Morning Coffee: Timing Plays Crucial Role In Betting Game 1 Of NBA West Finals
Remember when they said Nikola Jokic wouldn’t dominate Los Angeles Lakers?
Jock Landale remembers.
Well, so much for that.
Jokic went off for 34 points, 21 rebounds and 14 assists as the Denver Nuggets beat the Lakers 132-126 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.
The two-time regular season MVP became the first player in NBA history to register 30+ points, 20+ rebounds, 10+ assists and shoot 70 per cent or better from the field in a playoff game.
Jokic is also the first player in NBA postseason history to record a 30-point triple-double and shoot 70 per cent or better from the field in consecutive games.
It was a great night overall for yours truly, as we cashed both of the FanDuel Best Bets in Morning Coffee to make it a 3-0 start to the week for +3.4 units.
I also nailed my take for Game 1, as the Nuggets won but failed to cover in their opener against LA.
Can we build off the momentum of a strong start to the week and keep it going with another winner this morning?
With just one NBA game and no NHL until Thursday night, it should be no surprise that we are running it back with another MLB FanDuel Best Bet.
This is the Morning Coffee for Wednesday May 17th, 2023.
Timing Plays Crucial Role In Betting Game 1 Of NBA West Finals
If you bet on the spread for Game 1 of the NBA Western Conference Finals at FanDuel, then timing was critical.
The Nuggets opened -4.5 for the series opener.
Denver closed -6.5 at tip-off.
What a W.— Denver Nuggets (@nuggets) May 17, 2023
Good night, Wuggets Wation 💤 pic.twitter.com/7scSnb4vxK
While I never felt like they were in serious jeopardy of losing the game – yes, even when their lead was cut to three late in the fourth quarter – the Nuggets went on to win Game 1 by six points.
If you bet Denver at -5.5 or less, then you were a winner.
If you bet Los Angeles at +6.5 just before tip, then you were a winner.
While the Lakers couldn’t stop Jokic, they did figure out a way to slow him down and it led to the backdoor cover.
When Anthony Davis was the final defender on Jokic, the Nuggets averaged 1.45 points per play on 66 per cent shooting from the field.
When Rui Hachimura was the final defender, Denver averaged 0.67 points per play on 20 per cent shooting from the field.
Is this something that will carry over into Game 2?
Or did the Nuggets get complacent after they led by 18 at the half?
Denver opened -6 for Game 2 at FanDuel.
That number is down to Nuggets -5.5 this morning.
While Jokic’s dominance was the biggest story in the series opener, it’s important not to overlook the critical role that Jamal Murray played in the victory.
Murray finished with 31 points, five assists, five rebounds, three steals and went 12-of-20 from the field.
Murray and Jokic are the fifth pair of teammates to score 30+ points on 60 per cent from the field or better in either the NBA Conference Finals or NBA Finals.
If they produce similar numbers in the rematch on Thursday night, the Lakers will have a tough time salvaging the all-important road split.
Spurs Win The NBA Draft Lottery
Anyone who took a flyer on the San Antonio Spurs to win the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery at +550 at FanDuel made some money last night.
After they finished tied for the second-worst record in the NBA at 22-60, the Spurs won the draft lottery and the right to select Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Wembanyama is -20000 to go first overall at FanDuel.
To put that number in perspective, a $100 bet on Wembanyama to be the No. 1 pick would pay 50 cents.
Wembanyama will follow Tim Duncan and David Robinson as the third No. 1 overall pick in San Antonio’s franchise history.
FanDuel already has a market up for the NBA Rookie of the Year winner and it’s Wembanyama versus the field.
You can bet on Wembanyama to win Rookie of the Year at -200.
The other option is to take every single other rookie in this year’s class with a bet on the field at +150.
A FanDuel Best Bet For Wednesday Night
We’ve been red-hot to start the week with our FanDuel Best Bets in this column.
Hopefully, we can keep it going with another winner this morning.
Last night, I recommended fading Justin Verlander, and it worked out as he gave up six earned runs in just five innings of work as we cashed a bet on the Tampa Bay Rays at +140 on the money line in an 8-5 win over the New York Mets.
We also had the NRFI in a 5-4 win by the Miami Marlins over the Washington Nationals.
While that game ultimately went over the total at 7.5, we managed to escape the first inning unscathed to cash the FanDuel Best Bet.
Looking at tonight’s schedule, I’ve circle tonight’s contest between the Nationals and Marlins as another opportunity to cash a NRFI.
Once again, tonight’s contest between Washington and Miami has the lowest total on the board at 7.5.
Marlins’ starter Edward Cabrera has held opponents scoreless in the first inning in six of his eight starts this season.
Nationals’ starter Mackenzie Gore has an identical 6-2 NRFI record this season.
While these two offences exploded in the latter innings on Tuesday night, they combined for just two runs through the first five innings.
We should see something similar tonight in Miami, as these two offences rank 25th and 28th in the majors in runs scored this season.
I’ll take the NRFI in tonight’s game between the Nationals and Marlins at -128 as my FanDuel Best Bet.