NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | May 10

By: James Salmon
NBA Tips, Predictions & News
NBA Tips & Best Bets
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

The Conference Semi-Finals continue on Friday with a pair of Game 2s, beginning with the Celtics hosting the Cavaliers at 9am AEST, before the Mavericks head to Oklahoma City to try to level their own series with the Thunder at 11.30am. Both Game 1s saw blowout victories to the home team, and while a repeat of that is expected for the Celtics, the second game of the day looks likely to be a little closer. These are our three best bets for the day’s two games. 

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics

Celtics -13.5 @  $1.88 | GetSetBet

The Celtics made it pretty clear throughout the course of the regular season that they were a level or three ahead of anyone else in the Eastern Conference, and so far in the playoffs they’ve only solidified that further. They finished on top of the East by an incredible 14 games with 64 wins, and even with Tatum not performing at nearly his usual level they have been flexing their collective muscle since the postseason began. Their solitary playoff loss to the Heat in Game 2 of that series sticks out like a sore thumb in what has otherwise been a dominant few games for the best team in the East and probably in the league, with their five wins so far coming by a huge average of 22.5 points. Their lowest loss in that time is still higher than the line set by betting agencies for this game, and in Game 1 against the Cavaliers they won by 25 points. The Cavaliers are an okay team, but they certainly aren’t world beaters and have been extremely reliant on Donovan Mitchell’s performance in particular over the past few games. Against a team with five starters of the calibre that the Celtics posses, that won’t cut it. Maybe they’ll be able to steal a random game like the Heat did, but it’s hard to imagine the Cavaliers being able to go near the Celtics for a full 48 minutes at any point, let alone at TD Garden. This should be another easy win for the Celtics, whose lines so far these playoffs have been close to a lock. 

getsetbet logo-betting-site
Celtics -13.5 vs Cavaliers @ $1.88

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum under 26.5 points @ $1.91 | BlueBet 

We’ll keep going back to the well with this one until there is a reason not to. We’ve hit on the Tatum under twice in the row and both of them comfortably, with the Celtics’ leading scorer throughout the regular season scoring just 16 and then 18 in his last two games. That continued a trend that extends back a number of weeks now, and which has seen Tatum surpass the points line set for him for this game by NBA betting sites in just one of his last twelve games. That is a pretty lengthy streak, though it hasn’t exactly upset the Celts’ winning form; they’ve only lost three of those games including just one in their six more points. His shot attempts have been dwindling a little as a result of his own inefficiency and the strong performances of some of his teammates, to the point where he took just nine shots in 32 minutes in the final game of the Celtics’ Opening Round series against the Heat. That number was back up to 19 in the opening game against the Cavaliers, but he hit only seven of those and could still muster up just 18 points. As was the case in the first game, the big gap between these two teams means that there is a good chance this is a pretty cruisy win for the Celtics, resulting in Tatum sitting for much of the final quarter and giving the under here an even better chance. This betting line is right around Tatum’s season average, but for over a month now, he has rarely been going past it. 

bluebet Betting Site
Jayson Tatum under 26.5 points vs Cavaliers @ $1.91

Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Kyrie Irving over 23.5 points @  $1.80 | PlayUp 

The Mavericks picked up a couple of nice pieces during the trade period and have seen some solid development from some role players, too, but by and large this is still a team which is heavily reliant on its best two players; Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Doncic, having just been voted into third place in the MVP, is clearly the head of the snake, but Irving is as talented as just about anybody in the league and is more than capable of turning it on when required, which he may well be in Game 2 of this series. In Game 1 Doncic struggled, shooting just 6-19 from the floor for a very uncharacteristic 19 points, with a knee injury clearly hampering him throughout the course of the game. I’m in no way brave enough to bet on the Doncic under given that he could probably score 40 points with literally one leg, but with him playing through injury Irving will no doubt look to take on increasing responsibility at the offensive end of the floor in Game 2. He’s been up and down so far during these playoffs, passing the 23.5-point line set for him by betting sites in three out of seven games, but on each of those three occasions he has scored at least 30 points. In Game 1 of this series he took only 14 points while Doncic struggled away, but it’s hard to imagine him being equally demure on offence with his backcourt partner hobbled after a solid defeat in that series opener. Look for Irving to take closer to 20 shots or more in this game, which should be enough to see him surpass the 23.5 needed for this bet to hit. 

Kyrie Irving over 23.5 points @ Thunder @ $1.80

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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.