Wednesday NBA Betting Odds & Picks: Our Staff’s Best Bets for 76ers vs. Raptors, Bulls vs. Bucks, More
Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Khris Middleton #22 of the Milwaukee Bucks.
- We've got three more awesome NBA Playoff matchups on Wednesday and plenty of ways to bet those games.
- Our NBA experts are spread and player props for tonight's triple-header.
- Check out their analysis and betting picks below.
Day 5 of the NBA Playoffs brings us yet another triple-header of postseason action.
The Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics kick off tonight’s games, looking to replicate the instant classic they gave us in Game 1 of their series. The Toronto Raptors host the Philadelphia 76ers in must-win Game 3 and we can expect Jurassic Park to be raucous.
In the late game, the Chicago Bulls will get another shot at taking down their division rival and the reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks in Game 2.
As always, our betting experts are attacking tonight’s game from multiple angles, including player props and half/quarter spreads. Check out their in-depth analysis and best bets for Wednesday’s playoff games.
NBA Odds & Picks
Brooklyn Nets vs. Boston Celtics
Matt Moore: Al Horford has to play extended minutes with Robert Williams III out and he was sensational in Game 1 with 20 points and 15 boards. I’m not expecting a repeat of that, but Horford grabbed 11 rebounds in less than 30 minutes when Nic Claxton was on the floor for the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1.
The funny thing is Claxton won those minutes, so the Nets are likely to go back to Claxton more and try and play more small-ball in Game 2.
With more minutes against a favorable matchup and a big size advantage, I’ll take Horford to dip into double digits in rebounding with two days off before and after this game for the veteran.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors
Matt Moore: Everyone likes Philly here — the tickets and money are both on the Sixers — and yet the line hasn’t moved towards the Sixers across the market.
The Raptors are a try-hard team. That seems patronizing, but it’s a virtue. You can make yourself the No. 5 seed in the NBA playoffs just by having competent starters with good skills who are well coached and play hard.
The Raptors faced an uphill battle on the road. What they need is home cookin’. A more favorable whistle, a little better shooting variance, another day of Hi-C juice boxes for Gary Trent Jr. to get him over his illness. The Raptors will play to the bone in this one. They had the effort in the first quarter of Game 2, but just couldn’t sustain it on the road.
At home? They’ll win the second chance points battle, get a few more calls, knock down a few more threes which will help them get their half-court defense set. Tyrese Maxey has been running the ball down their throat off of misses. More makes will get them there.
The Raptors were 9-8 straight up against teams with a win percentage of 60% or better on the road this season. Impressive, but not a huge margin. At home?
They were 8-4 SU and against the spread when facing teams with a win percentage over 60% and the last team they beat in that spot was Philadelphia.
I took the Sixers to win this series and I think it could very well end in five. But I think Toronto gets this one off of sheer force of will, and I’m getting plus money on the moneyline at home. I’ll take it.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors
Brandon Anderson: Toronto just doesn’t have many bodies left. With those Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. limited or missing, that leaves pretty much the entire scoring load to Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby.
VanVleet is the best shooter of the three and the guy with the ball in his hands running the offense, so he should continue to get up a ton of 3s, if for no other reason than sheer desperation.
VanVleet took a whopping 16 3s in Game 2. He only hit 31% of them, which isn’t great, but we play volume on props, not efficiency. It just so happens that FVV made five 3s, which hit any 3-point prop at any book even with that poor shooting night. VanVleet isn’t getting to the rim or the free throw line, so we’ll skip the points and stick with 3s. Just the sheer volume alone should give him a good shot at four makes.
You can play five-plus makes at +172 if you prefer. Instead of betting betting $140 to win $100, you can bet that same $140 to return $241 for just one extra make. You can decide which side of that you like better, but it’s pretty obvious that the 3.5 is the safer play in case VanVleet shoots less, plays fewer minutes, isn’t as desperate in a non-blowout, or just doesn’t shoot as well.
I’ll play the over 3.5 to -160 or pivot to the alternate over.
Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Brandon Anderson: The Bucks had another one of their usual Game 1 clunkers, a Mike Budenholzer tradition at this point. The Bucks turned the ball over 21 times, shot 26% on 3-pointers, and hit only 65% of their free throws, with the offense struggling to find points all game.
But just like last year against the Miami Heat to start the playoffs, the Bucks also won the game, in part because the Bulls played even worse. Chicago probably won’t go 7-of-37 on 3s again, but they’re not exactly a major threat there as one of the league’s worst shooting teams. More worrisome for Chicago is the 41% mark on 2-pointers. Milwaukee’s offense wasn’t good in Game 1, but the defense suddenly looked a lot like that elite unit that carried the Bucks to the title a year ago.
Milwaukee had terrific first-half metrics all season. The Bulls own a bottom 10 Net Rating in every quarter except the fourth — that’s when DeMar DeRozan’s iso game can take over — while the Bucks struggle in the third quarter and don’t always close as strong.
Even in a bad game, Milwaukee was still the better team, but we just saw this team blow a comfortable lead and struggle to hang on late. I don’t want to risk the back door cover on such a high line.
I’ll play the first-half Bucks line, let them take a comfortable lead early, and then cash out my winnings and enjoy the rest of the game.
Chicago Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Austin Wang: The Bucks held a healthy lead for a majority of the Game 1, but the Bulls mounted a comeback and took a 78-77 lead with 5:56 left in the fourth quarter.
However, that lead was short-lived as the Bulls then went cold and allowed the Bucks to run away with the victory. It was a valiant effort, but they came up just a little bit short.
The Bucks got caught playing with their food and I anticipate they will come out strong in Game 2 after almost blowing the lead. On the other hand, the Bulls could come out flat after a demoralizing loss where they almost stole a win.
Jrue Holiday did an excellent job holding DeMar DeRozan to 6-for-25 shooting from the field. With the limited options on offense for the Bulls, the Bucks defense can really focus on stopping their best scorers.
More important, though are the first quarter splits for both teams:
- Bucks: Second in Net Rating (+9.9) | 45-36-2 ATS
- Bulls: 18th in Net Rating (-1.8) | 34-48-1 ATS
The Bucks are better at home and the Bulls struggle on the road. In addition, the Bucks have won 17 out of their previous 18 matchups against the Bulls.
Give me the Bucks -3.5 in the first quarter.
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