The first round of the NBA playoffs saw no Game 7’s. Can the Philadelphia 76ers or Dallas Mavericks prevent this from happening in Round 2? Both teams trail 3-2 and return home after suffering demoralizing losses on Tuesday. The 76ers were never able to recover after trailing 31-19 after the opening quarter and lost by a whopping 35 points as the Heat outshot them 53.6% to 36.5% from the field. And while the Mavericks’ 110-80 loss to the Suns in Game 5 played out differently, the narrative was the same. Trailing by 3 points at halftime, Dallas was outscored 61-34 in the second half and finished the game shooting 38% from the field.
The Heat and 76ers get things started tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The 76ers won the first two games at Wells Fargo Center by 28 points. The Suns and Mavericks will follow the conclusion of game one on ESPN, with tipoff slated for 9:30 p.m. ET. Like Philadelphia, each of Dallas’ series victories has come at home. The home team has an 18-4 second-round record.
The following are the three best NBA bets for Thursday, May 12.
Best NBA Bets and Player Props Today
76ers vs. Heat Prediction
While this should be an exceptional back-and-forth affair, expect Philadelphia to be the first team to force a Game 7 in the 2022 playoffs. The 76ers have been much better at Wells Fargo since the All-Star break, while the Heat have struggled on the road this postseason. OddsShopper gives Philadelphia a 55% chance of winning.
Miami was one of the best road teams in the league this year. However, the Heat are just 1-3 away from this postseason. Of course, two of those setbacks were to the 76ers in Games 3 and 4 by 28 points. The Heat have lost three straight games and five of six in Philadelphia.
Miami has not shot well on the road during the 2022 postseason. The Heat average slightly less than 102 points on 42.4% shooting from the field and just 27% from beyond the arc. While Jimmy Butler has thrived on the road this postseason, Max Strus, Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo have struggled. The Heat will not have Kyle Lowry for the second straight game due to a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia has been a different team over the last three games. With Joel Embiid back on the floor, the 76ers have been able to play much more freely and in space. The 76ers are shooting 45.5% from the field and knocking down almost 14 3’s a game while also averaging 14 fast-break points a game over this short stretch. While Embiid has not been dominant in these three games, his return has relieved some of the pressure off of James Harden and Tyrese Maxey.
Moreover, Philadelphia is 12-5 at home since the All-Star break with a plus-7 scoring differential. The 76ers have shot the ball much better at home than on the road. They also have done a better job defensively there as well. Turnovers are a concern, however.
If you have any reservations about riding with the 76ers, BetMGM is giving away FREE money! All you have to do is bet $10 to win $200 if either the Heat or 76ers hit just one 3-pointer tonight.
Best NBA Bets Today: 76ers Moneyline Over Heat
Suns vs. Mavericks Prediction
Expect the series to end tonight, as OddsShopper gives Phoenix a 56% chance of winning the game.
Phoenix is definitely the better squad here. The Suns are 6-2 against the Mavericks this season and they have dominated the series, statistically speaking. All six of their wins have been by at least 7 points. The Suns are shooting 51% from the field and 42% from the 3-point line. They have also outrebounded the Mavericks by 10 a game, including three per contest on the offensive end. Devin Booker has topped the 20-point mark in four of the five games and leads six players in double figures for the series. Booker averages nearly 27 points a game for the series on 48% shooting from the field and 48% from long distance. However, turnovers and defending the 3-point line have been an issue for the Suns.
While Phoenix has held Dallas to 44% shooting from the field for the series, the Suns have had a difficult time defending the 3-point line and with turnovers. The Mavericks make nearly 15 3-pointers a game while shooting them at a 37% clip. The Mavs are also turning the Suns’ 142 turnovers into 19 points. Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson led the way for Dallas, combining for 49 points a game in the series on 44.4% shooting to go along with 14 rebounds and 11 assists. The duo is shooting less than 30% from the 3-point line and committing seven turnovers a game.
The Suns have also been given a 54% chance of covering with an expected ROI of 1%. The keys for the Suns will be to run the Mavs off the 3-point line, make Doncic as uncomfortable as possible and try to limit the effectiveness of others. They also need to control the paint.
Best NBA Bet Today: Suns Spread (-2.0) Over Mavericks
Landry Shamet Points Prop Bet
Shamet has been the first guard off the bench for much of the postseason for the Suns. He is primarily a 3-point specialist, though he does have the athletic ability to finish at the rim. Shamet is coming off his best postseason game in Game 5, with 8 points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field and 1-for-3 from deep.
With Cameron Payne struggling, Shamet should once again see some solid minutes. He has scored at least 5 points in 6-of-10 playoff games and averages nearly 5 points a game despite shooting just 40% from the field and less than 30% from the 3-point line. OddsShopper gives the over a 67% chance of hitting and an expected ROI of 23%.
Best NBA Player Prop Bet: Landry Shamet Over 3.5 Points
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