NBA Playoff Best Bets of the Night: Wednesday, April 20

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

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On back-to-back nights Monday and Tuesday, Will Desvallees has gotten each playoff game pick correct. Tonight, the NBA will be showcasing the Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn is looking to bounce back after a gut-wrenching 114-115 loss to Boston coming off a buzzer-beater layup from Jayson Tatum. Philadelphia will be visiting Toronto in the first Game 3 of the NBA playoffs, while the Bulls attempt to steal Game 2 on the road against the reigning champs, the Milwaukee Bucks. Let’s dive in and check out tonight’s best NBA Bets.

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Best Bets of The Night

Game: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics -3.5 (BOS Leads 1-0)

Tonight, Brooklyn looks to bounce back against the Celtics after a truly heartbreaking defeat in Game 1. That first game has been the most competitive of the playoffs thus far. Even though the 2022 NBA Defensive Player of the Year, Marcus Smart, was playing lock-down defense on Kyrie Irving the whole game, Irving still had 39 points (he’s scored at least 34 points in each of his last three games). Although Irving’s behavior continues to disappoint NBA fans, he is the principal reason the Nets reclaimed the lead in the second half of Game 1. To a certain extent, Boston got lucky on Tatum’s game-winning lay-up despite the great ball movement on the play before converting the basket.

Kevin Durant is due to have a huge offensive night, as he hasn’t scored more than 25 points in the last three games (all of which he played 41+ minutes). At the very least, the Nets should keep things interesting in Game 2, with Kyrie and KD playing with a chip on their shoulders.

The Pick: Brooklyn Nets +3.5

Game: Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors +1.5 (PHI Leads 2-0)

Philadelphia is still looking like the strongest playoff team out of the Eastern Conference after another huge home win in Game 2. This is the first matchup to reach Game 3 so the Sixers are now in Toronto on the road. It is noteworthy that Matisse Thybulle will not be available for Game 3 or Game 4 because he is unvaccinated and ineligible to play in Canada based on the country’s COVID-19 laws. Thybulle played less than 20 minutes in each of the first two games of the series.

Doc Rivers now needs to modify his rotation. The 76ers are ready and in great shape without Thybulle heading into Game 3. Scottie Barnes is questionable for the Raptors heading into Game 3. Still, the Raptors have a good chance tonight to hand the 76ers their first loss of this first-round series in front of the home crowd. Coach Nick Nurse has won a championship with these Raptors back in 2019 so he knows how to coach in a playoff environment. The Raptors and 76ers finished the regular season with the same number of home wins (24) and losses (17). Clearly, each team prefers to play at home. I'm going with the underdog here.

The Pick: Toronto Raptors ML +106

Game: Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks -10 (MIL Leads 1-0)

The Bucks are a much better team than the Bulls and they will likely come away with a win tonight in Game 2. However, the Bulls shot poorly from the field yet still kept it to a seven-point game. After the contest, DeMar DeRozan was quick to acknowledge his relatively poor shooting night from the field. The Bulls shot abysmally from the field in Game 1 and only produced 86 points of offense. They really can’t shoot worse than they did in Game 1. DeRozan and the Bulls should keep things more interesting in Game 2 even if they don’t come out on top. Right now, they are surely missing Lonzo Ball (who is on the sidelines and out for the remainder of the postseason).

The Pick: Chicago Bulls +10

NBA Player Props

Game: Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks -10 (MIL Leads 1-0)

Prop: Alex Caruso Over 6.5 Points

As we all know, Alex Caruso is a complete player, capable of scoring off of the bench and making strong defensive plays. Since the Bulls are without Lonzo Ball throughout the playoffs, Caruso has been bumped into the starting rotation with Coby White as the team’s best guard off the bench. In Game 1, Caruso produced seven points (3-7 FG) in 33 minutes. He shot one of five from downtown. As a team though, the Bulls shot 18.9% from downtown and only 32.3% from the field in Game 1. Caruso, who was part of the Bulls' bad shooting in Game 1, will score at least seven points again in Game 2 with 30+ minutes on the floor.

Prop: Jrue Holiday Over 1.5 Threes

Jrue Holiday scored 15 points (6-16 FG) and only went one-of-four from downtown in 39 minutes of play in Game 1. This season, Holiday shot for a career-high 41.1% from beyond the arc. The point guard will take more than four three-point shots in Game 2 and convert at least two of them.

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