in the back pocket.
Spread betting trends (all records are against the spread): Boston is 6-0 in the NBA Championship series. They enter having covered 7-of-9 overall. However, the Cs are a horrid 1-10 to the Pacific Division and 5-15 to the Western Conference.
LA is 6-1 off a straight up win but 1-5 to the Eastern Conference. Despite their record to the division, Boston is still 9-2 in the head-to-head matchups.