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Most Profitable NBA First Round Playoff Game Bets For Today Saturday 4/16/22

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Best NBA bets today free expert NBA playoff picks predictions James Harden

The NBA playoffs are finally here! The Atlanta Hawks and the New Orleans Pelicans secured the final spots in their respective conferences with wins last night over the Cavaliers and Clippers. With the seedings in tow, the first round begins today with four games. The Utah Jazz gets things started in Dallas at 1 p.m. ET, although the luster for Game 1 has subsided as the Mavericks will be without Luka Doncic for at least the opener.

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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 bets with the highest expected return on investment. OddsShopper can find which sportsbooks offer the best prices for these prop bets. The following are the seven best NBA bets today for April 16.

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Jazz Spread (-5.0) Over Mavericks

This series has the potential to be a classic if Doncic can return for Game 2, as he has been declared out for tonight’s game due to a hamstring injury. The fourth-seeded Mavericks enter the game as one of the hottest teams in the league, while the fifth-seeded Jazz struggled down the stretch.

Dallas (52-30) won 17 of its last 23 games to finish with its best record since the 2010-11 season — and won its only NBA title. Surprisingly, the Mavericks were only average on offense this season, though they thrived on the defensive end. However, that changed a little after the all-star break as the Mavs increased their offensive efficiency by seven points in the season, and they weren’t quite as efficient defensive.  Still, the Mavericks finished the season ranked No. 8 in defensive efficiency, and they were fabulous on that end of the floor at home, where they held opponents to just 102.1 points on 45% shooting from the field and 31.5% from beyond the arc.

Utah (49-33) has to be one of the most disappointing teams in the West as it went just 13-11 after the all-star break though Jordan Clarkson was the only player to play in all 24 contests. This is the veteran squad’s sixth straight playoff appearance. The Jazz were ranked No. 1 in the NBA in offensive efficiency and No. 10 in defensive efficiency, making them just one of four teams that can boast that can say they finished in the top 10 in both categories. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert lead the way for the Jazz. However, Bojan Bogdanovic may be the key to this series.

OddsShopper gives Utah a 60% chance of winning the game, which seems a little low considering they will be without the 50 points a game that Doncic creates with his scoring and playmaking abilities. Doncic had been fabulous against the Jazz this season as he compiled 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 7.7 assists in the four contests, which the teams split.  The Mavericks are considerably less potent offensively without Doncic though they are also slightly better defensively when he is not on the court. Overall, the Mavs went 7-8 in games Doncic missed this season, and only one of those wins was against “a playoff team,” while six of the losses were by six or more points. Moreover, Utah was third in the NBA in scoring differential at six points a game. Taking the Jazz against the spread here seems like one of the best NBA bets today.

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76ers Spread (-4.5) Over Raptors

This should be a fantastic game as both teams closed out the season with solid play. Toronto won the season series, but six or fewer points decided each contest.

Toronto (48-34) has won eight of 10 and went 16-9 in the second half of the season, which tied for the league’s third-best mark. The Raptors are young and athletic, which sometimes leads to erratic play and poor shot selection. While the Raptors do an excellent job of taking care of the ball, they don’t shoot the ball well, especially on the road, where they have recorded a 50.6% effective field goal percentage for the season. They also defend as well on the road as they do at home. Fred VanVleet, Pascal Siakam, and O.G. Anunoby have turned in at least one fabulous performance against the 76ers.

Philadelphia (51-31) has been a different and more high-powered club since trading for James Harden. The Sixers have won five of their last six games and went 16-8 after the all-star break. While Harden has had his up and downs shooting the ball, his playmaking ability has opened things up for Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, specifically, along with Tobias Harris on occasion. Overall, the Sixers are 13-6 when their projected first five start, including Matisse Thybulle, as they produce an effective field goal percentage of 56.6% and an offensive rating of 122.3.

Philadelphia has too much experience, and Embiid and Harden are the two best players in the series. The 76ers also have been better at home since the all-star break, posting a .667 winning percentage and an average margin of victory of 5.7 points. OddsShopper gives the Sixers a 56% chance of covering, with the expected ROI being 3%.


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James Harden Under 22.5 Points

This prop seems just a touch too high. Harden has shot the ball well lately, particularly from beyond the arc, where he is averaging 1.8 3-pointers a game while connecting on them at a 27.3% clip over his last five games. He also has not shot well in three games against the Raptors this season. So, if Harden gets off to a slow start, expect him to focus on keeping his teammates involved as he has done a fantastic job distributing the ball with the Sixers. Harden has averaged 19.3 points and 10.3 assists, and 7.7 rebounds against Toronto this year. He is projected for 20.14 points. OddsShopper gives the under a 62% chance of hitting with an expected ROI of 19%.

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