The Miami Heat have made an improbable run to the NBA Finals, aided by a huge game seven from Caleb Martin. It is time to continue our NBA odds series with a special Caleb Martin series points average prediction and pick.
Martin had a great series against Boston. He averaged 19.3 points per game, including three games over twenty points, with two being over 25. Those three twenty-point performances were three of the four he had in the playoffs though. Against the Knicks, he had a twenty-point game in game two, but that was also the game Jimmy Butler was out. Past that, he was held under 12 points in each of the other five games. In the Buxks series, he averaged 11.2 points per game and scored 12 or 15 points in four of the five games. The average is brought down by his two-point performance in game five.
In the regular season, Martin averaged just 9.6 points per game, just slightly up over his 2021-22 average of 9.2 In his career in the playoffs, he has averaged just 9.4 points per game but is much higher this year averaging 14.1. The line is set at 15.5 points per game in this series, as expectations are for Caleb Martin to step up and hit that.
Here are the NBA Finals odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Finals Odds: Caleb Martin Series Points Average
Over 15.5: -113
Under 15.5 -113
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Why Caleb Martin Can Average 15.5+ Points
First, Caleb Martin will need to be in the top three-point scorers for the Heat to hit this number. In the playoffs, Marin is fourth in points, while coming off the bench in 15 of 18 games so far. He is just behind Bam Adebayo and well behind Jimmy Butler. For Martin to hit this number, he is going to have to be a primary scorer. He was able to do that in all but one game in the Boston series and had his two biggest games when he started and played forty-plus minutes. If Martin continues to get that level of minutes, this should be an easy over for Caleb Martin's points average.
Secondly, Martin needs to keep up the hot shooting. He shots 60.2% in the Boston series while going 48.9% from three. It is more than just the percentage though. His volume of shots went up as well. In the first two series, he averaged under ten shots per game, while he was at 12.6 attempts per game in the Boston series. He also increased his volume from behind the arc. He was averaging 6.4 attempts from three in the Boston series, while under five in the other two.
Finally, Bam Adebayo has to keep Nikola Jokic busy in the low post. If Jokic can move around and get to the perimeter because Bam is not a threat to score that will lower the efficiency of Martin. The floor has to continue to remain open, meaning both Adebayo and Butler need to do their part. If the Denver defense can focus more of its attention on Martin, then this will be hard to hit.
Why Caleb Martin Can't Average 15.5+ Points
First, Denver ranks third in the league in opponent three points percentage. Martin's points total in the Boston series was aided by his three-point shooting. If Denver holds Martin to his average for the regular season, because of their stellar three-point defense, that will drop Martin by over three points per game. Against Boston, three points per game would still put him over the 15.5 per game marker, but it still makes this total much tighter.
Second, Martin has not performed well against Denver. This year he scored just eight points, and in 2021, he had an outing of 18, but also one of just three. This was done in fewer minutes than he is getting now though. If he increased his minutes to his recent average in his eight-point game, that most likely places him still at just 12 points though. If Martin does not have the same amount of minutes he did in the Boston series, he will not reach this goal.
Finally, the series length could hurt him. If this is a short series, one bad game hurts. The odds have this series going six or fewer games. If he has a game of nine points, he would need to average more than 17 points per game in each of the other games. Outside of the Boston series, he did that once. One time will not get Martin over. He cannot afford a bad game.
Final Caleb Martin Series Points Average Prediction and Pick
Caleb Martin has shown he can score plenty of points. This bet comes down to minutes. If he gets the minutes he needs, he will hit the over. If not, he will be well below. The Boston series showed he may be increasing minutes. With that, take the over.
Final Caleb Martin Series Points Average Prediction & Pick: Over 15.5 (-113)