NBA Playoff Best Bets: Tuesday, May 16

Surprise, surprise — the Celtics killed us last week. I’m not salty but that team is dead to me.

This week, we’ll go with some props and team totals. Get excited for the NBA Conference Finals!

Layups: 2-Unit Plays
Two-Pointers: 1-Unit Plays
Three-Pointers: 0.75-Unit Plays
Half-Court Shot: 0.5-Unit Plays

Playoffs: 7-10 (-3 units)


Jayson Tatum Over 4.5 Assists (-137): I know the juice on this isn’t the most desirable, but Tatum has hit over this number in eight of his last ten games. Even when he scored 51 points and got off 28 shots, he still had five assists in Game 7.

On top of that, the Heat gave up the MOST assists per game to small forwards this year in the league. The implied odds of -137 is about 58%, so with Tatum recently hitting this at an 80% clip — while averaging 5.3 APG at home this postseason — I’ll happily pay a bit more for this number.


LeBron James Under 25.5 Points (-111): You hate to fade the King, but sometimes it must be done. LeBron’s coming off a 43-minute Game 6. He played a lot and also shot a lot. Over the last three games, he’s taken 56 shots. The man’s gotta be feeling a little fatigue, right? Plus, he’s now playing where the air is thinner against a well-rested opponent.

Game 1 is not the game where he’ll be expending all of his energy. LeBron’s been around the block, he knows that it’s a marathon and he’ll likely play the facilitator role tonight rather than lead scorer. In Game 1 against Memphis, he scored 21, and then scored 22 in Game 1 against Golden State. The 38-year-old knows Game 1s are for assessing rather than attacking, so under in this Game 1 is the play.

Lakers Team Total Under 108.5 (-110): The Lakers’ home/road offensive numbers this postseason are Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In Hollywood, the Lakers post a 115.9 offensive rating, good for the sixth-best among playoff teams. Away from LA, their offensive rating drops to 107. On top of that, Denver’s defensive rating is third among playoff teams at home, and they give up a measly 99.7 points per game. Keeping LA in the low-100s seems easy for a Nuggets team hitting their defensive stride.