NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | May 16

NBA Tips & Best Bets
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

The Boston Celtics appear destined for a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals and beyond, and on Thursday they get a chance to solidify their spot in the final two in the East when they head back home to Boston with a 3-1 series lead against the Cavaliers. That kicks off a two-game slate, the second of which is expected to be substantially more competitive in an enthralling series between the Mavericks and the Thunder. OKC tied that series up at two games apiece on the road a couple of days ago thanks to 34 points from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and back on their home court they are a 4.5-point favourite to take a 3-2 lead. Take a look at our three best bets across the day’s two games below.

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics

Evan Mobley over 16.5 points @ $1.89 | BlueBet

With both Donovan Mitchell and Caris LeVert listed as questionable for Game 5 of this series, there is a lot of unknown about the Cavaliers vs Celtics game on Thursday. But one thing that has been relatively constant throughout the series, and should be again regardless of who is playing, has been the offensive production of Evan Mobley. With Kristaps Porzingis out through injury, there has been a little more scope for the Cavs’ lanky forward to finish on the interior, as while Horford is a capable and intelligent defender he doesn’t offer nearly the same deterrent of his 7’3” teammate. The result has been that Mobley, who averaged 15.7 points per game throughout the course of the regular season, has been able to surpass the points line set for him for this game by NBA betting sites in all four games of the series to date. Granted a couple of those times he has just snuck across it, but four from four is still a good strike rate and overall he has averaged 18.5 points per game. If LeVert and in particular Mitchell do end up missing the game, Mobley will be more required than normal on offence and will likely put up more than the nearly 13 shots he has been averaging per game in this series, but even if they do play, his performances over the past four games suggest that he should be able to pass it. Don’t expect him to go and pour in 30 points, but a 20-point game from Mobley is well and truly on the cards and he should be hitting the 17-point mark required for this bet to hit.

bluebet Betting Site
Evan Mobley over 16.5 points @ Celtics @ $1.89

Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder

PJ Washington over 15.5 points @ $1.80  | GetSetBet

The Mavericks made a couple of savvy moves to bolster their top-heavy roster during the regular season, and PJ Washington is doing a great job of demonstrating that he was the worthiest of them all by some margin. The former Hornet has taken his game to another level entirely in this Thunder series, and in his past three games has surpassed the 15.5-point line betting agencies have set him for this game with ease. When he was playing for the Hornets, Washington was capable of putting together the occasional, relatively random high scoring game, though he didn’t do it with a great deal of consistency. In this series, however, he has become an integral part of the Mavericks’ offence, often benefitting from the attention opposition teams are required to show to Kyrie Irving and in particular PJ Washington. He is taking a lot of shots and hitting them at a high clip, in his past three games averaging over 25 points per game on 20 shots, scoring at least 21 in all three of them, and hitting a total of 17 three-pointers across those games. Those are some very impressive numbers, and make his 15.5-point line look like a pretty easy one for him to cross. As mentioned Washington has shown a penchant for inconsistency in the past, but he is playing with a level of confidence that he has never before displayed. Expect him to once again take 15 or 20 shots in this game, and with that many going up – especially with a lot of them being threes, which he has been hitting at a high clip – all signs point to him passing this number once again, and potentially by a decent margin.

getsetbet logo-betting-site
PJ Washington over 15.5 points @ Thunder @ $1.80

Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Kyrie Irving under 21.5 points @ $1.85 | PlayUp

A by-product of Washington’s increase in production has been that Kyrie Irving has seen a pretty hefty decrease in his own scoring numbers, and rightly or wrongly, if Washington continues to play the way he has been it likely means that Irving will continue to play a more faciliatory role in Game 5. He is one of the most naturally talented players in the league, perhaps the most naturally talented, but he is also a smart player willing to take a back seat when his teammates are feeling it, and that has certainly been the case for large portions of this series. After a very up and down series against the Clippers he has been consistently pretty quiet from a scoring perspective against the Thunder, only surpassing his 21.5-point line on one occasion from the four games, and on that occasion by just 0.5 points as he notched up 22 points in Game 3. Overall he has averaged just 15 points per game this series, and importantly for this bet he has averaged just 12.5 shots, so it isn’t as though he has just been missing at an unusual rate. Last game he went just 4-11 for nine points, and though the Mavericks will likely want a fair bit more production from him in this game, he would have to see a big uptick to get to the 22 points needed to make this bet miss. Plus, it’s not as though Irving has been completely unproductive – in his last three games he has had 11, 7 and 9 assists, so he is still contributing, just a lot less from scoring perspective. Hopefully for this bet that continues in Game 5, and if the PJ Washington bet above hits, then there is probably a good chance that it will come at the expense of Irving scoring and see this one hit as well. 

Kyrie Irving under 21.5 points @ $1.85

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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.