NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | April 5

By: James Salmon
05/04/2024
NBA Tips, Predictions & News
NBA Tips & Best Bets
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There will be just five games played across the association on Friday, Australia time, but with just a few games to go in the regular season there is a lot riding on a number of them. In fact, all ten teams set to take to the floor throughout the course of the day are in the playoff picture, in a slate which includes a matchup between the Kings and the Knicks, a big game between the two teams fighting for final Play-In Tournament spot in the West in the Warriors and Rockets, and finally, what could easily be a Western Conference Finals preview between the Nuggets and the Clippers. Take a look at our best bets for the day’s action below.  

Philadelphia 76ers @ Miami Heat

Jimmy Butler under 20.5 total match points | $1.88 with BlueBet

By this stage in his career, we are well aware that Jimmy Butler is capable of elevating himself a level or three come playoff time. Often, however, he goes through periods during the regular season where he doesn’t seem to get out of second gear, and he appears to be well and truly entrenched in one of those periods at the moment. Butler is averaging 21.0 points per game this season, right around his line set for this game by NBA betting sites, but for a number of weeks now he hasn’t been hitting that number very often at all. In his past five games Butler has failed to score more than 17 points on a single occasion, averaging less than 15 points in that time. Harking back even further, a similar trend emerges; in his past 11 games, going back almost to February, he has surpassed this 21-point total on just two occasions. He is not being particularly aggressive on offence, particularly in his current five-game scoring slump, having averaged just nine shots per game in that time, and though that is somewhat offset by the fact that he is getting to the line with typical regularity, he’s still not looking to score all that often. There is always the possibility that playoff Jimmy will turn up and put on a show with the Heat embroiled in a tight battle for sixth spot with the Pacers, but it’s been a month now that he has only very occasionally played in that manner, so at even money odds his under in this game looks like a good value bet. 

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Jimmy Butler under 20.5 total match points vs Sixers @ $1.88
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Golden State Warriors @ Houston Rockets

Jalen Green over 26.5 total match points | $1.87 with GetSetBet 

The Houston Rockets’ remarkable run which has followed a long-term injury to their best player in Alperen Sengun saw them win nine games in a row, and while there were numerous reasons for it, Jalen Green was perhaps chief among them. The 2nd pick from the 2021 draft has always had undeniable talent, but that has been accompanied by a complete inability to score with any sort of efficiency and a tendency to make bad decisions. But over the past month, he has turned a corner in a big way. Harking back to a mid-March clash against the Wizards a couple of games into the aforementioned winning streak in which Green scored 37 points, he has managed at least 26 points in all but one of his ten games. With his line set at 26.5 points for this game, that means that the over looks like a pretty good bet. He has taken at least 20 shots in all but one of those games – unsurprisingly, that was the same game in which he failed to hit the 26 number – and his three-ball has been falling at a good clip too. The one thing that is admittedly not in his favour is that his last couple of games haven’t been quite as good – two games ago he scored just 12 points, before bouncing back to an extent with 26 last game. Obviously neither of those are over the number he needs here, but 26 is right on it and that 12 is sticking out like a sore thumb as an outlier in what is a very rich vein of form. In what should be an up and down, fast paced game against the Warriors, Green will likely continue his trend of taking plenty of shots, and based on his form over the past month he looks like a much better than 50% chance to score the 27 points he needs to hit the over with most betting agencies in this one.

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Jalen Green over 26.5 total match points vs Warriors @ $1.87
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Sacramento Kings @ New York Knicks

Domantas Sabonis to record a triple-double | $3.15 with PlayUp 

We end the day’s bets with another player prop, but this time it’s a little more of a long shot. Sabonis has established himself as the best nightly triple-double threats in the league, having record 26 for the season – ahead of a couple of guys who generally do pretty well in the stats department in Nikola Jokic and Luka Doncic. Sabonis has played 75 games this season, so 26 is a little over one every three games and should have his odds a little under $3 as a result. Already that gives us a nice bit of value, but that wouldn’t be enough alone for me to put this one in as a bet. But Sabonis is getting there or thereabouts nearly every night of late. He’s had two triple-doubles in his past five games, but of those three games in which he hasn’t got there, he’s been just an assist shy of recording the feat on two occasions. That means that in four of his past five games he’s either managed a triple-double or gone within a single assist of one, which is a pretty good recent track record. The Knicks are a good defensive team, but that isn’t necessarily an issue. They’ll make it hard for him to score, but he’ll be getting ten points pretty easily. Rebounds are never really an issue for him either and there’s little doubt that he’ll hit the ten needs, so really it’s just about the assists. The Knicks’ strong defence will force the Kings to move the ball plenty, and Sabonis – along with De’Aaron Fox – is their main man in that regard. He should be flinging the ball around plenty and finding lots of open shooters, and based on his recent form he looks like closer to an even money bet to hit a triple double than the $3.15 you can get with most betting sites here. It might be a longer shot, but this one looks like really good value to round out the day’s action. 

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Domantas Sabonis to record a triple-double @ Knicks @ $3.15
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James is a sports writer from Melbourne, and has contributed to a variety of publications covering a range of sports including basketball, cricket, Australian Rules, golf and surfing to name a few. An avid fan of all of the above and more, James’ downtime is spent falling ungracefully off his surfboard, turning over footies and playing an out of tune guitar.