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NBA Betting Odds, Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Bucks vs. Celtics, Warriors vs. Grizzlies (May 3)

NBA Betting Odds, Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Bucks vs. Celtics, Warriors vs. Grizzlies (May 3) article feature image
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Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry #30 and Jordan Poole #3 of the Golden State Warriors.

  • We've got a pair of important Game 2 matchups on Tuesday night: Bucks vs. Celtics and Warriors vs. Grizzlies.
  • Our NBA experts have four picks for tonight's games, including spreads and player props.
  • Find their analysis and best bets below.

It’s weird to consider Game 2 of an NBA Playoff series a must-win, but with both home teams down one game entering tonight’s matchups there is pressure on those squads to tie up their respective series before they hit the road.

With that in mind, out NBA analysts are looking at four bets for tonight’s slate of games, including teams totals and a series prop. Check out their breakdowns and picks for Bucks vs. Celtics and Warriors vs. Grizzlies below.

NBA Odds & Picks

Click on a game to skip ahead
Bucks vs. Celtics Team Total
7 p.m. ET
Bucks vs. Celtics Player Prop
7 p.m. ET
Warriors vs. Grizzlies Spread
9:30 p.m. ET
Warriors vs. Grizzlies Series Prop
9:30 p.m. ET

Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics

Pick
Bucks Team Total Under 105.5 (-110)
Book
BetMGM
Tipoff
7 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Brandon Anderson: We successfully played the Bucks team total under 106.5 in Game 1, and I don’t see any reason not to go right back to the well for Game 2.

The Bucks got the win in Game 1, but it was because of their defense, not their offense. I wasn’t sure Milwaukee would be able to score well without Khris Middleton, especially against this tough, physical Boston defense that’s been best in the league by a wide margin over the past few months. I’m still not sure they can.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a triple-double and was terrific as a passer and playmaker, but he had more shot attempts (25) than points (24) and turned it over five times as Boston had some real answers for him. Jrue Holiday hit a trio of 3s he won’t always make, but he was 5-of-15 on 2s. Grayson Allen couldn’t quite explode like he did against Chicago. There just weren’t a lot of great answers for Milwaukee offensively.

The Bucks barely turned it over and had a good offensive rebounding percentage, but that didn’t lead to good offense. Really Milwaukee scored one of two ways — it hit timely 3s, especially early in the game when things were getting away a bit, and it got a ton of good looks in transition and semi-transition after endless Boston misses.

The Celtics can’t possibly miss as many shots in Game 2, so that will limit those easier Milwaukee looks and make it even tougher for the Bucks to score. Even in a comfortable road win, the Bucks only had 101. I’ll keep playing the team under until I trust Milwaukee to score more efficiently against this defense.


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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics

Pick
Giannis Antetokounmpo Under 0.5 3-Pointers (+125)
Book
PointsBet

Munaf Manji: During the regular season, Giannis Antetokounmpo played in three matchups against the Celtics and went a combined 0-of-9 on 3-pointers.

In Round 1 against the Bulls, he shot 11.7% from 3-point land and made one 3-pointer in two of the five games. Giannis doesn’t attempt many 3s overall — he is averaging 2.5 attempts during the playoffs — and I don’t expect him to shoot many more in this series.

In Game 1 against the Celtics, Antetokounmpo went 0-of-2 from behind the arc. The Celtics lack size inside to deter him on his drives and I expect Antetokounmpo to attack the basket and let the shooters around him knock down those 3s instead. At +125 I am going to take a shot that he doesn’t make one in Game 2.

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Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Pick
Warriors -1.5
Book
BetMGM
Tipoff
9:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Joe Dellera: I went into more detail on this matchup in today’s game preview, but I see value on the spread here.

The Grizzlies can win Game 2, but it seemed like everything went their way in Game 1 — including Draymond Green’s ejection — yet they still came up short. Now Desmond Bane is dealing with an injury, and the Warriors will have Green back for the entire game — assuming he doesn’t get tossed again.

A major issue for the Grizzlies is their lack of execution. While their offense played well, they had lapses on defense that are likely due to inexperience. The Warriors do not quit, and their perpetual motion makes it difficult to constantly run with them, which leads to mistakes and open looks.

While it may start Game 2 locked in, do we trust Memphis to keep up with Golden State for an entire game? I do not.

The Warriors’ half-court offense is significantly better than Memphis’, scoring 97.3 points per 100 plays compared to just 93.4, per Cleaning the Glass. With Green back, I expect the Grizzlies to be forced into the half-court, as it will be more difficult to get out into transition.

When this game slows down, the Warriors have the edge. Golden State is a more complete team, with more counters to attack and defend Memphis throughout the game.

I expect the Warriors to take care of business on the road in Game 2.


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Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Pick
Warriors Win Game 2 & Series (+110)
Book
DraftKings

Brandon Anderson: As Joe noted, almost everything went right for the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1. The Warriors got in foul trouble almost instantly and had 25 total fouls.

Golden State turned it over early and often, leading to Memphis run-outs. The Warriors missed a flurry of open jumpers they’d usually hit and shot only 65% from the line, including two killer misses from Klay Thompson late.

Draymond Green was ejected on a questionable Flagrant 2 before halftime and played just 17 minutes.

Jaren Jackson Jr. shot 6-of-9 on 3s in a career game, and he and Ja Morant combined to shoot 10-of-20 from deep. Memphis hit more 3s on a better 3-point percentage than Golden State, and it dominated the offensive glass with 16 offensive rebounds. The Grizzlies also saw a huge bench performance from DeAnthony Melton, with double-digit first-half points, four stocks, and a +14 in 25 minutes.

Throw in a few questionable late calls that went Memphis’ way, and it sure feels like almost everything went right for the Grizzlies.

Well … except the one thing that mattered most.

The Grizzlies lost despite that laundry list of things slanting in their direction, and that spells big trouble for this team. Almost everything in that long list should reasonably regress to the mean in Golden State’s favor.

Yes, Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks may hit more shots, but Brooks is streaky and Bane is questionable — he also wasn’t getting great looks. Memphis should always have a turnover advantage in this matchup, but it’s tough to find many other reasons to like this matchup for the Grizzlies.

Everyone will want to back the Grizzlies as home underdogs with the season on the line, but I like this matchup too much to get away from the Warriors. I’m expecting this team to come out fired up after Game 1, and I’m looking for a great defensive game from Green. Golden State has a clamp on this series.

The Warriors are -130 on the moneyline, but you can also play them to cover the -1.5 at -110 (and hope Klay doesn’t miss the late free throws again). But why not just play the Warriors to win both Game 2 and the series? That’s listed at +110, and if Golden State goes up 2-0 as the better team with three home games left, this series is a wrap barring injury.

This combo play is a great way to get the Warriors moneyline for plus money, and if I’m getting the Warriors at plus money in this matchup, I have to do it.


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