Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

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Tonight, we have two Conference Semifinal Game 3s.

In the East, the Miami Heat visits the Philadelphia 76ers for Game 3 after winning the first two games of this second-round series by double-digits. The second game of the night will feature the red-hot Chris Paul and the Phoenix Suns who head to Dallas also after winning the first two games of their series at home. Let’s take a look at some of the best bets and player props for both of tonight’s playoff matchups.

Please Note: All odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 10 AM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers +3 (MIA Leads 2-0)

Joel Embiid has officially been ruled out of Game 3 after having missed Games 1 and 2 due to an orbital fracture he sustained in Game 6 of Philadelphia's first-round series against the Toronto Raptors. As a result, the 76ers absolutely struggled to compete with the Miami Heat in the first two games of this Eastern Conference Semifinal.

Embiid’s absence from the rotation has allowed Miami’s bigs Bam Adebayo more space to dominate down low. In Game 1, Adebayo produced 24 points (8-10 FG), 12 rebounds, four assists, and one block. In Game 2, he similarly dominated in the paint for 23 points (7-11 FG), nine rebounds, and three assists. Without size in the paint, Philly is in trouble, and Miami is targeting their defense where they are weak. While DeAndre Jordan has seen approximately 15 MPG in Games 1 and 2, he simply cannot keep up with Adebayo’s strength, youth, and athleticism. In addition, Miami has been able to win big without their main ball-handler Kyle Lowry. Although he isn’t there to provide the 7.5 assists he averaged this season, Gabe Vincent has played respectably in 30+ MPG throughout his absence while Victor Oladipo’s added minutes allowed him to score 19 points (6-11 FG) in Game 2. Finally, James Harden has not been able to step it up on offense while Embiid has been sidelined. Harden scored just 16 points (5-13 FG) in Game 1, and 20 points (6-15 FG) in Game 2. The superstar scorer really became a play-maker for Philadelphia, averaging 10.5 assists per game since he joined the team. He’s adjusted his role in NBA games from sheer scorer to playmaker but is now being asked to score more with Embiid out. At least through the first two games of the series, Harden has not been able to score more than 20 points and converted well below 40% of his shots taken from the field in each contest. Philadelphia looks lost on the floor without Embiid and has no size in the paint to counter Adebayo or other Miami scorers looking to drive the ball. At the moment, it’s looking like Miami will extend their lead to 3-0 over the 76ers after tomorrow’s game.

The Pick: Miami Heat -3 (-112)

Game: Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks -1 (PHX Leads 2-0)

Luka Doncic was visibly frustrated Wednesday night facing the Suns on the road. In Game 2, Doncic could be seen multiple times responding to heckles and insults from fans who successfully got in his head. Though he had another great offensive outing, he collapsed mentally in the fourth quarter which allowed Chris Paul and the Suns to capitulate. In the fourth quarter, CP3 erupted for 14 points making basket after basket without missing a shot. The Suns’ superstar ultimately had another impressive night finishing with 28 points (11-16 FG).

The Suns quickly extended their lead to 20+ points and the game was over midway through the fourth quarter, in which the Suns scored 40 points to Dallas’ 26. It's also important to know that a nice chunk of the Mavs’ 26 fourth-quarter points came in garbage time. While the Suns should win this series comfortably, the Mavericks will take Game 3. Though Doncic had a great night in Game 2 finishing with 35 points (13-22 FG), he collapsed mentally in the fourth quarter largely due to passionate yet obnoxious Suns fans. Tonight, Luka will score 40+ points with the Dallas crowd by his side. It’s likely that the Mavericks fans will retaliate, and try to affect CP3 and Devin Booker. While Phoenix should comfortably reach the Western Conference Finals, I like the Mavericks to bounce back at home with Luka Doncic feeding off of the Dallas crowd.

The Pick: Dallas Mavericks -1 (-112)

Tonight’s NBA Player Props

Game: Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks -1 (PHX Leads 2-0)

Prop #1: Luka Doncic, Over 7.5 Assists (-130)

Luka Doncic’s scoring O/U is set at 34.5 points for tonight. While there is a good chance he drops over 40 points to bring a victory for the Mavericks in Game 3 at home, him dishing at least eight assists is more realistic. Over the last three games, Doncic has distributed eight, eight, and seven assists respectively. In Game 2, Doncic barely played in the fourth quarter (garbage time) which limited him to 36 minutes. Normally, he plays 40+ MPG in the playoffs. Doncic should hit 10+ assists in Dallas’ return home as they hope to bounce back against the Phoenix Suns.

Prop #2: Maxi Kleber, Over 1.5 Threes (-128)

Maxi Kleber emerged as an important scorer for the Mavericks specifically in Games 2 and 3 of their first-round series against the Utah Jazz. He shot for a combined 12-of-15 from downtown through those two games. Kleber went quiet for the rest of the series, to erupt for five-of-eight shooting from downtown in Game 1 against the Suns. While Kleber missed all three attempts from downtown on Wednesday night, he’s played approximately 25 MPG this postseason and has had multiple games over his last ten where he’s shot well above 60% from downtown. As a result, he has a great chance of knocking down at least two three-pointers tonight against the Suns.

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Klay Thompson, Golden State Warriors
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After three consecutive victories, the Golden State Warriors conceded Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals to the Dallas Mavericks. In Game 5, the Warriors will look to close out Luka Doncic and the Mavs in front of the home crowd. As a team, the Warriors were efficient from the field, converting 48.8% of their shots taken. One of the main reasons Golden State lost was a result of poor free-throw shooting. The Warriors missed nine of their 27 free throws on Tuesday night (65.4 FT%). In comparison, the Mavericks were full-throttle in Game 4 facing elimination. Dallas’ Reggie Bullock (18 PTS) and Dorian Finney Smith (23 PTS) combined for 42 points, adding to Luka’s 30.

Ultimately, no team has ever come back from a 3-0 lead in the playoffs, meaning that the Warriors will almost certainly be heading back to the NBA Finals. Let’s take a look at what the best bets are for tonight’s Game 5.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 2:00 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors -6.5 (GSW Leads 3-1)

Bet #1: Dallas Mavericks, +6.5 (-110)

We like Dallas to keep it close. Perhaps Dallas has a 10-point lead going into the third quarter which the Warriors could then overtake in the second half. Regardless of the scenario, the Mavericks won against a Warriors team that still put up 109 points in Game 4 on close to 50% shooting from the field. Dallas shot above 50% from the field in Game 4 and took many shots to get there just like they did in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semis against the Phoenix Suns. Even Jalen Brunson said in the post-game interview with the guys from Inside the NBA that his team needs to "take it one game at a time (...) like four Game 7s."

While the Warriors are in it to win it tonight, the Mavericks seem to perform best when facing elimination this 2022 postseason. While they might lose tonight, the Mavericks seem to play well under pressure. As a result, take them +7 tonight as the Warriors will have a bigger challenge on their hands than they anticipate.

Bet #2: Over 215.5 Total Points (-110)

In two of the series’ four games, both teams combined for at least 220 points. In Game 2, 243 points were scored while in Game 4, there were 228 points tallied. The Mavericks shoot more when facing elimination. This has been a trend we have seen throughout the postseason. In Game 7 of the Western Conference Semis, the Mavericks scored 123 points while in Game 4 against the Warriors on Tuesday, Dallas scored 119 points. Not much more needs to be said about the Warriors’ high-power offense that will likely outscore Dallas regardless of how many points they get on the board.

NBA Player Props of the Night

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State Warriors -6.5 (GSW Leads 3-1)

Prop #1: Dorian Finney-Smith Over 11.5 Points

Dorian Finney-Smith erupted for 23 points in Game 4 to help the Mavericks rally past the Warriors. Throughout the 2022 playoffs, he’s averaged 11.6 PPG shooting 46.5% from the field. He’s also seeing 38.2 minutes per contest this postseason. Expect Finney-Smith to score at least 12 points tonight after his 23-points in Game 4.

Prop #2: Klay Thompson Over 18.5 Points

Klay Thompson was held to 12 points scored in Game 4. Despite going 5-of-10 from the field, Klay was limited by Dallas on defense in 28 minutes on the floor on Tuesday night. He should definitely be taking more shots tonight and perform better overall being back home for a Game 5. Thompson should easily hit at least 20+ points tonight, and take a handful more shots from the field in this contest than in Tuesday’s.

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Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

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In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Bam Adebayo's 31-point and 10-rebound double-double led the Miami Heat to a 109-103 victory over the Celtics on the road. That was followed by a dominant second-half performance by Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins who led the Warriors to a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

Tonight, we'll get the first of these two matchups. Boston will look to come back in their second home game against a Heat team that is clearly not at 100% healthy. Tyler Herro has been ruled out for Game 4 while Kyle Lowry remains questionable. Here are some of the best bets for tonight's and tomorrow's big Game 4s.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 3:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

ECF Game 4: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics -7 (MIA Leads 2-1)

In Game 4, the Celtics rallied back from double-digits to make things interesting in the fourth quarter. However, Boston conceded Game 3 to the Miami Heat 109-103. On Sunday, Bam Adebayo was getting everything he wanted down low. He finished with 31 points, 10 boards, six assists, four steals, and one block. Ime Udoka will need to boost the presence of his big men down low, perhaps by extending Daniel Theis’ minutes or having him share the floor more with Al Horford. The major reason for which the Heat are considered the seven-point underdogs for tonight’s game is injuries. Tyler Herro has already been ruled out for Game 4, and the Heat have four or five other players in their lineup currently listed as questionable. This includes Max Struss, Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, and P.J. Tucker. Butler is dealing with knee inflammation which sidelined him for the second half of Game 3.

Even if all of the players in the Heat’s rotation are good to go tonight (outside of Herro), Boston has not lost back-to-back home games since late October. Plus, Jaylen Brown is shooting much better than he did earlier in the postseason. In fact, he’s elevated his shooting to 50% from the field through the 2021-22 playoffs through 14 games played. Expect Boston to bounce back big in Game 4, with multiple players on the Miami Heat not at full strength.

The Pick: Boston Celtics -7 (-110)

WCF Game 4: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks -1 (GSW Leads 3-0)

Well, it’s looking like the Golden State Warriors are returning to the NBA Finals. With the emergence of Jordan Poole late this season and into the postseason, Andrew Wiggins’ First-Team All-Star season, and Klay Thompson’s return to basketball, Golden State has been simply phenomenal. Golden State is simply that good this year, with anyone on the team capable of stepping up. Stephen Curry erupted in Game 3, while it was Andrew Wiggins that caught fire in the second half of Game 4. Any given night, the Warriors have one or two guys who they can count on for scoring approximately 25+ points. Considering the Mavericks' struggles this round, particularly behind the three-point line, bettors should go with the Warriors as the slight underdog. Teams get swept sometimes. Just ask the Brooklyn Nets. The Warriors will bring out the brooms and sweep the Mavericks as they punch their ticket to the NBA Finals Tuesday night.

The Pick: Golden State Warriors ML -104

NBA Player Props

Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks -1 (GSW Leads 3-0)

Prop #1: Stephen Curry, Over 27.5 Points

Stephen Curry has scored 31 points and 32 points over the last two games. He’s done so by converting at least 50% from the field in each contest. It makes sense that he would score at least 28 points in a series-clinching victory tomorrow night. Curry is averaging 27.1 PPG on 45.9% this postseason but has certainly put up more points and done so more efficiently over the last few games.

Prop #2: Luka Doncic, Over 3.5 Threes

Luka has drained nine three-pointers over the last two games. He’s knocked down at least four threes in three of his last four contests. Facing elimination and hoping to not let down the home crowd in back-to-back home playoff games, Doncic will convert at least four baskets from downtown in Game 4.

Tyler Herro (Left), Bam Adebayo (Right), Miami Heat

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Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo, and the Miami Heat held their own against the Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Likewise, Andrew Wiggins and Stephen Curry led the Warriors to a 112-87 blowout over Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. Tonight, the Celtics play their second game on the road against the Heat. On Friday night, the Mavericks will look to bounce back after shooting horrifically in Game 1.

Let’s take a look at the best bets for the two NBA Conference Final Game 2 matchups set for 8:30 PM EST. tonight and 9:00 PM EST. tomorrow night.

Please note that all odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 4:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat -2 (MIA Leads 1-0)

After a nail-biting series with the Milwaukee Bucks that the Celtics won in grandiose fashion, Boston conceded Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat. Tonight, they play Game 2 of the series at the FTX Arena and hope to bounce back from Tuesday’s 11-point loss. One of the principal reasons for their defeat in Game 1 was the absence of Marcus Smart (foot sprain) and Al Horford (health & safety protocols). It remained a relatively close game until the third quarter in which the Celtics were outscored 14-3 to begin the second half. Derrick White filled in for Marcus Smart and was terribly inefficient from the field. He scored three points (1-4 FG) and had four assists in 29 minutes filling in for the Defensive Player of the Year. In contrast, Max Struss and Gabe Vincent did a terrific job of filling in for Kyle Lowry, combining for 28 points on 9-of-19 shooting. In addition, Tyler Herro had a good night with a pivotal 18 points (7-15 FG) off the bench. Fortunately for the Celtics, both Smart and Horford are expected to return tonight.

Head Coach Ime Udoka indicated to reporters today that Smart was probable to play this evening. Horford was cleared of health and safety protocols today making him available for tonight’s contest. For those of you who have watched the Celtics this postseason, Horford and Smart have upped their play and have been absolutely integral to the team’s success. Tonight, let’s take the Boston Celtics to take a game on the road in the same fashion that they took two road games from the Bucks in the last series.

The Pick: Boston Celtics ML +108

Tonight's Best NBA Player Props

Game: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat -2 (MIA Leads 1-0)

Prop#1: Gabe Vincent Over 9.5 Points
In Game 1 without Kyle Lowry, Gabe Vincent scored 17 points in 34 minutes on 50% shooting from the field. As Kyle Lowry is out again for Game 2 tonight, expect Vincent to score at least 10 points. Vincent has performed admirably while filling in for the veteran. Even when Lowry returns, it's quite possible that Erik Spoelstra will give some of Lowry's minutes to Vincent.
Prop#2: Al Horford Over 9.5 Points
After five straight double-digit scoring performances, Al Horford scored eight points or fewer in the last three games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Bucks. He missed Game 1 of the Celtics' series against the Miami Heat after entering Health & Safety protocols. Since he was only out for one game, he shouldn't face any minute restrictions tonight. Horford should score at least 10 points in 30+ minutes on the floor.

Tomorrow Night's Best NBA Bet

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Golden State -6 (GSW Leads 1-0)

Dallas was annihilated by Golden State in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. This comes after the Mavs blew out the Phoenix Suns on the road in impressive fashion, punching their ticket to the next round of the playoffs for a series against the Warriors. Golden State shot an impressive 56.1% from the field in the opening game and finished with 112 points. Just as important as the offensive production, Golden State clamped down on defense. The Warriors contained Luka Doncic, who converted just six of his 18 field goals on his way to 20 points. Andrew Wiggins did an excellent job guarding the young playmaker. Luka's teammates didn't help out much either as the Mavericks shot 36% from the field in Game 1, and 22.9% from downtown (11-48 3PT FG) for just 87 points on the night.

While I think the Warriors will win again on Friday night, expect the Mavericks to keep things more interesting after such an abysmal night shooting from the field. Dallas will make the adjustments needed to make this a competitive Game 2 in the Bay area.

The Pick: Dallas Mavericks +6 (-110)

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