NBA Expert Tips and Best Bets | April 23

By: James Salmon
21/04/2024
NBA Tips, Predictions & News
NBA Tips & Best Bets
Best Bets 2023 / 2024

Tuesday was a pulsating day of playoffs basketball, with wild endings in two of the three games, both of them resulting in victories to the home teams in the Knicks and the Nuggets. That means that in the 11 playoff games which have taken place so far, the home team has won 11 times, and on Wednesday the Timberwolves, Bucks and Clippers will try to continue that trend as they host the second leg of their opening home leg. These are our three best bets across those games. 

Phoenix Suns @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Devin Booker under 24.5 points | $1.92 with BlueBet

It doesn’t feel right betting against Devin Booker, particularly when the points line set for him by betting sites is a long way below his season average of 27.1 points, but the evidence against the Timberwolves is too compelling to ignore. He has really struggled against the best defence in the league and more specifically, Jaden McDaniels, whose height and athleticism has clearly bothered the Suns’ guard. The Suns and Timberwolves have now played one another three times in the past three weeks, twice in the regular season and then once in the opening game of this playoff series, and Booker hasn’t scored more than 23 points in any of them. In the first he put up just 13 on 3-12 shooting, in the final game of the regular season he managed 23 on 6-16 shooting, while in the opening game of the playoffs he put up 18 on 5-16 shooting. In all, that’s 14-44 shooting from the field at just under 32%, and an average of 18 points. He will play a huge part in the Suns’ ability to beat the Timberwolves and it would be no surprise to see him come out aggressively in Wednesday’s game, but McDaniels isn’t getting any smaller nor is the Timberwolves’ defence getting any less robust. Booker might need to find another way to be productive on the offensive end of the floor so don’t be surprised to see him putting up big assist numbers, but on the evidence of the past few weeks he might struggle to hit the 25-point mark once again in this game. 

bluebet Betting Site
Devin Booker under 24.5 points @ Timberwolves @ $1.92
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Indiana Pacers @ Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks -1.5 | $191 with GetSetBet 

Giannis Antetokounmpo is unequivocally the Bucks’ best and most important player, and he is listed as doubtful for Game 2 of their series against the Pacers. Clearly that gives the visitors a better chance, but this feels like an overreaction from the NBA betting sites. The Bucks haven’t been in great form in the lead-up to the playoffs, but they switched into gear in Game 1 of this series courtesy of a first half explosion from Damian Lillard, and even without Giannis in that game were able to get the job done relatively comfortably, leading from pillar to post en route to a 109-94 victory. Lillard had a phenomenal 35 points in the first half, well and truly picking up the slack left by Antetokounmpo’s absence, and though he went AWOL in the second half and somehow didn’t add a single point to his half time total, he had helped his team build up a big enough lead that the Pacers third quarter comeback remained in vain. Indiana is a plucky team and it’s certainly not out of the realms of possibility that they pick up a win in Milwaukee, but even without Antetokounmpo the Bucks are the best team. Particularly on their home floor, they are much better than a near-even money chance to win this game. This line feels way too low even if Giannis doesn’t play – as is expected – and the Bucks should be able to take a 2-0 series lead. The Bucks could also be taken head to head here with not too much change in the odds, but the line of just -1.5 will get you slightly more value for your money.  

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Bucks -1.5 vs Pacers @ $1.91
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Dallas Mavericks @ Los Angeles Clippers

Clippers to win outright | $2.20 with PlayUp 

This is another game where it feels as though the betting agencies are overcompensating for injury to a key player – particularly given that Kawhi Leonard is still no certainty to miss this game. The Clippers’ star missed Game 1 of his team’s series against the Mavericks, but the home side was still far too good, winning 109-97. That final score flattered the Mavs, too; the Clippers were up 56-30 at the half and held a 23-point lead going into the final quarter, and it was only a late surge which saw the visitors keep the scoreboard respectable. James Harden was excellent in the win, while Paul George was solid enough, Ivica Zubac played really well, and Russell Westbrook was as dynamic as ever off the bench. The Mavericks remain a very top heavy team, and even with both Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic playing pretty well in Game 1 they were comprehensively outplayed. If Kawhi Leonard does come back, the Clippers deserve to be favourites and likely will be, but even if he is absent they are big overs considering how Game 1 played out. Up until a late season slump the Clippers were widely viewed as the biggest danger to the Nuggets in the Western Conference, and though they haven’t been playing that way for a while and will clearly be hampered if Leonard is out, they remain a really good team and on their home floor, don’t deserve to be reasonably significant underdogs in this game.  

playup-review
Clippers to win outright vs Mavericks @ $2.20
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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.