The road to the NBA Finals has begun. The play-in games with the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds from both conferences will take place on Tuesday night. Cavaliers – Nets tips off in Brooklyn at 7 p.m. ET on TNT. This game is followed up by Clippers – Timberwolves to close out the night. The winner of tonight’s games will earn the No. 7 seed. The losers from tonight will face the winner of the No. 9 and No. 10 seed matchups. The teams with the No. 9 and No. 10 seed in each conference will each have to win two consecutive games to earn a playoff spot. Let’s dive into the best NBA bets today, picks and NBA betting tips for Tuesday, April 12.
Best NBA Bets Today: Game Tips & Betting Predictions
Cavaliers vs. Nets Best Bet
Cleveland travels to Brooklyn for the first game of the play-in tournament on Tuesday night. The Cavaliers and Nets faced off in Brooklyn less than a week ago, with the Nets taking down Cleveland 118-107. Tonight Cleveland will try to steal the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn has the third-best odds to win the NBA Championship despite having to play in the play-in tournament. These two teams have faced off four times this season, with the Nets winning three of the four matchups and both of the matchups in Brooklyn.
Cleveland was happy to get Evan Mobley back just in time for the Cavaliers to try to lock in their first playoff appearance since 2018. Cleveland snapped a three-game losing streak with a win over the Bucks in their final regular-season game on Sunday. Mobley finished the game with 18 points and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes of play. Kevin Love had a performance to remember, with 32 points and 10 rebounds in only 15 minutes of play. Cleveland is hoping Love will be able to use his playoff experience to his advantage and help lead this young core to their first playoff series with a win over the Nets tonight. Cleveland will not be in full force, as they are still without Colin Sexton and Jarrett Allen. Sexton has been sidelined since Nov. 7 after undergoing knee surgery, and Allen is recovering from a broken finger that he suffered back at the beginning of March. The Cavaliers finished the regular season averaging 107.8 points on 46.9% shooting and allowing 105.7 points. Cleveland’s defense struggled without Allen protecting the paint. Before he was injured, they were 37-27 and ranked fourth in defensive rating. Since his injury, they are 7-11 and fell to 22nd in defensive rating. Mobley and Love will need to step up and perform as they did against the Bucks in their latest outing if they wish to pull off the upset over the Nets.
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Brooklyn has been an up-and-down team this year but finished the season with some strong momentum, winning their final four games. The Nets hit rock bottom midseason, losing 11 straight games from January to mid-February before turning their season around once Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were able to share the court for both road and home games. The Nets went 11-6 on the year with Durant and Irving both in the lineup. Their offense was lights out with this duo on the court together, averaging 122.9 points per game. Seth Curry (ankle) said he will play in tonight’s matchup. Since joining the Nets, Curry has averaged 14.9 points on 46.8% from 3. Goran Dragic (COVID-19) cleared the health and safety protocols and will be available on Tuesday. Ben Simmons (back) continues to make progress but is unable to make his debut on Tuesday. The Nets defense showed improvements late in the season, ranking ninth in defensive rating in their last 15 games.
Durant and Irving both have a championship under their belts and know the level of play it takes to lead their team to the top. Cleveland was one of the most surprising teams this season showing their toughness and ability to close out games. They were able to respond to several key injuries throughout the season, but these missing pieces are going to catch up to them in tonight’s play-in game. The Nets are 3-0 against the Cavaliers with Durant in the lineup this season. The Nets have issues defensively, but they are fortunate Allen will not be available to expose their weak interior. The game total is averaging 220.8 points in four matchups this season, with the total exceeding 227 points once by 2 points. Cleveland is cashing the under in 55% of their games this season, while Brooklyn is cashing the under in 56.1% of their home games. It is hard to trust Cleveland’s offense on the road in their first postseason experience. Do not count them out to cover the spread, though, as they have proven to keep games close. Take the safer bet and ride the under in tonight’s matchup.
Best NBA Bet for Today’s Game: Total Under 227 Points
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