NBA Playoffs Best Bets of the Night: Monday, May 2
As we head into the Conference Semifinals, two Game 1s are on the schedule tonight.
The top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat, will host James Harden and the Philadelphia 76ers. The second Game 1 of the night will feature Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks taking on Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns.
Best Bets of the Night
Game: Philadelphia 76ers at Miami Heat -7.5 (Game 1)
Despite Joel Embiid’s thumb injury and a small scare induced by a Toronto Raptors squad that was fighting for survival, the 76ers kick off their Eastern Conference Semi-Final tonight against the ferocious Miami Heat. Both of these teams are looking like the strongest coming out of the Eastern Conference this postseason (though don't count out the Bucks just because Khris Middleton is hurt as they dominated the Boston Celtics in Game 1 on Sunday). However, Joel Embiid will miss at least the first two games of this series due to a facial fracture and a concussion that the big man sustained in their Game 6 win over the Toronto Raptors.
While he could play through a torn ligament in his thumb, it is out of the question for him to play with such head injuries. For Embiid to miss the first two games of this series is simply devastating for the 76ers. If Embiid has a chance of clearing concussion protocols by Game 3 or 4, the 76ers might be able to survive. However, the Heat are dealing with injury issues of their own. Specifically, Kyle Lowry has been ruled out for Game 1 due to his hamstring injury, while Tyler Herro, Jimmy Butler, and Markieff Morris are all listed as game-time decisions for various reasons ahead of tonight’s game. While Embiid could be out for significant time during the second round and will be playing the rest of the postseason with a torn ligament in his thumb, the Heat have a few very short-term injuries that coach Spoelstra isn’t too worried about. “They feel like they have enough, we feel like we have enough. I guess probably both sides are ready to tip this thing up,” coach Spoelstra said. As it stands at the moment, Philadelphia is in trouble and looks like they will lose their first two second-round games by double digits without Embiid available. Then again, crazier things have occurred. Don't completely count the Sixers out but the Heat should cover the spread tonight.
The Pick: Miami Heat -7.5
Game: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns -5.5 (Game 1)
Despite New Orleans’ hard work in trying to fend off the Suns, Chris Paul’s perfect night from the field in Game 6 demonstrated why CP3 is more versatile than just a pass-first point guard. The reigning Western Conference champions are the clear-cut favorites in Game 1, especially on their home floor. The truth is that Dallas lacks size in the post which will allow guys like Deandre Ayton and even JaVale McGee to have very efficient nights. Simply put, both of Phoenix’s true centers have the advantage over the Mavs’ bigs Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber in the paint. That said, Kleber can stretch the floor due to his three-point accuracy. Neither Ayton nor McGee are reliable in defending the perimeter. They are both much more comfortable as defensive anchors down low in the paint. That said, the Suns have tons of momentum after Chris Paul's record-breaking performance when he converted all 14 of his shots in Game 6 against the Pelicans. Ayton also seems to have found his groove in the playoffs. And although Ayton isn't a great perimeter defender, he has the size and strength to dominate on the offensive end of the floor against Powell and Kleber.
In Game 1, we’ll see this mismatch in front of our eyes, and will be one of the main reasons why the Suns are able to pull off the big Game 1 win. Injuries aren’t a factor going into this series. With the exception of Tim Hardaway Jr. for the Mavericks and Dario Saric for the Suns, both teams are entirely healthy and ready to go. This regular season, the Suns and the Mavericks faced off three times and Phoenix won all three contests. To kick off their Western Conference Semifinals on their home floor, the Suns could win by double-digits in Game 1.
The Pick: Phoenix Suns -5.5
NBA Player Props of the Night
Game: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns -5.5 (Game 1)
Prop: Chris Paul Over 16.5 Points
Jose Alvarado and Herbert Jones are out of the way for Chris Paul now. He’ll have to worry about Dallas’ guards who are primarily excellent offensive players. They certainly will be less focused on smothering CP3 on the court than the New Orleans rookies. Finally, Chris Paul is coming off of a record-setting historical Game 6 performance where he shot a perfect 14-14 from the field to carry the Suns to the Western Conference Semifinals. Even with Devin Booker back in the lineup, expect Paul to drop 17+ points in Game 1.
Prop: Devin Booker Over 2.5 Three-Pointers Made
Devin Booker made a surprise appearance in Game 6 when he was previously expected to miss the remainder of the first-round series due to his hamstring injury. In 32 minutes on the floor in Game 6, D-Book went one-of-six from downtown. However, he shot 50% or above from downtown, converting four-of-eight threes in Game 1. Additionally, he went bonkers in Game 2 with seven three-pointers on just 11 attempts. Tonight, he’ll make at least three buckets from downtown.
Fantasy SP has worked diligently to bring you next-level sports betting analytics, prop betting tools, public betting splits, and so much more! Become an Edge+ member today before the price doubles!