The NBA playoffs continue Sunday at 1pm ET with four headlines on TNT and ABC. Our NBA Analysts have four excellent bets, including one for each game. See below for selections and analyzes by Brandon Anderson, Matt Moore and Raheem Palmer.
NBA contradictions and choices
Miami Heat against Atlanta Hawks
Brandon Anderson: The Hawks have won twice to exit the play-offs, but the way Atlanta is playing now, the Hawks expect to win a few more. Remember, it played in the Eastern Conference finals last year and brought back almost the entire list. I feel like it now.
The Hawks dominated the Hornets, then battled it out in the early 3s to win the road in Cleveland to win this match with Miami, and it was a match most relevant to the Hawks. The Hawks are in the top-five on the free-throw rate, while Miami fouls the fifth-most, so aggressive defense will help Atlanta get plenty of easy points. The Heat give up a fourth-high 3-point effort in the Defense League, which also plays into the hands of Atlanta.
Miami’s Awesomeness is nowhere like Atlanta’s, and the Heat can get straight outscored if the Hawks’ shots fall. Heat will always have a bad defender on the court like Duncan Robinson or Tyler Hero, and Trey Young will hunt them down. There are also turnover issues in Miami, which can offset some of Atlanta’s security issues.
Clint Cabella will not play here, but honestly it makes me like Atlanta more. Onyeka Okongwu is a great defender and a great team defender in space, and he has a great fit against Pam Adebayo and Miami. I expected the hawks to move from Kabela to Okongwu to take a run anyway so the injury might have forced their hand.
It’s 1v8 series, but for me it’s like 3v6 or 4v5. There is no gap in talent between these teams, and last year we saw the winning teams in the play-offs perform better in Game 1 as well. We also know how Trey Young wants to run his show against a hostile playoff crowd. I take hawks here, and play some at Maniline +230.
I think Atlanta will win at least two games in this series and move forward. You can play Atlanta +1.5 at +135 on BetMGM. If Atlanta wins here and wants to compete in the series, you can play Game 1 wins and series wins at +550.
Boston Celtics vs. Brooklyn Nets
Rahim Palmer: My model, even though Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are in line, brings this game closer to the Celtics-7. I know, this is a huge difference, but this Nets team is not doing well this season.
With 124.8 points per 100 possessions in the order of Durant and Irving, many may be tempted to support the Nets, but this is a team that can’t get consistent stops, meaning they constantly see their stars in need. You need to get 60-80 points to win.
The Durant-Irving-Curry-Drummond-Brown starting line is 118.9 points per 100 holdings, while the net rating is 117.9 points at +1.1.
My energy ratings are based primarily on their defense of the Celtics as the best team in the league (better than the Suns), which ranks first in the NBA, allowing only 106.9 points per 100 possessions in non-junk minutes. The Celtics are a very complete team and if they are capable of slightly reducing the performance of Durant and Irving they should win this game and this series.
Celtics offense may be random at times, but they rank 10th in offensive rating in non-junk minutes (114.3). With a defensive rating of 113.6 (22.2%) and a defensive recovery rate (28.1%), the Nets are unlikely to reduce this squad. Inability to complete possessions even if they are stopped.
If you bet on the Nets you are betting that Durant and Irving’s shotmaking can tackle all their other problems, this may happen, but they need to keep up with the heavy workloads. In the play-off match against the Cavaliers, the Nets were unable to withstand non-torrent minutes.
I think Jason Todd, Jaylan Brown and Marcus Smart are ready to be the cream of the Eastern Conference’s. Tottenham’s 54-point game against the Nets in March showed he could be the best player in the series.
It has reached the Eastern Conference finals in three of the four seasons, less than a year ago, with the first round exit ending in the hands of the Brooklyn Nets in 2021.
Quoting James Brown இது This is a “big backpack” for the Celtics.
I will support Celtics in Game 1 and series.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Chicago Bulls
Matt Moore: Mike Budenholzer Division Games.
This is one of my favorite trends in basketball of all time and I will ride it until the horse comes out. Or deer. Whatever. Bux 54-8 straight under Budenholzer, and 44-18 against ATS Division opponents. While preferred by more than nine points in those games, the Bucks are 31-1 straight and 23-9 ATS.
I understand, the division is weak, and they are not regular season games but playoff games. But I think part of it has to do with familiarity. The Bucks know about these teams, and their style works best when they are more accustomed to defending and attacking a team.
One thing you might want to do against the bucks is throw in the fact that Shoot 3s and Bulls have a low 3-point rate. It’s a dream come true for an inexperienced bench with worn out bulls.
Finally, as a double-digit option in the playoffs, Mike Budenholzer won the 7-2-1 ADS.
Trust the bucks; Fear of deer.
Phoenix Suns vs New Orleans Pelicans
Brandon Anderson: The suns are really nice. You may have noticed. The Phoenix went 33-5 against the sub-500 teams this season. Those two losses came in the final week of the season, when the Phoenix were already dormant for really important games, and the other was that the Blazers were still on the playoff list at the start of the season against Portland. The suns do not revolve around teams below average.
Congratulations to the Pelicans for beating a 34-winner Spurs team and a Clippers team and a Clippers team reduced its two maximum superstars, and is good at New Orleans for advancing all the way from 1-12 to go to the playoffs. This is a truly amazing achievement. But that does not mean that pelicans are good or that they exist in the same universe as mighty suns.
New Orleans have the sixth worst record for a playoff team in NBA history. The Pelicans are just above the bottom 10 in both attack and defense in the league. The New Orleans are the worst team remaining in the playoffs, otherwise the Phoenix will be the best team until proven otherwise.
The Pelicans are doing two things in particular in particular: they have led the league through forced turnover since the beginning of February, and they are one of the league’s best offensive rebounding teams. This allows the bad offensive team to get extra chances to keep things close. But the Suns are a terrible regenerative team, and they never replace the ball with Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Long, only the benefits of two pels.
Suns are double digit favorites. They will be back in Game 2. At that point, we get the Road Game 3 win from a sweep, and the Sons will be considerable favorites there as well. It’s technically Game1 Play because Suns can not sweep without winning the first game, but I think it’s like a Just Game3line. CJ Mccollum and Brandon Ingram may be too hot and steal a game at some point, but I will take my chances.