Philadelphia and Golden State have looked dominant in their first-round series and hold a 2-0 lead before heading out on the road. Both conference No. 1 seeds will look to follow suit tonight. The Miami Heat will start the NBA’s three-game Game 2’s first-round playoff slate against the Atlanta Hawks, who will be without starting center Clint Capela after he suffered a knee injury in Sunday’s loss. The Hawks vs. Heat contest will tip off at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT and be followed by the Suns hosting the Pelicans at 10 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, the upstart Timberwolves will look to take a 2-0 lead over the Grizzlies.
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 three best NBA bets today for April 18.
Best NBA Bets Today: Player Props & Expert Betting
Heat Spread (-7) Over Hawks & Under 219.5 Points
This series is turning into a mishmash as both teams deal with injuries. The Hawks will be without Capela and Lou Williams (back) has been ruled out, while Bogdan Bogdanovic (ankle) is listed as probable. Meanwhile, the Heat have many players listed on the injury report, headlined by Bam Adebayo (quad contusion) and P.J. Tucker (calf). However, none of the six players are considered in jeopardy of being ruled out for the game.
Atlanta will look to forget Game 1, and it will likely take a lot, as they were completely dominated on both ends of the floor. The Hawks got off to a slow start offensively and were never able to get untracked, shooting 38.7% from the field along with 27.8% from beyond the arc. Trae Young continued his shooting woes against the Heat, making just one of 12 shots from the field, including going zero for seven from beyond the arc and committing six turnovers. He has shot just 43.7% from beyond the arc and 31.4% from deep while also committing 5.6 turnovers against the Heat this season so the Hawks appear in trouble unless Young can have a dramatic turnaround. This seems unlikely as he has not played well in Miami throughout his short career. Atlanta will also be missing Capela’s rebounding and rim protection. They are 3-5 without Capela this season though, on a positive note, John Collins did return in Game 1 after a long layoff.
Atlanta has been awful on the road this season. The Hawks have not fared well against good teams, posting a 6-20 record against teams that finished with a record of .500 or above, with most of the losses being by 9 or more points.
Moreover, Miami is the better team when healthy. The Heat enter the game playing well and are in good form, going 7-1 in their last eight games, with five victories by 8 or more points. While Duncan Robinson and Jimmy Butler led the way in Game 1, the Heat were tenacious on the defensive end, and they got contributions from everyone that received minutes. Overall, they ranked fourth in the NBA in defensive efficiency and had 11 different players that averaged double figures score at least 5 points a game during the regular season. Furthermore, the Heat are 4-1 against the Hawks this season and they have excelled at home, where they have a plus 5.5 scoring margin while limiting opponents to an effective field of 45.3%.
OddsShopper gives Miami a 72% chance of winning the game.
Timberwolves vs. Grizzlies Under 240.5 points
This should be another fun, high-scoring affair though the point total has dropped 3 points since the opening line. It is probably still too high. Memphis is a far better team defensively than they showed in the series opener when they allowed the Timberwolves to shoot 50% from the field and drain 16 3-pointers. Granted, the Timberwolves match up exceptionally well with the Grizzlies as Minnesota’s best offensive players are at the positions where the Grizzlies struggle defensively, which are shooting guard, center and small forward. However, the Grizzlies ranked sixth in the league in defensive efficiency, including finishing No. 7 in that department at home this season. Plus, the Timberwolves can defend, they just do not do it that often on the road. But this is the postseason and both squads do a fantastic job at forcing turnovers. OddsShopper gives the under a 52% chance of hitting.
P.J. Tucker Over 6.5 Points
The point total seems a touch low and Tuckers is dealing with a calf issue. Tucker was excellent against the Hawks in Game 1, knocking down six of eight shots from the field including four for four from the 3-point line, and finishing with 16 points. He is coming off his most productive offensive season in years while setting career highs in field goal percentage (48.4%) and 3-point percentage (41.5%). Tucker has also played well against the Hawks this year, totaling 29 points on 50% shooting from the field as well as 41% from the 3-point line (5-for-12). Furthermore, he has reached double figures in three of his four appearances vs. Atlanta. Tucker is projected for 7.16 points tonight with OddsShopper giving this plus-money bet (+106) a 56% chance of hitting and an expected ROI of 16%.
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