NBA Playoffs Best Bets: Friday, April 22

Much like ordering Taco Bell at 2 a.m., the first few games of the NBA playoffs completely wrecked me. The lines got tighter and the play was a bit more unpredictable.

Betting on the NBA postseason isn’t for the meek, so it’s time to shape up, analyze the trends and go into these Game 3 matchups with clear eyes.

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

Record: 70-58-3 (+7.87 units)


Suns -2 (-110): Sure, losing Devin Booker hurts, but this line move seems extreme. The Suns are 8-6 this season without Booker and still have plenty of talent to make up for his loss. The Pelicans needed an insane 37-point performance from Brandon Ingram to go along with Booker’s fourth-quarter absence in order to win Game 2, and I really don’t think the Pels will be able to duplicate that, even at home.

The Suns have the runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award in Mikal Bridges, they have a versatile Deandre Ayton, and oh yeah, they have Chris Freakin’ Paul. The tools for the Suns are still there and playing a team as inconsistent as New Orleans should help them get a win and cover.


Zach LaVine Over 22.5 Points (-110) and Zach LaVine Over 2.5 Threes (-125): Start stretching because we’re running with the Bulls. Actually, just one Bull in particular. LaVine’s had a quiet couple of games, but with the series coming home and the presumably extra defensive attention on DeMar DeRozan, this is time for Zach to have his big playoff game. The three-point attempts are there (he had 10 in Game 1), and the Bucks give up more threes and three-point attempts without Khris Middleton in the lineup. Zach’s due for a big game, so let’s bet that it’ll be this one.

De’Andre Hunter Over 13.5 Points (-113): The guy has scored over this mark in both games in the series, so clearly the stifling Heat defense hasn’t stopped him too much. At home, Hunter averages exactly 13 points a game, but that’s been while playing an average of 29 minutes a game. In the playoffs, he’s been getting 35 minutes a game. The increased minutes should give Hunter plenty of opportunities to hit his over.


Hawks ML (+105): Atlanta is a different team at home. They’re 23-18 ATS in Atlanta and score five points more per game. Then there’s Trae Young. He averages four more points per game at home and sees his three-point shooting percentage skyrocket from 35% to 41% in the ATL. The Hawks should win this one behind a strong performance from Young, and the fact that the moneyline is plus-money is even better.