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The Braves, Astros, and Dodgers all won on Thursday, which means three-fourths of the field for the League Championship Series are already set. The winner of tonight’s game between the Rays and Yankees will face the Astros in the ALCS, but that’s the only baseball game on the schedule for Friday.
It’s a pretty quiet night on the sports calendar, all things considered. So, all eyes will be on the Los Angeles Lakers, who have the chance to win an NBA title by closing out the Miami Heat in tonight’s Game 5. Both of BetOnline’s daily odds boosters are tied to what may be the final basketball game of 2020, so let’s jump right in.
NBA: Lakers (-7.5) To Cover AND Over 216.5 Points (+310)
The Heat wound up covering the spread at the last second of Game 4 in what turned out to be a 102-96 win for the Lakers. LA entered the game as a 7.5-point favorite, so Tyler Herro’s meaningless three-pointer with just over one second to play proved to be the difference if you bet on the spread one way or the other. Here’s hoping you were on the right side of that equation.
The Lakers are 7.5-point favorites again tonight. Miami kept Game 4 competitive after getting Bam Adebayo back into the lineup. Goran Dragic has been desperately trying to get back into action for the Heat, but his torn plantar fascia is likely to keep him sidelined again in Game 5.
Lakers fans waking up today ?? pic.twitter.com/RXmypudJB1
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 9, 2020
The Lakers’ three wins so far in this series have come by margins of 18, 10, and six points. Miami’s lone victory was an 11-point triumph in Game 3.
53 percent of all bets to this point have come on the Lakers to cover in tonight’s Game 5. A whopping 81 percent of the money has also come in on Los Angeles, so bettors clearly aren’t too keen on the Heat’s chances of extending the series any further. Miami raised some eyebrows with that impressive win in Game 3, but the Lakers have looked like the better team on both sides of the floor for the vast majority of the action thus far.
NBA: LeBron James to Score 30-Plus Points AND Lakers Win (+155)
If the Lakers wind up closing the Heat out tonight, LeBron James will almost surely win Finals MVP. Through the first four games, the future Hall of Famer is averaging 27.8 points, 11 rebounds, and 8.5 assists per game. He leads the Lakers in all three categories for the series, which is something we rarely see at this level.
James has only topped 30 points once in the series because he simply hasn’t had to shoulder a heavy offensive load. He has still scored 32 percent of the Lakers’ points through the first four games, but Anthony Davis, Markieff Morris, Kyle Kuzma, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have all stepped up offensively, as well.
James will earn his fourth NBA Finals MVP trophy with a win in Game 5, and I would expect him to come out with an aggressive approach from the jump.
What’s The Best Bet?
Betting the over has been dicey throughout the entirety of the NBA playoffs. Scoring was up during the seeding games, but scoring numbers have dipped quite a bit over the course of the postseason.
The Heat aren’t the kind of team that will just roll over and die, so I’m expecting Miami to give it everything they have in this one. The Lakers are still fully capable of covering the spread simply because they’re the more talented team, but combining a Lakers cover with the over on 216.5 points isn’t the most comfortable wager.
I would much rather take a shot on LeBron scoring at least 30 points in a Lakers win. I do think LA closes the series out tonight, and James has come close to scoring 30 points in every game to this point. The +155 odds here are plenty favorable, so that’s where I’ll be putting my money tonight.
Boosted Odds Prop Bet:
LeBron James to Score 30-Plus Points AND Lakers Win (+155)
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu …