NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Best Bets for 76ers vs. Heat, Mavericks vs. Suns on Wednesday (May 4)
Kate Frese/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Booker.
- We have a pair of Game 2s on Wednesday night: 76ers vs. Heat and Mavericks vs. Suns.
- Our betting analysts have picks on a game total, player prop and first-half spread.
- Check out their favorite plays based on the latest NBA odds below.
Two home teams that dominated Game 1 look to take commanding series leads on Wednesday night.
The Miami Heat overwhelmed the Joel Embiid-less 76ers in the second half, while the Suns gave bettors a sweat en route to a win over Luka Doncic and the Mavericks.
There are no surprises on the odds board tonight, with the Heat and Suns hotly favored to hit the road up 2-0 in their series.
Our staff of betting analysts have found betting value for this slate of games. We have a bet on the Heat vs. 76ers total, a Mavericks player prop and then one way to back the Suns.
Check out their three favorite picks below.
NBA Odds & Picks
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat
Raheem Palmer: The Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in a tough spot without Joel Embiid. They scored just 92 points on 1.01 points per possession in a Game 1 loss. It feels like Philadelphia they left some meat on the bone offensively in that one.
The 76ers could benefit by pushing the pace more by playing small with James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Danny Green, Tobias Harris and Georges Niang, but they shot an abysmal 6-of-34 (17.6%) from 3-point range in Game 1, so we can expect some regression in that area.
Maxey was just 6-of-15 (40%) and Harden was just 5-of-13 (38.5%), and improved shooting from them will lead the Sixers to a better performance.
Still, even with positive offensive regression for the 76ers, I can’t back this team again given its problems stopping the Heat’s offense. I particularly want to stay away from them given the presence of DeAndre Jordan, who was a -22 in 17 minutes and allowed the Heat to essentially hold a layup line during his time on the court.
It feels like the Heat underperformed in Game 1, as well. They shot just 9-of-36 (25%) from behind the arc, and Jimmy Butler was far from his normal self, shooting 5-of-16 (31.3%) from the field for just 15 points.
None of this is sustainable, and it’s clear the Heat should perform better offensively in Game 2. With both teams shooting under expectation in Game 1, I’ll play the over 207.5 in what should be a higher-scoring game in Game 2.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns
Brandon Anderson: The Mavericks were a one-man show in Game 1, with Luka Doncic doing a little bit of everything, but Dorian Finney-Smith has become the glue guy on this team.
Finney-Smith filled up the box score this season with 13.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 3-pointers, 2.4 assists and 1.1 steals per game, and he always gets the top defensive assignment against the opponent. Finney-Smith has played at least 40 minutes in every playoff game this season, becoming integral to everything Dallas does.
So far this playoffs, that especially is true on the glass for Finney-Smith. Dallas doesn’t have many big men in its arsenal. Dwight Powell starts but is more of a roll man. Maxi Kleber comes off the bench and was red-hot on 3s in Game 1, but he really struggled defensively. Davis Bertans is mostly just a tall shooting guard.
Dallas is playing a lot of smaller lineups, and that means it needs Finney-Smith to play big, especially on the glass. He’s been up for the challenge, going over 4.5 rebounds in six of seven playoff games for the Mavs. He went over that number in six of his last postseason games too, so this is nothing new. He’s at 6.4 rebounds per game across the last two postseasons.
Finney-Smith has gone over 4.5 boards in 12 of 14 games (86%) the last two playoffs, and the two unders were by a single board. And if you just want to take the win, more power to you.
As Dallas trailed big late in Game 1, it tried a few lineup combinations, including one that put Finney-Smith in his biggest role yet — center. Actually 11% of Finney-Smith’s minutes have come as the “center” this postseason, per Basketball Reference. If Dallas goes even smaller to get more offense out there, they’ll need him to play bigger than ever.
If you’re hungry for more, you can go over 5.5 boards at +125 at DraftKings, but why stop there? Eight or more rebounds is +475 at PointsBet. Not bad. But the long shot I’ll be playing is +1650 for a double-double at BetMGM.
Finney-Smith just did that in a closeout game against Utah, and he had one last year too. He’s had double-digit points in all but one playoff game (and he had nine in that one), so it’s mostly just a bet on him playing bigger than ever and racking up the boards in the 40-plus minutes he’s sure to get.
And you know what? Even if he does, Luka Doncic is still the only Dallas player anyone will notice. But Finney-Smith is just fine with that — and we will be too as we count our winnings.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns
Austin Wang: Don’t be entirely fooled by the final score of Game 1 between the Suns and the Mavericks. The Suns dominated Game 1, even though the Mavericks had more free throws, more 3-pointers and a 45-point performance from Luka Doncic.
The Suns were up 15 points with 2:40 left to go, but the Mavericks made a last-minute push to give Phoenix backers a nice (and unnecessary) sweat. The Suns ended up winning by seven points and barely covered.
DeAndre Ayton scored 25 points in a myriad of ways against the smaller Mavericks frontcourt. He will continue to pose a problem in this series given Dallas’ lack of options to properly defend him.
The Suns allowed the Mavericks to knock down 16 3-pointers in Game 1. Phoenix’s perimeter defense should tighten up since it ranked fourth in opponent’s 3-pointers made and fifth in opponent’s 3-point percentage this season.
The Suns were extremely efficient on the offensive end, as well, shooting 50.5% from the field with 27 assists to just nine turnovers.
Betting favorites coming off a series win during which they had an assist-to-turnover ratio of two or greater are 29-8 ATS (78.4%) per the SDQL.
The Suns are 21-8 (72.4%) ATS in the first half as favorites in the postseason dating back to last season, per our Bet Labs tool. I think the Suns keep up this efficient offense at home against the smaller Mavericks as a strong first-half team.
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