Andrew Wiggins and Jayson Tatum

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In Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Warriors defended the home floor to take a 3-2 lead in the finals over the Boston Celtics. Largely, this is because Boston was careless with the basketball. The Warriors tallied nine steals and forced 18 turnovers by the Celtics. In contrast, the Warriors only got the ball stolen twice and turned the ball over just six times Monday night. While Stephen Curry was guarded ferociously and was held to just 16 points on 7-of-22 shooting (and 0-9 from downtown), his teammates stepped up.

Andrew Wiggins had another huge double-double, scoring 26 points (12-23 FG) and hauling in 13 rebounds. Finally, if the Celtics hope to win in Game 6, they will need to stay awake in the fourth quarter. Over the last two games, Boston has fallen asleep at the end of the game while the Warriors managed to sneak away with two consecutive victories.

Let's take a look at some of tonight's best bets for this huge NBA Finals Game 6.

Please Note: All betting odds were correct today as of 2:00 pm EST from Caesars Sportsbook

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Best Bets of the Night

Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics -4 (GSW Leads 3-2)

NBA Finals Best Bet #1: Boston Celtics -4 (-110)

It’s difficult to envision the Boston Celtics collapsing in the fourth quarter in three consecutive games. The Celtics may briefly watch the tape from Game 5 but they are going to have to shake it off and move forward immediately. Boston’s carelessness with the basketball Monday night should produce a much-needed wake-up call that will allow the team to make smarter passes and take fewer risks on offense against a Golden State defense that has surged over the last two games.

While Steph will likely score more than 16 points in Game 6, Jaylen Brown must have a bounce-back performance after going 5-of-18 for 18 points in Game 5. Though the Celtics shot above 40% from the field on Monday night, they turned the ball over at an uncharacteristic rate, finishing the night with 18 turnovers. Some of those were unforced errors while the Warriors earned nine steals as well.

At home in Game 6, the Celtics will play better and bring this 2022 NBA Finals series to a blockbuster Game 7 at the Chase Center. For NBA fans wishing for a seven-game series in the 2022 Finals and bettors looking to cash in on Game 6, Boston will win by at least four points at home in a win-or-go-home scenario. Jayson Tatum has yet to play his best basketball this series with Andrew Wiggins playing lethal defense but tonight will be the night that he finally drops 30+ points. Although Steve Kerr seems to think his squad is ready to close out the series, he may have to think again given how well Boston has bounced back from losses this postseason.

Don’t forget that the Celtics were in a three-game to two-game deficit against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals yet found a way to come out victorious. They may not be able to win two straight against Golden State but it’s tough to imagine the Warriors defeating the Celtics in three consecutive matchups. Boston wins by a few possessions: 110-104.

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NBA Finals Best Bet #2: Over (O/U) 210 Total Points (-110)

Though only 204 points were scored between both teams in Game 5 (BOS 97 - 107 GSW), Game 6 will be a higher-scoring contest for multiple reasons. First, Jaylen Brown will have a bounce-back night. After being held to 18 points on 27.8% shooting from the field on Monday, Brown will almost certainly play more efficiently and score more in Game 6. Additionally, Boston had way fewer scoring opportunities due to their whopping 18 turnovers. Ima Udoke will make sure his starters take care of the ball in a game that can decide Boston’s fate. Marcus Smart and Al Horford have come up huge as role players but Tatum needs to really shift into an entirely new gear. Don’t be surprised if that happens tonight.

The story through Games 4 and 5 has been the same. Golden State has stepped it up on defense, managing to out-rebound the Celtics in both contests. Robert Williams III might have something to say about that tonight. In Game 6, the Celtics should be more cautious with the ball and therefore have more opportunities than they did over the last two contests. Meanwhile, the Warriors are always expected to drop at least 105+ points.

NBA Player Props

Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics -4 (GSW Leads 3-2)

Prop #1: Andrew Wiggins To Record a Double-Double (+225)

Throughout these NBA Finals, Andrew Wiggins has been on an absolute tear. Just over the last two contests where he finished both with double-doubles, he’s recorded 29 rebounds and 43 points. He has adapted his style of play and is spending more time down low in the post to help the Warriors out on the glass. Wiggins is putting significant pressure on Robert Williams III, Al Horford, and Jayson Tatum to rebounds the ball more efficiently. Not only is Wiggins keeping his scoring numbers up, he’s drastically improved on the defensive end to record 49 rebounds (9.8 rebounds per game in the Finals) through the first five games of this series. Wiggins’ shift to focus on rebounding and keeping the pressure down low has worked brilliantly for the Warriors over the last two games, both of which they won. In Game 6, expect him to continue to do what has been working, giving him a great chance to produce a third consecutive double-double in the NBA Finals. Perhaps he can even win the NBA Finals MVP Award if he continues to play at this level. Wiggins has been the true x-factor for the Dubs in this series.

Prop #2: Jaylen Brown Over 24.5 Points (-110)

After a rough shooting night in Game 5 where Brown only converted on five of his 18 shots from the field, he should wake up and score 25+ points in Game 6 at TD Garden. While you may want to stick away from three-point shooting props involving brown right now, he’ll hit the over in points tonight at the TD Garden. Brown has only scored over 24 points in one of five games this series (27 points in Game 3) but the Celtics do much better when Brown and Tatum perform like the perennial All-Stars that they are.

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Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

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The New York Rangers continued their Stanley Cup bid by defeating the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 last night, 6-2. They will host the two-time reigning champions in the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night. Tonight, the Western Conference Finals begin with the Edmonton Oilers traveling to Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Tune in at 8:00 PM EST. on TNT for the official puck drop. With so many superstars suiting up for this critical series including Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon, Darren Helm, Nazem Kadri, Evander Kane, Leon Draisitl, and of course, Connor McDavid, many pundits are expecting an explosive series with several high-scoring games.

After losing Game 1 in Calgary, the Oilers won the battle of Alberta by defeating the Flames in four straight games to reach the Conference Finals for the first time in 16 years. On the opposite side of the puck, the Avalanche took a commanding three-game lead before dropping two straight to the St. Louis Blues. Still, Colorado notched three road victories in their second-round series and punched their first ticket to the Western Conference Finals since they were eliminated by Sergei Federov and the Detroit Red Wings back in 2002. So which team will get out to a quick start and win Game 1 of this epic series?

Oilers at Avalanche Game 1 Odds, Lines, and Predictions

According to Bet MGM Sportsbook, here are the Game 1 odds and lines:

  • Moneyline: Oilers +150, Avalanche -165
  • Against The Spread (ATS): Oilers +1.5 (-160), Avalanche -1.5 (+135)
  • Over / Under: 7 (Over: +105, Under: -130)

Oilers-Avalanche Goalie Advantage

Mike Smith performed admirably against the Calgary Flames. He is coming off four consecutive victories and has an 8-3 record this postseason with two shutouts. He’s allowing just 2.7 GAA and has a spectacular .927 SV% in the playoffs.

Although Darcy Kuemper is 6-2, allowing 2.44 GAA, and has produced a .904 SV%, the Colorado goaltender has looked pedestrian at best. That said, he has allowed three or fewer goals in eight of his last nine postseason starts and stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced in Colorado’s series-clinching victory over the Blues in Game 6.

The Rangers-Lightning series will feature arguably the two best goalies in the league but neither goaltender in the Western Conference Finals gives their team a significant edge. I would call this a wash. If a gun were pointed at my head, I would say Kuemper is slightly more skilled but he needs to show it on the biggest stage.

Oilers-Avalanche Game 1 Picks:

Using the Same-Game Parlay feature on the sportsbook of your choice, I suggest parlaying the moneyline and the Over/Under in Game 1. The Avs are the clear-cut favorite tonight, especially on their home ice. In fact, the Avs have the shortest odds of the four remaining teams to win the Stanley Cup (+120), followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning (+230). Fortunately for the Avs, the home team has won five of the past six meetings between these two franchises. Moreover, the favorite won each of those contests which bodes well for the Avalanche. Colorado has won 55 of their last 68 games at home and is 30-12 in their last 42 postseason matchups as the favorite. Although the Oilers proved against the Flames that they are not afraid to go into an opponent’s building and silence the crowd, Colorado is a much bigger beast than Calgary. They are practically unstoppable when playing to their capacity and have one of the best defensive units in the league. The Oilers have to prove that they can win in Denver. Until then, I’m backing the top-seeded Avalanche.

In terms of the Over / Under, seven goals is a lot, even for teams as offensively skilled as the Oilers and Avalanche. Colorado won Game 1 of their previous series, 3-2 in overtime. The two teams were still feeling each other out and it was a pretty tight game. However, the Oilers allowed nine goals in Game 1 against Calgary and lost, 9-6 in the highest-scoring game of these NHL Playoffs. Although the Oilers like to play loose, I expect these teams to start slower as they attempt to get comfortable in what should be a fantastic series. Colorado has also been resting for a while so although they will have fresh legs, it may take a period or two before they truly find their groove.

For all the reasons stated above, I’m going with Colorado Avalanche ML + Under 7 goals.

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Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors

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Both Milwaukee and Golden State scored big road wins in Game 1 of their respective second-round series’.

Let’s take a look at what these series could look like after Game 2 tips off in Boston and Memphis. Tonight, we’ll check out the favorites, lines, and best bets in both series. We’ll also take a look at some NBA player props featuring Jaren Jackson Jr. and Stephen Curry that should hit comfortably in tonight’s Game 2 between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Please Note: All odds and lines are from FanDuel Sportsbook and were accurate at 2:30 PM EST. Be sure to check for line movement or odd changes.

Best Bets of the Night

Game: Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics -5 (MIL Leads 1-0)

Although Giannis Antetokoumpo is playing basketball at an unbelievable level while the Celtics seemed to have no answers for him in Game 1, Boston should bounce back and take Game 2 at home by at least five points. Simply put, the Bucks bodied the Celtics and limited them to 89 points in Game 1. None of the Celtics’ best players shot above 35% from the field in Game 1. Jayson Tatum mustered an inefficient 21 points (6-18 FG), Marcus Smart scored produced 10 points (3-11 FG), and Jaylen Brown scored a measly 12 points (4-13 FG).

While Milwaukee shot a mediocre 41.1% from the field, they finished the game with 101 points. Giannis scored 24 (9-25 FG), Bobby Portis scored 15 (6-12 FG), and Jrue Holiday was incredibly clutch with Khris Middleton sidelined. He scored a game-high 25 points (8-20 FG). Therefore, the Bucks’ three best scorers shot 23-of-47 from the field compared to Boston’s top three weapons’ converting just 13-of-42. Tatum, Brown, and Smart combined drained just 31% of their shots.

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While Giannis continues to dominate, the Celtics seemingly have no answers on how to contain him. What is scary is that he had a mediocre night from the field and only scored 24 points. However, he contributed in every possible way, finishing with a 24-point, 13-rebound, and 12-assist triple-double. Despite his masterful performance in Game 1, I can guarantee you that Giannis was unsatisfied with his offensive efficiency shooting the ball. The Celtics have to rely on Robert Williams III in the paint, Al Horford, and a little bit of Grant Williams and Jayson Tatum to defend the Greek Freak.

Despite the Bucks' second-best player, Khris Middleton, out of the lineup, Bobby Portis, Wesley Matthews, and Pat Connaughton are doing a terrific job filling the void. The Bucks simply look unstoppable at the moment with their big lineup (Giannis at small forward, Portis at power forward, and Brook Lopez at center). Milwaukee could lose by four points and you’d still come out on top tonight. If the Celtics edge out a win tonight, odds are that it comes down to the wire. It also doesn’t help the Celtics that Marcus Smart is listed as questionable tonight. He will likely play through the injury but it was very evident that he was pushing through the pain at the conclusion of Game 1. Plus, the Bucks are 4-2 against the spread this postseason with the largest margin of victory (14.2 points per game) as well as the largest average number of points they cover the spread by (+
8.3 points per game ATS).

The Pick: Milwaukee Bucks +5 (-110)

Game: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies +2 (GSW Leads 1-0)

Memphis’ Game 1 117-116 loss to the Golden Warriors was a nail-biter. Memphis played well but Ja Morant failed to produce another game-winning buzzer-beater as he did in Game 5 against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round.

As a team, the Warriors shot 48.4% (45-93 FG) from the field in Game 1, which is pretty darn good. Likewise, the Grizzlies converted a respectable 43.2% (41-95 FG) of their shots, which simply wasn’t enough to contain the fast-paced dangerous offense of the Warriors. Jordan Poole, who has been playing with more confidence this postseason than perhaps any other young star, had another huge night in Game 1.

If all three of the “new” Splash Brothers ball out, the Warriors are virtually unstoppable. Although Memphis is the No. 2 seed while the Warriors hold the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, Golden State had the upper hand going into this series. They are now one game ahead of the Grizzlies and are looking to extend their lead in this series.

Considering Memphis already let one get away on their homecourt, tonight is a must-win for the Grizzlies. Memphis could lose this game, but my gut feeling tells me that they will rise to the occasion. Again, the Grizzlies played solid basketball. Besides Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane who had rough nights from the field, Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 30 points (10-18 FG) alongside Ja Morant’s 34 points (45% from the field). If Memphis does lose, I think it will be as close as Game 1. Bane and Brooks had extremely off nights and they should bounce back in Game 2. If they do and Morant continues to play at this elite level, the Grizzlies should tie this series up before heading to Golden State for Game 3.

The Pick: Memphis Grizzlies ML (+110)

NBA Player Props of the Night

Game: Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies +2 (GSW Leads 1-0)

Prop #1: Jaren Jackson Jr. Over 14.5 Points (-120)

After a rough first-round series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jaren Jackson Jr. seems to have restored his offensive rhythm. While foul trouble continues to be a concern for the third-year big man, Jackson dropped 30 points in Game 1 despite a very close loss to the Golden State Warriors. Jackson averaged 16.3 points per game this season but with Steven Adams still out of the lineup, Jackson should see extended minutes. Brandon Clarke has been clutch off the bench but the Grizzlies seem to be at their best when Jackson is on the floor. The third-year big man should get plenty of opportunities especially after nailing 6-of-9 shots from beyond the arc in Game 1.

Prop #2: Stephen Curry 4+ Threes (-174)

The only elements that could prevent Curry from draining fewer than four three-pointers in this game are Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole. Both Thompson and Poole have exceeded expectations this postseason (Klay Thompson’s comeback has simply been glorious). Therefore, the only thing that could keep Curry from nailing four threes is the other sharp-shooters on the Warriors getting good open looks from downtown. Steph hit five threes in Game 1 out of 12 attempts. Likewise, Jordan Poole hit five threes while Klay Thompson hit three. Together, Poole, Curry, and Thompson attempted 32 three-pointers in Game 1. Nonetheless, Curry attempted 12 three-pointers and knocked down five of them. If Steph attempts approximately nine three-pointers, he would still have a good chance at hitting at least four of them. If he attempts 10 or more in Game 2, then this prop is practically a lock. Though Steph only shot 38% from downtown this season, he’s a different and much more ferocious player in the postseason. With his experience, reliability, and quick release, he should have no problem hitting at least four three-pointers in Game 2.

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  • Grizzlies ML
  • Jaren Jackson Jr. Over 14.5 points
  • Stephen Curry 4+ Threes

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Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks

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The Brooklyn Nets and the Minnesota Timberwolves earned themselves seventh seeds in their respective conferences last night.

This means that the Cavs and the Clippers will have to await the results of these games tonight to find out who they have to play for the final eighth seed in the East and the West. Tonight the Hornets and the Hawks face-off first followed by the Spurs and the Pelicans.

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Best Bets of the Night

Game: Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks -5

The Hawks have won as many home games this season as the reigning NBA Champions and the third seed in the East: the Milwaukee Bucks. Indeed, Atlanta managed to win 27 games at home this season compared to a mere 14 losses. Last season, the Hawks demonstrated they could do damage in the postseason by eliminating the Knicks in five quick games. In turn, the Hornets have been a rather mediocre team on the road this season, winning 21 and losing 20 of their 41 away games this season. Both teams finished the regular season winning more than half of their last 10 games, but the Hawks easily have the edge in this contest. Gordon Hayward’s absence from the Hornets' lineup annuls John Collins’ absence from the Hawks lineup going into tonight’s game. With Trae Young being the best player on the court in this matchup, the Hawks should cover the spread. Not to mention, Kevin Huerter, De'Andre Hunter, and Danilo Gallinari (six-of-eight in the regular-season finale from long range), and Young make up one of the best three-point shooting lineups in the league, not to mention Clint Capela's massive mismatch against Mason Plumlee at the center position. Atlanta should roll despite the absences of Lou Williams and John Collins.

The Pick: Atlanta Hawks -5 (-115)

Game: San Antonio Spurs at New Orleans Pelicans -5.5

The Spurs have only lost two more games than the Pelicans this season. But the main difference between both teams is talent versus teamwork. Greg Popovich has been able to turn the Spurs into a serious playoff team in the vast majority of the last 15 years. This is important because the Spurs have a chance of upsetting other postseason teams any given season simply because of how they are coached. Furthermore, the Pelicans have struggled with guard, Devonte’ Graham, all season long. Since leaving Charlotte, his production and efficiency have decreased substantially. This season, he’s producing 11.9 PPG while shooting 36.3% from the field and producing 4.2 assists per game. These are all lower figures than what he produced in his last two years in Charlotte. In 2019, Graham averaged 18.2 PPG on 38.2% from the field. The following season, he averaged 14.8 PPG (decreased minutes because LaMelo Ball was drafted) while shooting 37.7% from the field. Now, the Pelicans have relegated Graham to a sixth-man type of role since acquiring C.J. McCollum from the Portland Trail Blazers. The Pelicans' greatest asset outside of McCollum is Brandon Ingram, who is currently listed as a game-time decision. If he's unable to suit up, the Pelicans are in serious trouble.

Even if Ingram can suit up, the Spurs have developed one of the best point guards in the league in Dejounte Murray. Murray almost averaged a triple-double with 21.1 points, 9.2 assists, and 8.3 rebounds per game, plus 2.0 steals per contest. The Spurs have a deep bench with Tre Jones backing up Murray, Lonnie Walker, and Josh Richardson. San Antonio should out-hustle and out-coach the Pelicans tonight.

The Pick: San Antonio Spurs ML +194

NBA Player Props

Game: Charlotte Hornets at Atlanta Hawks -5

Prop: Trae Young, Over 31.5 Points

Trae Young is averaging 28.4 PPG this season, shooting 46% from the field and 38.2% from downtown. But Ice Trae is a different beast once the regular season is over. Last year, in five games against the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, Young averaged 29.2 PPG.

The Hornets are 13th in the NBA allowing 100 FPTS per game to opposing guards, meaning Young already has a relatively advantageous matchup heading into this matchup. Altogether, the Hornets are an average defense in the league, but a below average defense against guards. If you consider Charlotte’s defense against guards and how Trae Young stepped up in silencing the Knicks in the first round of last year’s playoffs, on paper there’s a good chance for Young to erupt for 32+ points tonight. Now, this is a high Over/Under for points and somewhat of a 50-50 to hit. Im going with the Over because I’ve seen Trae Young in his last playoff run, and if he shoots just a little bit better than he did last season, he could be hitting 30-35+ on most nights during the postseason (especially without John Collins and if the Hawks make it).

After last night’s play-in games, it would be unwise to suggest Trae Young doesn’t have a huge night. Here are a few big-name guards who went off in each of last night’s two play-in games: Darius Garland and Kyrie Irving both dropped 34 points. D'Angelo Russell tallied 29 points, and Reggie Jackson scored 17 points despite a subpar night from the field (7-of-18). Although Paul George is more of a forward than a guard, he also scored 34 points. The point is that the big-time guards in particular dominated in last night's play-in games. It’s equally impressive that Garland, Irving, and George all scored 34 points last night as it is a coincidence. There are multiple reasons why Trae Young should hit 32 points against Charlotte. But the biggest reason is that it's unwise to bet against Young in the playoffs.

Prop: Clint Capela, Over 12.5 Rebounds

Clint Capela could be one of the most efficient rebounders in the league. This season, he’s averaging 11.9 rebounds per game although he’s only playing 27.6 minutes per contest. The 6’10’’ big man from Geneva has hauled in 11+ rebounds in eight of his last 10 games. He recorded 13+ rebounds in six of the eight games in which he recorded 11+ boards. Additionally, through his last 10 contests, he’s only logged 30+ minutes four times, meaning that he’s rebounding well into double-figures despite playing less than 30 minutes most nights. In a game as pivotal as tonight's matchup, Capela should see closer to 33ish minutes. That should give him sufficient time to dominate the glass over the Hornets' big man, Mason Plumlee, who is not nearly as much of a physical specimen as Capela.

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