5Dimes has the Lakers as the favorite to win the series and that only makes sense. The Finals have essentially been reduced to a best-of-three series, and the Lakers close it out with two straight home games.
Home-court advantage hasn’t had a huge impact on this series. Both teams are experienced and know how to handle games away from home. However, you still have to account for the arena-factor when looking at the series price. The TD Garden erupted last night and got so loud that at times the players couldn’t hear the referees’ whistles.
The Celtics hope to capitalize on this atmosphere in their final home game and go up 3-2 in the series. The Lakers – no matter what happens Sunday – will have a chance to play in front of their home-crowd at least one more time.
Los Angeles runs at -200 to win the series and seem to be favored by the betting public. If you think the Celtics will end up World Champions, you will get $170 for your $100 bet.
Expect this price to move a little, depending on the word on Andrew Bynum’s status. Bynum is a crucial element to the Lakers’ success. He tweaked his torn meniscus twice in Game 3 and played only 12 minutes Thursday. He didn’t even come out of the locker room at the start of the second half, and received more treatment from trainers.
He came into the game late in the third quarter, but only stayed on the floor for one minute and fifty seconds. The Lakers sorely missed their starting center in the rebounding department. The Celtics outrebounded Los Angeles by seven with Bynum out, and outscored them 54-34 in the paint.
Bynum’s absence helped Big Baby to his huge game. Without Bynum’s big body in the game, the Lakers had to change up their defense. They also couldn’t match the intensity that Big Baby brought to the game. They need Bynum to provide that type of play and be physical.
They also missed Bynum offensively. Bynum averaged 15 points per game this season as well as 2.7 offensive rebounds. Big Baby grabbed five rebounds and scored 18 points on a 70 percent shooting performance.
Monitor Bynum’s situation closely when making your series bet, as it could have a huge impact on the games as well as the price. Lamar Odom will have to step up and I’m not sure he can have the same impact that Bynum has on the Lakers’ play.
Also keep an eye on Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo in Sunday’s game. The two Celtics guards need to step it up if Boston wants to have a chance to win the series. While the bench picked up the struggling stars Thursday, the Celtics can’t bank on that for the final three games.
If you take out Allen’s great first half in Game 2, he is shooting 9-for-38 in the series for a measly 23 shooting percentage. The Celtics need a better performance from Allen to have a chance to win this series. Watch Allen Sunday and see if he can bounce back and improve on his shooting.
Bynum says he will be ready to go after the two days of rest and treatments. He plans to have a bigger impact in Sunday’s game. If for some reason, Bynum will be ruled out for any time of the rest of the series, watch for the line to swing in favor of the Celtics. If new comes out that Bynum can be back to 100 percent, the line could move even more in the Lakers’ direction.
Right now, I need to see Bynum be able to play extended minutes, or else I would pick the Celtics to win Sunday and put themselves in a position to win the series by stealing one in Los Angeles. He is too important for the Lakers to overlook his impact on the series.