NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | May 15

By: James Salmon
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Both the Pacers vs Knicks and the Timberwolves vs Nuggets series are locked at two games apiece, and on Wednesday two of those teams will fall into a 2-3 hole from which history would suggest it’s very difficult to recover. Both of those series have seen major turnarounds after a couple of 2-0 leads were opened up, and with it hard to predict how each of them will play out over the coming days, our bets for the day will focus largely on player props. Take a look at the three best of them for the day’s action below. 

Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks

Obi Toppin over 8.5 points @ $1.80 | BlueBet 

One of the reasons that the Pacers have been able to advance to the Conference Semi-Final and are locked at 2-2 in this series has been the continued production of a number of players beyond just their top one or two, and Obi Toppin is a prime example of that. He’s been really good for most of the playoff series, but the points line set for him by NBA betting sites remains lower than his season average even though he’s been comfortably passing it for a number of weeks. He has passed this 8.5-point line in eight of his past nine games and scored at least 12 in the past seven of those – of course, the only one in which he failed to get there was the one on which we bet on him, but based on his form throughout the duration of the playoffs this line looks way too low. He’s been playing 20 minutes a game and regularly taking 10+ shots in that time, which is generally more than enough for him to get to the nine points required for this bet to hit. Overall in his past eight games he is averaging 13.63 points per game, so though he is a little under even money to go over this number it is still well and truly worth it, and even if this line changes to 9.5 points it still looks like a good bet. 

bluebet Betting Site
Obi Toppin over 8.5 points @ Knicks @ $1.80

Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks

Jalen Brunson under 32.5 points @ $1.80 | GetSetBet 

As much as it pains me to bet on the Jalen Brunson under, there is good reason to think that he won’t reach the lofty heights expected of him by betting sites. The Knicks’ point guard has been phenomenal throughout these playoffs, with five consecutive games of at least 39 points over the back end of the Sixers series and the start of this series helping him to establish himself well and truly among the game’s elite. But the load that he carried in those games was enormous, playing 44 minutes in each of them, and he suffered a foot injury early in this series which has clearly hampered him. In his last three games his production has continued to drop, from 29 points in Game 2, to 26 in Game 3 and finally just 18 points in Game 4. His efficiency, too, has dropped in that time, which is probably indicative of the impact of his injury. The 26 points in Game 3 came on 10-26 shooting while last game, he both took less shots and was less efficient with them, going 6-17 from the field. Brunson is such a crafty scorer that even on one leg he is super dangerous with ball in hand, but based on last game it looks unlikely that he will be able to continue to be as aggressive for as long as he was earlier in the playoffs, and with a really high points line set his under looks like a sound bet. 

getsetbet logo-betting-site
Jalen Brunson under 32.5 points vs Pacers @ $1.80

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Denver Nuggets

Over 205.5 total match points @ $1.88 | PlayUp 

This has been a fascinating series, with the Timberwolves coming out swinging in the first two games before giving up the 2-0 series lead they had developed with two consecutive defeats on their home court. The reigning champs certainly appear to have regained the upper hand through those two games, and the main reason has been the improved output of their offence. The Timberwolves stifling, league-leading defence was a major reason for their wins in the first two games, with the Nuggets failing to crack 100 points in both of those games and the game totals being relatively low as a result. But back in Minnesota, the Nuggets elite offence was back in full swing as they put up 117 and 115 points. They appeared to crack the code in those two games, and back on their home court should be able to continue that trend. If they do, it’s unlikely that this game’s points total will stay as low as the line betting agencies have set for it. The Timberwolves have been pretty consistently putting up around 100 points, and if they do that again the Nugs only need to score around 105 to get past this total. Based on their performances in the last two games, they should not have too much trouble doing that and getting this game over this points total for the third consecutive game.  

Timberwolves @ Nuggets over 205.5 total match points @ $1.88

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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.