Betting against Jimmy Butler after one of his best games ever is a bold strategy.
With the Miami Heat in must-win mode, Butler scored a career-high 47 points, grabbed nine rebounds, dished out eight helpers and stole the ball four times. It was a heroic performance that allowed the Heat to beat the Boston Celtics and force an exhilarating Game 7 on Sunday night.
And yet here I am licking my chops at the thought of shorting Butler.
This is not the first time I’ve brought up this strategy in the series. After the six-time NBA All-Star poured in 41 points in Game 1, I suggested going “Under” his overinflated Game 2 point prop (O/U 26.5). Butler scored 29 in that game and followed it up with eight, six and 13 points in the next three games, respectively.
Right size, wrong shape.
Butler is simply not a generational scorer and never has been. He’s capable of putting together the occasional 30 or 40-point game, but with a career playoff average of 19.9 points and an average of 26.9 this postseason, he’s never a shoo-in to fly over any point prop.
Another added benefit of shorting Butler after an A+ game is that the market definitely overreacts to a 47-point performance. Please trust me when I say that oddsmakers are well aware of how Butler played and they’re going to inflate his props the following game. That’s the way this racket works.
Butler’s prop was O/U 23.5 before Game 6 and it’s four points higher at every American sportsbook.
Jimmy Butler Game 7 point props:
27.5 u-105 Caesars
27.5 u-105 DraftKings
27.5 u-105 FOX Bet
27.5 u-108 BetRivers
27.5 u-110 WynnBET
27.5 u-115 FanDuel
27.5 u-115 PointsBet
28.5 u-125 BetMGM
If you have BetMGM, it’s definitely worth the extra point at -125. I still feel strongly about going Under 27.5 at -105. The four-point market correction is too much — especially for a player that’s averaging 26.9 in the playoffs — and I have faith in Ime Udoka to design a game plan to halt Butler’s high-quality scoring chances.
This also should be a physical basketball game the officials “let ’em play.”
Jimmy Butler U27.5 points -105
RECORD: (116-112, +32.0)