The NBA second round got underway yesterday afternoon with Milwaukee physically dominating Boston in Game 1 and Golden State rallying for a dramatic come-from-behind 117-116 victory over Memphis following Draymond Green‘s ejection for a flagrant 2 foul. What will tonight’s games bring?
Philadelphia and Miami will tip off the action at 7:30 p.m. ET, with both teams slated to be without a starter. Joel Embiid (concussion) has been declared out for Games 1 and 2, while Kyle Lowry (hamstring) will once again not be available for the Heat. Miami also has several other injury concerns, with Jimmy Butler (knee), Tyler Herro (chest), P.J. Tucker (calf) and Max Strus (hamstring) among seven players listed on the league’s injury report. Meanwhile, Phoenix and Dallas are relatively healthy for their Game 1 clash that starts at 10 p.m. ET. TNT will televise both games.
This daily NBA article will examine the best betting picks and NBA player prop bets today. With OddsShopper, bettors can maximize their profits and see the best chances with the highest expected return on investment. OddsShopper can find which sportsbooks offer the best prices for these prop bets. The following are the five best NBA bets for May 2.
Best NBA Bets and Player Props Today
76ers vs. Heat under 208.5 Points
This is a challenging game for bettors until the Heat’s murky injury situation gets cleared up. This is why the best bet is to go with the under, as both teams rank in the top six in defense efficiency through the first round.
Philadelphia is coming off a 132-97 clobbering of Toronto in Game 6 to claim the series win. However, the 76ers did lose two straight in the series. The 76ers also lost Embiid for the first two games of this series after he suffered a facial fracture late in the fourth quarter of Game 6 against the Raptors.
Philadelphia was very efficient offensively in the first round, averaging 111.5 points with a shooting slash line of .488/.408/.849. Defensively, the 76ers ranked sixth in efficiency ratings in the playoffs as they have done a fabulous job at defending the 3-point line and limited their fouling.
Of course, Embiid led the way against the Raptors, but Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris were exceptional in the series. Those two and James Harden will have to be at their best if the 76ers hope to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Turnovers and defensive rebounding will be essential for them.
Miami coasted to a 4-1 series win over Atlanta with few hiccups as they finished with an average winning margin of 12 points. The Heat averaged 109 points a game on 46% shooting from the field, but they only shot 34.4% from the 3-point line and 78.8% from the free-throw line. Defensively, they held the Hawks to 44% shooting from the field and 32.9% from the 3-point line. They were slightly better on the defensive end at home than on the road.
Moreover, Miami gave up the fifth-fewest points in the league at home and Philadelphia allowed the sixth fewest on the road during the regular season. Plus, the Heat and 76ers ranked in the bottom fifth of the league in pace and the teams averaged fewer than 95 possessions per game during the opening round. Plus, three of the four meetings between the two clubs did not produce 208 combined points. Furthermore, the under is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
Suns Spread (-5.5) Over Mavericks
Dallas is coming off an impressive first-round six-game series victory over Utah, while Phoenix struggled with New Orleans. Devin Booker missed three games against the Pelicans, but he is now healthy. Plus, the Suns swept the Mavericks during the regular season, with each of the victories being by at least 7 points. OddsShopper gives the Suns a 69% chance of winning the game and a 53% chance of covering.
Dallas managed to rank seventh in offensive efficiency through the first round of the playoffs despite being without Luka Doncic the first three games and shooting 44% from the field. They could accomplish this by connecting on nearly 16 3-pointers a game at a 37.1% clip and not turning the ball over. Plus, Jalen Brunson was absolutely sensational during the series, while Spencer Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith were able to collectively increase their offensive production enough until Doncic returned. The Mavs defended well, but they were aided mightily by the Jazz’s poor 3-point shooting.
Phoenix is a much better offensive team than Utah, particularly with Booker in the lineup. The Suns scored at least 110 points in five of the six games vs. the Pelicans during the opening round. They are shooting a playoff best 52% from the field. Booker, Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges averaged at least 17 points while shooting 50% from the field vs. New Orleans. Defensively, the Suns did a good job at defending the 3-point line in the first-round series but fouling and defensive rebounding were an issue.
Phoenix ranked third in defensive efficiency at home during the regular season. Moreover, the Suns held the Mavericks to 101 points over the three games as they did a fantastic job defending the 3-point line and keeping the Mavericks off the offensive glass. Plus, the Mavs have no answer for Ayton.
While Phoenix did an excellent job of making it tough on Doncic in his only appearance against the Suns this season, Jalen Brunson gave them fits. However, the Suns did a good job defensively on basically everyone else, excluding Kristaps Porzingis, who is not there anymore.
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Jimmy Butler Under 24.5 Points
Butler had an outstanding first-round series against the Hawks, averaging over 30 points and shooting 54% from the field. Butler is dealing with a knee injury that could limit him if he plays at all and finished with fewer than 22 points in two of his four outings in the series. Plus, he struggled against the 76ers in the regular season as he connected on just 36.6% of his shots and 14.3% of his 3’s. Butler is projected for 22.23 points tonight. OddsShopper gives the under a 61% chance of hitting and an expected ROI of 13%.
Other Top NBA Bets Today
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