This Wednesday is shaping up to be a crucial day in the NBA playoffs. Will the top-seeded Sixers and Jazz get series wins on their home floor? Will the Knicks get put to bed in MSG by Trae Young, the NBA’s Darth Vader? And will Luka Doncic bounce back from a brutal game 4 loss and make the Clippers look silly in Staples Center again? The answers to these questions will all have a ripple effect on the rest of the playoffs. So, let’s take a look at some NBA playoff bets, shall we?
Wizards (+7) At 76ers (-7)
It’s so hard to analyze this game without knowing if Joel Embiid will play or not. If he doesn’t, I think the Wizards will win. He only played 11 minutes in their game 4 loss after averaging 29 points through the first three games of the series on 67% shooting. The Sixers need Embiid to win, it’s as simple as that. If Ben Simmons were consistently productive on offense then I would have confidence in Philly, but he’s not. Due to the uncertainty surrounding Embiid, I would stay away from betting this game.
But given the very real possibility he doesn’t play, I like the Wizards spread and ML (+300) with my NBA playoff bets, due to the value. There’s also sharp money coming in on the Sixers which has influenced the line in their favor, adding more value to a Wizards bet. The Wizards have covered twice this series and are 41-30-1 ATS in the regular season. This series has hit the over in 3/4 games, but I’m taking the under here (229.5) in anticipation that Embiid does not play. Again, I would stay away from this game as a bettor but if you’re looking for value I think you’ll find it by assuming Embiid sits.
Hawks (+1.5) At Knicks (-1.5)
The Knicks have only covered once this series, and that cover came in their game 2 win at MSG. Am I foolish to yet again be putting money on the Knicks spread with my NBA playoff bets? Maybe, but I’m doing it anyways. I’ve said it a million times, but they were the best ATS team in the league this season at home (22-13-1), while the Hawks are one of the worst ATS teams on the road (16-19-1). 94% of the money is on the Knicks right now, despite only 47% of the bets being on them. When there is more money on the favorites, a bet on them hits 62% of the time and has a 21% ROI. The numbers say New York is the better wager.
The Knicks have looked bad this series, particularly Julius Randle. However I expect him to finally put it together in game 5 and lead the Knicks to a comfortable victory. Randle averaged 37 points in his three games against the Hawks in the regular season, so I also love betting on him to score 30+/Knicks win (+800).
That will give New York the chance to go back to Atlanta and lose there instead. This series has hit the under in every single game, which is why I love taking the over in game 5 (208.5). I’m expecting big offense from Randle and the Knicks and I think the 208.5 mark is reflective of the low-scoring series so far, making it a great value play.
Grizzlies (+9.5) At Jazz (-9.5)
The Grizzlies have lost by double digits in two of the three games Donovan Mitchell has played. The other game they lost by seven, in Memphis. Now they’re back in Utah with a chance for the Jazz to take the series? I don’t think it will be close. The Jazz were the best team in the league at home ATS this season (23-13) and have covered against the Grizzlies in every game this series with Mitchell playing.
The Jazz currently have 71% of the bets and 87% of the money. They fall into the “more money on favorites” category mentioned before, and sharp money coming in on the Grizzlies has improved the odds for the Jazz. Because of how crucial this game is for Memphis, I expect them to lean heavily on Ja Morant. As such, I like a bet on him to score 35+ at +620 odds.
Mavericks (+7) At Clippers (-7)
Luka Doncic is PISSED OFF after dropping both games in Dallas. The Mavs went to LA, took a 2-0 series lead, went back to Dallas, and somehow let the Clippers even the series. Now they have to go back to LA with the series tied and trying to slow down a Clippers team that has been playing with a fire in their eyes recently. Can the Mavs pull it off? Probably not, but I think it will be close and the Mavs will cover the spread even if they lose. Dallas is 20-16 ATS on the road this season (22-16 if you count the playoffs).
The Clippers may have evened the series but it never should have been 0-2 for them in the first place. The story for them ever since acquiring Kawhi and PG has been inconsistency and underperformance. Paul George is shooting under 50% from the field this series and just over 30% from three. He has to be better if the Clippers are going to win the series, but I don’t have confidence he will be. I just can’t trust them as a bettor, and I would rather put my money on a Mavericks team that seems more passionate and more determined.
I love the over for this game as well (218.5), as I expect Luka to be himself again. The series has hit the over every game but game 4, which was an anomaly given Luka’s injury. Because of how he played last game and the series being tied, I expect a huge game from Doncic and would not mind betting on him to score 40+ at +980 odds.
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