NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Best Playoff Bets for Elimination Games with Hawks vs. Knicks, Grizzlies vs. Jazz (June 2)
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ja Morant.
- We've got three potential series clinchers on tap and our NBA analysts are betting two of them.
- They've found two angles in Game 5 between the Hawks and Knicks, plus a play on the total in Grizzlies vs. Jazz.
- Read below for their best bets for Wednesday night.
There are four games on the NBA Playoff betting slate Wednesday and three of those series could end tonight depending on who comes out on the winning side.
You can check out their analysis and betting picks for those matchups below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks
Kenny Ducey: The pace has been painstakingly slow all series long, with just one game — Game 2 at Madison Square Garden — getting up over 95. That, in conjunction with some solid defense from the Knicks, helped the under hit in each of the first three games before it dropped low enough (to 208.5) to hit in Game 4. Despite the fact that this total is set at the same number, I think this game could turn into another under.
Atlanta’s Offensive Rating peaked last game at 120.2 points per 100 possessions, but it did not improve at all in the shooting department and instead got most of its work done offensively at the free throw line. It’s true that the Hawks have a ton of offensive talent, but so far it has shined in spurts; the Knicks have done a decent job keeping them at bay.
The story in this series, instead, has been the Knicks on offense. Atlanta has stepped up its defense, but some of the reason it’s allowed just around 100 points per 100 possessions over the past three games is the of New York’s struggling All-Star, Julius Randle. The Most Improved Player from this season has lacked confidence and has been a big thorn in the Knicks’ side. This has caused them to give Obi Toppin more minutes, who’s also been a boon on that end with some bad turnovers.
The Knicks’ ineptitude on offense continues to grow with the increasing fatigue of Derrick Rose, who’s being asked to play a boatload of minutes and has dropped off since his massive Game 3. I think this leads us to another low-scoring, slow-moving battle in an elimination game for New York. They’d rather have it that way, anyway.
Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks
Matt Moore: After a season where the Knicks were the best first half team in the league, my how have the tables have turned in the postseason. The Hawks are 4-0 ATS first half in this series.
The first game made most think this was going to be a long, dramatic series, but by Game 4, we figured out the Hawks are just better.
Two important rotational notes here:
- Alec Burks plays fewer first half minutes than second half minutes, and those are the only minutes where the Knicks have actually had success over more than 50 minutes in this series.
- Reggie Bullock, who had a sneaky great season, plays more minutes in the first half than the second half in the last two games as the rotation has evolved. Bullock has a -25.2 Net Rating on-court in this series.
So we’re looking for small edges in first half and quarter bets, and those two present one. If the Knicks are to try and make a last stand, it likely comes in a comeback effort in the second half.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz
Raheem Palmer: Much has been made of the math problems the Grizzlies are facing in this matchup. If you read Monday’s best bets, you know I laid the -5.5 points with the Jazz primarily based on this issue.
The Jazz are outscoring the Grizzlies by a whopping 87 point from behind the arc in this series as they’ve made 29 more 3s through four games, and right around their season average of 16.7 3s per game.
In many ways it was to be expected as the Jazz are first in 3-point shooting frequency (45.3%) and third in 3-point shooting percentage (39.6%) facing a Grizzlies team that is 20th in opponent 3-point frequency (36.5%) and 19th in opponent 3-point percentage (37.4%).
It’s not just the 3-point shooting either. As a whole, Utah’s offense has been rolling and outside of Game 1 in which they shot just 42% from the field, the Grizzlies haven’t been able to hold this team under 120 points. As a whole, the Jazz are scoring 1.22 points per possession for the series and if you eliminate Game 1, they have an Offensive Rating of 128.6 in Games 2-4.
Interestingly enough, the Grizzlies haven’t had many problems scoring themselves as they also have an 118.3 Offensive Rating in this series. The Grizzlies are shooting 46.9% from the field and it’s been pretty clear that without the 3-point discrepancy they would be in this series.
Ja Morant has been able to get to the paint at will throughout the series. In Game 4, the Grizzlies shot 81.5% at the rim and for a team that operates on scoring in the paint and in the midrange via floaters and jumpers, not even Rudy Gobert has been able to completely slow down this offense.
This has also been a very fast paced series, clocking in at an average of 98.3 possessions a game. Overall you take two hyper efficient offenses, a fast paced game and the Grizzlies never give up attitude and you have the potential for an over.
Every game of this series has gone over the total and yet it feels as if oddsmakers haven’t adjusting enough. You know what they say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I won’t be fixing it. I’ll play the over 226.