NBA Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for 76ers vs. Heat, Mavericks vs. Suns (May 10)
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers.
- We've got two pressure-filled Game 5s on hand Tuesday night: 76ers vs. Heat and Mavericks vs. Suns.
- Our NBA analysts are eying spread bets, a team total and player prop for tonight's double-header.
- Find out how you should be betting Tuesday's action below.
We got two incredible Game 4 matchups on Monday night and now three of the four series are knotted at two games apiece.
On Tuesday, we get two pivotal Game 5s in two series: 76ers vs. Heat (7:30 p.m. ET) and Mavericks vs. Suns (10 p.m. ET). With high stakes in each of tonight's games, out crew of NBA analysts see three bets that have value in the double-header.
Check out their analysis and best bets for a pair of Game 5s below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat
Kenny Ducey: Let’s get one thing out of the way: The 76ers are a +10.2 per 100 possessions in this series with Joel Embiid, and a -6.6 per 100 with him off the floor. His return has helped immensely, and with that it wasn’t just James Harden who lifted Philly to a win in Game 4.
I’m fixated on the defensive performances with Embiid, however, and not as much on the offensive side of things. The Sixers allowed a playoff-best 89.8 points per 100 possessions in Game 3 backed up by 110.2 in Game 4. That’s what you get when you sit DeAndre Jordan and Paul Reed for the majority of the game.
We have to think a day of reckoning is coming here with the Heat shooting 25% or worse from behind the arc in four of their past five games, but then again this team not only ranked 13th in 3-point field goal percentage this season, but it’s launching somewhere around 30 3s per game in the last five. A few more falling from the outside likely won’t swing this game.
As long as Philly can keep slowing Miami on the defensive end and running it off the 3-point line, I like its chances here. The interior is strong once again with Embiid, and with his workload jumping from 36 to 38 minutes last game, I’m confident the Sixers can be the better team.
Embiid has done an excellent job of neutralizing Bam Adebayo in the last two games, getting him into foul trouble and making life difficult for the Heat center on the offensive end.
You can tell Adebayo is no longer the dominant force he was earlier in this series from watching, but the proof is in the numbers as well. Without him, Miami’s going to keep struggling to score.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat
Raheem Palmer: In many ways, this series feels like DeJa Vu for the 76ers as Joel Embiid missed the first two games of their 2018 first-round playoff series against the Heat and came back (with a mask) to help the 76ers advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Since his return in this series, the 76ers have won two straight games and his presence has been huge as the 76ers are a whopping 15.2 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor in the postseason and he comes off a Game 4 performance in which he scored 24 points on 7-of-13 (53.8%) shooting.
His presence has helped the 76ers offensively and defensively as his presence means the Heat aren’t getting anything easy at the basket. Since his return the Heat have scored 79 points on 0.92 points per possession and 108 points on 1.12 points per possession.
Of course a lot of that has to do with Miami’s struggles to shoot the ball as they’re just 14-of-65 (21.5%) from behind the arc since the series shifted to Philadelphia.
Still, for postseason, the Heat are shooting just 32.9% from behind the arc, 17th among postseason teams. They’re also 14h in shooting percentage on corner 3s (32.4%) and 15th on non-corner 3s (33.2%).
It’s tough to assume that the Heat will drastically improve their shooting percentages unless we see Duncan Robinson in the lineup and he will provide a target for James Harden to attack.
The 76ers on the other hand have actually been one of the best 3-point shooting teams during the postseason, ranking second in 3-point shooting percentage (39.5%) despite shooting 6-of-34 (26%) and 8-of-30 (17%) from behind the arc in the first two games of this series.
From my view, the 76ers have the better talent with Embiid, James Harden (when he’s not playing like he’s on #LarryHolmesStatus), Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris and with the Heat dealing with the injury to Kyle Lowry, I think the 76ers have a higher ceiling.
I’ll back the 76ers to cover and potentially win their third straight game since the return of Embiid. Take the 76ers +3.5
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat
Brandon Anderson: The narrative on this series looks pretty easy on the surface.
Joel Embiid misses Games 1 and 2; the Heat coast to a 2-0 series lead. Embiid returns in Game 3, and the Sixers roar back to tie it up at two apiece. Huzzah our Robbed MVP Overlord, all hail King Joel.
That's not really the series I've been watching though. Embiid has done well in his return, and his efforts being out there at all are heroic. But really Embiid's best attribute the last couple games has probably just been not being DeAndre Jordan. Just excising Jordan from the lineup has changed the formula for this team on both ends. The defense is no longer a disaster ripe for the picking, and the offense is actually doing some things again.
But that doesn't mean they've been good! No, I'll tell you the series we've actually been watching this whole time. Miami went up 2-0 at home thanks to scorching shooting from Tyler Herro and others while Philly shooters couldn't hit anything, going 14-of-64 (22%) on 3s.
Philadelphia returned home and suddenly Danny Green and the gang caught fire, the Heat went ice cold at 14-of-65 (22%) themselves, and voila, four games of mostly shooting variance later, here we are tied at 2-2.
I wondered coming into the series if Philadelphia might have some big advantages in the four factors. Would they turn Miami over a lot? Could they dominate the glass? Might they live at the line? None of those things have really translated much, even with Embiid back.
They've mostly just hit shots, and they're still not really preventing Miami from scoring so much as benefiting from the Heat missing a lot of makeable shots. Heck, the Heat made 66% of their 2s in Game 4, and that's the thing Embiid's return was supposed to improve on defense.
I don't know if Miami will make shots. But I do know Philadelphia got outlier positive shooting in both its home games. The Sixers made 16 3s in Game 4 on 49%, and they had 34 free throw attempts too. Hitting the road likely nerfs both of those numbers some, and when they do, I don't trust Philly to score consistently.
The Sixers are averaging 102.5 PPG this series and have gone under this team total in three of the four games. They're at 104 or less in six of the last eight.
Maybe Philly wins a rock fight anyway, but I don't think they're going to put up a big number in Miami. I'll take the team under on the Sixers.
Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns
Joe Dellera: Dorian Finney-Smith has been incredible for the Mavericks during the Playoffs. He’s developed into an excellent perimeter defender and he’s one of the primary weapons the Mavericks have to deploy against Devin Booker so he needs to remain on the floor.
His defense coupled with his 3-point shooting is critical for the Mavericks and he has seen extensive minutes. Aside from Game 2 where everyone was in foul trouble, Finney-Smith has about 40 minutes per game in Games 1, 3 and 4.
I’m targeting his combo prop because the books have moved his rebound prop from 4.5 to 5.5, but the combo is not adequately reflecting his ceiling for both scoring and rebounding.
He has cleared 17.5 Points and Rebounds in three of four games this series, and seven of ten games during this postseason. He has averaged 13.75 points per game and 4.75 rebounds so 18.5 PR, but if you removed the wonky game with massive foul trouble, he’s averaging 17.66 points and six rebounds so 23.7 PR.
His scoring ability allows him to hit this line on points alone but his rebounding ability can supplement that total as well.