NBA

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Stacy Revere, Getty Images

This Sunday, we have two huge Conference Semifinal Game 7s on the schedule.

The Celtics won on the road in Game 6 off of Jayson Tatum’s heroics. As a result, the Bucks return to the TD Garden to face the Celtics at 3:30 PM EST. The Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks have won all their home games and lost all their away games in their playoff series. The Mavs’ take on the Phoenix Suns on the road at 8:00 PM EST tonight. Let’s take a look at the best bets of today’s amazing NBA action. The stakes couldn’t be higher for each of these four teams.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics -5 (Series Tied 3-3)

Following a heart-wrenching loss at home in Game 5, the Celtics bounced back in Milwaukee in Game 6. The Bucks’ hopes of closing out the series at home were crushed by Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum who scored 46 points (17-32 FG).

Though Giannis scored 44 (14-30 FG), the Bucks lost Game 6 by 13 points. Boston’s defense held the Bucks to 40.9% shooting from the field and a disastrous 24.1% from downtown. The Bucks only converted seven of their 29 three-point attempts on Friday night. While Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pat Connaughton, and Jrue Holiday played well, they combined for 75 of the Bucks’ 95 total points. The rest of the team only combined for 20 points. Brook Lopez only saw 19 minutes on the floor to score 6 points. The Bucks’ opted to five Bobby Portis more minutes, yet he only scored four points on two-of-eight shooting. Though the Celtics’ as a team combined for a mediocre 43.7% shooting on the night, they hit 17 three-pointers which allowed them to easily outscore the highly inefficient Bucks in Game 6.

Expect the Bucks to play better Sunday afternoon. Still, Ime Udoka's defense has been highly successful against Milwaukee throughout the series. This Celtics’ team is playing with outstanding confidence fueled by the desire to reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2018. With the home crowd’s support at the TD Garden tomorrow, Boston should take Game 7 by five or more points.

The Pick: Boston Celtics -5

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns -6.5 (Series Tied 3-3)

The trend throughout this series has been winning comfortably at home. Each team has won all of their games at home and lost all of their games on the road. In Game 6, the Suns only scored 86 points and played abysmally. Phoenix got into foul trouble early, and finished with 27 personal fouls as a team. As a result, the Mavericks scored 27 points from 36 FT attempts in Game 6. The Suns also had 22 turnovers throughout the game, with 13 of them coming from Devin Booker (8 TOs) and Chris Paul (5 TOs). In contrast, the Mavericks only produced six turnovers throughout the contest. Game 6 was over by the third quarter.

The Suns will certainly play better in Game 7 as they look to secure another ticket to the Western Conference Finals. Nonetheless, this game will not end in a blowout. Expect the Mavericks to lose by six points or less on Sunday.

The Pick: Dallas Mavericks +6.5

NBA Player Props

Game: Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns -6.5 (Series Tied 3-3)

Prop: Reggie Bullock, Over 9.5 Points

After going scoreless in Game 5, Reggie Bullock bounced back in Game 6 to score 19 points (7-15 FG). He knocked down five three-pointers in the game. Bullock has played a crucial role in the Mavericks’ success this postseason. He’ll step up again to easily hit 10+ points in this massive Game 7.

Prop: Devin Booker, Over 28.5 Points

D-Book only scored 19 points (6-17 FG) and shot very inefficiently from the field in Game 6. At home in a must-win Game 7, expect Booker to bounce back for 35+ points. He will be Phoenix’s main scorer.

Cameron Johnson (Left), Chris Paul (Mid), Mikal Bridges (Right), Phoenix Suns

Photo By: Johnathan Bachman, Getty Images

Two first-round series in the West are all tied up heading into Game 5's tonight.

After an abysmal collapse in Game 3, Minnesota was able to win Game 4 at home. Likewise, the New Orleans Pelicans lost to the Suns by three points in Game 3 but won by 15 points in Game 4. Phoenix will look to bounce back tonight. Finally, Miami will look to eliminate the Atlanta Hawks at home tonight after blowing them out in Atlanta in Game 4. Let's take a look at some of tonight's best NBA bets.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Atlanta Hawks at Miami Heat -7 (MIA Leads Series 3-1)

While the Hawks have fought valiantly to make their way through the play-in games, they now have to win three games in a row including two on the road to move past the Heat. With such an unlikely scenario for the Hawks and Miami’s desire to get some rest before the second round of the NBA playoffs, the Heat are looking hot going into tonight’s game. Game 4 ended in a 110-86 blowout victory, led once again by Jimmy Butler’s dominance. He produced a 36-point (12-21 FG), 10-rebound double-double and recorded four steals in Game 4.

In addition, Miami completely locked down Trae Young in the last game, holding him to nine points (3-11 FG) in 36 minutes of action. Young shot six-of-14 in Game 3 and was also held to eight points (1-12 FG) in Game 1. Although the Raptors are fighting back and have won two games after losing the first three of their first-round series, the Hawks' outlook is much bleaker. The Hawks' 2021-22 season ends tonight in South Florida.

The Pick: Miami Heat -7 (-110)

Game: Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies -6 (Series Tied 2-2)

Karl-Anthony Towns went from producing eight points and five rebounds in Game 3 to recorded a 33-point and 14-rebound double-double in Game 4 to help his team even the series up. Game 5 will be tonight in Memphis, and the Grizzlies will defend the home floor. The way Desmond Bane erupted in Game 3 on the road gives me all the confidence that he has a huge game at home in Game 5 tonight. This is a very tough series to predict, but Memphis remains one of the best teams in the league, and they should bounce back big after a stinger of a loss in Game 4.

The Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -6

Game: New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns -6.5 (Series Tied 2-2)

Chris Paul was special in Game 3, but rookies Herbert Jones and Jose Alvarado created nightmares for him in Game 4. Though he scored 28 points and dished out 14 assists to carry the Suns in Game 3, CP3 was contained to only four points on two-of-eight shooting from the field in Game 4. It’s crucial to remember that Devin Booker is still out and that Phoenix will likely be without him for the remainder of the series. In Phoenix tonight, the Suns will bounce back. In turn, expect the Pelicans to be the favorites at home in Game 6. This is one series that I feel will head to a Game 7. One team wins, and the other bounces back. The Suns will win by 10+ points tonight after a 15-point loss in Game 5.

The Pick: Phoenix Suns - 6.5

NBA Player Props of the Night

Game: New Orleans Pelicans at Phoenix Suns -6.5 (Series Tied 2-2)

Prop #1: Cameron Johnson Under 14.5 Points

Cameron Johnson has played great all season and now that Devin Booker is out of the rotation, his scoring opportunities per game are elevated. However, he’s scored 11, 8, and 13 points respectively in the last three games. While D-Book has been out, Johnson has played efficiently, but hasn’t scored more than 14 points in any game since March.

Prop #2: Mikal Bridges Over 4.5 Rebounds

Mikal Bridges' Over in rebounds hits frequently, but not always. The reason he will grab at least five boards off the glass tonight is that the Phoenix Suns will be having a resurgent defensive game. The Pelicans will be missing more shots than they did on Sunday night when they scored 118 points.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

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In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

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Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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