NBA Playoffs Best Bets of the Night: Friday, May 6

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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