NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Best Bets for Heat vs. 76ers, Suns vs. Mavericks (May 12)
Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jalen Brunson #13 of the Dallas Mavericks high fives Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks.
- Thursday night's pair of Game 6s -- Heat vs. 76ers and Suns vs. Mavericks -- could present multiple outcomes.
- Our NBA analysts have four bets for tonight's games, including props, totals and a moneyline bet.
- Find their betting breakdowns and picks below.
We could see two series get closed out on Thursday evening, or we could see them both extended to a high-pressure winner-take-all Game 7.
It all depends on what happens in tonight’s doubleheader featuring two Game 6 matchups: Heat vs. 76ers (7 p.m. ET) and Suns vs. Mavericks (9:30 p.m. ET).
Our NBA experts are finding value in multiple places, including player props, team totals a moneyline play. You can read their betting breakdowns and picks for tonight’s games below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Brandon Anderson: The popular narrative in this series keeps changing.
First, Miami was just far better. The Heat got two easy wins to start the series and it looked like this would be over quickly. Then the Sixers bounced back for two wins once Embiid returned and that became the narrative.
It was all about Embiid’s value and how that had changed the script for the series. Then Miami returned home and trounced the Sixers and now the narrative is home team dominance since home teams are now 5-0 in the series.
But the real story has been the lack of reliable scoring, and that’s been a story for the Sixers this entire postseason. When the Sixers score, they can really pour it on. But when the shots aren’t falling, the offense dries up in a hurry.
Those two home wins were shot variance for Philly as much as anything else. They were Danny Green randomly getting hot for 10 3s in two games and James Harden suddenly heating up for his one good shooting game of the playoffs so far.
And sure, guys tend to play and shoot better at home, but the reality is that Philadelphia just isn’t generating much offense. The Sixers had 14 assists in Game 5, their lowest total of the season outside of one other game — also against the Heat.
The Heat have a tough defense, and seem to have figured out how to defend the 76ers. Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon have made life difficult for Joel Embiid, and the big switch in Game 5 was putting Jimmy Butler on Tyrese Maxey.
Maxey is the X factor scorer for Philly, and he can attack space and get some easy stuff, but Butler’s size and physicality erased Maxey entirely from the script. He had only nine points and one assist, and the move also left P.J. Tucker defending Harden, a role in which he’s been very successful.
Philadelphia didn’t generate good looks in or outside the arc. The Sixers made just 28% of their 3s, but also hit an ugly 42% of their 2s, and that second number is an even bigger problem because it’s not as much about shot variance. Philly just isn’t itself.
The Sixers should have had some big matchup advantages in this series on the glass and at the line. Instead Philly was out-rebounded by 10 last game and the Heat had eight more free throw attempts too. Miami is just taking away Philly scoring outs.
The Sixers have gone under 104.5 in four of the five games this series, and they’re averaging just 99.0 PPG. Maybe Philly stays alive if Miami can’t score either, but it’s doubtful they explode unless we just land on the wrong side of shot variance. I’ll take my chances and play the Sixers team under.
Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Joe Dellera: So far this postseason, James Harden has looked like a shell of his former self. Although he is a solid facilitator and can have flashes of brilliance, his average output has been relatively subpar.
His points + rebounds + assists line currently sits at 36.5 and he has only hit that number in one game this series, averaging just 33 PRA against Miami. Additionally, he has gone over this line in just three of Philly’s 11 playoff games and some of those were without Embiid.
In the one game he went over in this series, he took 18 shots and was relatively inefficient making just 8-of-18 shots on his way to 31 points. With Embiid on the floor, he won’t have the same opportunities to be inefficient.
Miami’s defense is physical, fast, and with Bam Adebayo able to switch onto Harden at times it’s very difficult for Harden to get past his man. He cannot effectively drive nor get enough space to create his own shots, plus Miami’s defense has been incredible throughout the playoffs.
This number is high for a player who has struggled to consistently perform.
Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks
Munaf Manji: The Suns are coming off a 30-point victory on their home floor in Game 5 behind a huge defensive effort. I am going back the well and betting Mikal Bridges to play well defensively and fill up the stat sheet for the Suns in tonight’s closeout game.
The Suns have played 11 playoff games so far this postseason and Bridges has gone over this line in nine of those games. Bridges is one of the most durable players in the NBA and has become the league’s best 3-and-D players. He has drawn the assignment of trying to guard Luka Doncic in this series and defensively he’s doing a great job getting deflections (2.8 per game per NBA Advanced Stats) and getting steals as well as blocking shots.
Bridges’ length has been huge for the Suns defensively as he has recorded at least one steal in nine out of the 11 games so far this postseason. I expect the Suns to be locked in defensively tonight led by Bridges. I am going to continue to back Bridges here to get over this number, especially at plus money.
Phoenix Suns vs. Dallas Mavericks
Raheem Palmer: I like the Dallas Mavericks in this spot to tie the series as they come off perhaps their worst shooting performance of the postseason as they shot an uncharacteristic 8-of-32 from behind the arc.
They say role players shoot better at home in the NBA Playoffs and one game after Dorian Finney-Smith had 24 points and shot 8-of-12 from behind the arc, he put up just eight points on 2-of-6 shooting.
Outside of Jalen Brunson who put up 21 points, the rest of the roster didn’t do much to help Luka Doncic. Nonetheless, I’m expecting a much different result here for the Mavericks in a must-win Game 6.
They continue to have a math advantage given their frequency of 3-point field goal attempts as they lead all teams (47.1%) while the Suns rank 15th among all playoff teams at (31.4%). The Mavericks win by making 3s and taking care of the ball, two things they didn’t do road in Game 5. I’ll back them to bounce back and get the win to force a Game 7.
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