NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Picks for Knicks vs Cavaliers, Warriors vs Kings (April 15)

NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Picks for Knicks vs Cavaliers, Warriors vs Kings (April 15) article feature image
Credit:

Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images. Pictured: Stephen Curry.

  • Welcome to Day 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs!
  • There's so much NBA betting to be had on Saturday's slate, and our crew has 10 best bets today for all four games.
  • Check out their in-depth analysis and expert picks below.

We've waited all season long for the games that matter and finally we've reached that point. It's NBA Playoff time and things tip off Saturday afternoon with four games on ESPN and ABC: Nets vs. 76ers (1 p.m. ET), Hawks vs. Celtics (3:30 p.m. ET), Knicks vs. Cavaliers (6 p.m. ET) and Warriors vs. Kings (8:30 p.m. ET).

Our betting analysts have 10 NBA best bets today, including player props, same game parlays, moneyline plays and more. Read on for their expert picks for Saturday's Game 1 matchups.

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NBA Odds & Best Bets

Click on a pick to skip ahead
Nets vs. 76ers Spread
1 p.m. ET
Hawks vs. Celtics Player Prop
3:30 p.m. ET
Hawks vs. Celtics 1H Spread
3:30 p.m. ET
Hawks vs. Celtics Player Prop
3:30 p.m. ET
Knicks vs. Cavaliers Player Prop
6 p.m. ET
Knicks vs. Cavaliers Player Prop
6 p.m. ET
Knicks vs. Cavaliers Player Prop
6 p.m. ET
Warriors vs. Kings Player Prop
8:30 p.m. ET
Warriors vs. Kings ML
8:30 p.m. ET
Warriors vs. Kings Spread
8:30 p.m. ET

All listed odds have been updated as of April 15. Specific bet recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing.


Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers

By Jacob McKenna

Pick
Nets +7 or Better
Sportsbook
FanDuel
Tipoff
1 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

I wrote the Game 1 betting preview for this Saturday's opening matchup and you can read that breakdown in full here. The Philadelphia 76ers had a clear advantage over both versions of Brooklyn's roster this season, but I think the Nets are in a position to cover the spread.

Yes, Brooklyn was just blown out by Philadelphia to end the regular season, but neither the Nets nor 76ers played any of starters in that matchup. That makes that result tough to take into consideration.

However, these teams faced off on Feb. 11 right after Brooklyn traded Durant and Irving. Both teams were at full strength for that matchup, a game in which the new-look Nets lost by only three points and held Philly to 26% shooting from 3.

The 76ers should win this game, but 8.5 points feels slightly high. I would play Brooklyn on the spread down to +7.


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Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics

By Munaf Manji

Pick
Bogdan Bogdanovic o11.5 Points
Sportsbook
DraftKings
Tipoff
3:30 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

I am banking on Bogdan Bogdanovic to provide some scoring support for the Atlanta Hawks in Game 1 against the Boston Celtics. Bogdanovic has had plenty of success scoring against the Celtics in his career. In fact, Bogdanovic has gone over this line in seven of his past eight career games against the Celtics.

Additionally, Bogdanovic has been shooting well from beyond the arc against the Celtics. Since he joined the Hawks in 2021, Bogdanovic in five games is averaging 3.3 made 3s per game while shooting it at 36.1%. Over the last five games of this season, Bogdanovic has gone over this line in four games.

With all the attention that will be on Trae Young and Dejounte Murray from the Celtics’ defense, I expect to see Bogdanovic get open looks in this game. I like this prop up to 12.5.


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Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics

By Austin Wang

Pick
Celtics -5 1H
Sportsbook
DraftKings
Tipoff
3:30 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

You can find my full betting preview for this game here, but I'm all on the Celtics in Game 1. I like the Celtics to continue this one-sided domination of the Hawks for their sixth consecutive head-to-head win and cover. However, instead of taking the full game spread, there is one angle I like in particular:

The first half splits heavily favor the Celtics. They have the seventh best first half ATS record at 45-37. This improves to sixth at home with a 23-18 first half ATS record. On the flip side, the Hawks are 25th in covering the first half spread at 37-45-1 (28th on the road with a 17-25 1H ATS record).

I'm betting on the more experienced and well-rested team to come out early and assert their dominance. Give me the Celtics -5 in the first half.


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Atlanta Hawks vs. Boston Celtics

By Brandon Anderson

Pick
Onyeka Okongwu 10 points + 5 rebounds SGP (+180)
Sportsbook
DraftKings
Tipoff
3:30 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

I'm not sure this will be a Clint Capela series. Atlanta's starting center is a bit heavy-footed at this stage of his career and could struggle athletically in this series. He played only 39 minutes in the two meaningful games these teams played in the regular season.

Onyeka Okongwu is more mobile and could be the more effective Hawks big man this series, and he's quietly become a real weapon for Atlanta under Quin Snyder. Okongwu isn't necessarily playing more just yet, but he's smashing the offensive glass and scoring more because of it.

In his last 15 games, Okongwu is averaging 12.9 points and 7.5 rebounds, almost half of those offensive boards. He had at least five rebounds in all 15 and double-digit points in all but two. That means Okongwu has at least 10/5 in 13 of the 15 games.

I'm playing those lines as a simple same game parlay, an 87% hit rate for a result priced at +180 (implied 36%) at DraftKings. Remember, Okongwu is hitting that even without a minutes increase, and he had five offensive rebounds in each of those aforementioned Capela games against the Celtics.

The margin is thin here  — only two games of 13/8 these last 15, for example  — so don't get too aggressive on alts until we see more minutes. Still, 12/5 is +330 and Okongwu has hit that in 9 of 15 (60%). It would be malpractice not to put at least a little of our bet on that +330 when it's only one extra bucket.


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New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

By Joe Dellera

Pick
Evan Mobley Over 17.5 PTS + AST
Sportsbook
FanDuel
Tipoff
6 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Evan Mobley is a player I'm targeting in this series. I discussed all of my prop angles at length in my Round 1 NBA Playoff Player Prop Forecast, but Mobley deserves specific attention here.

Mobley's defensive versatility will be tested with Randle, Hart and Toppin presenting different challenges for him, but his defensive excellence may limit Randle's effectiveness — especially as Randle returns from injury.

When Mobley has played at least 30 minutes this season (far below the 40 I’m projecting), he has exceeded certain prop totals at incredible rates. He played 30 or more minutes in 67 of his 79 games, but let’s focus on the games with Allen, so we have the two-big lineup. Mobley logged 12 or more points in 29 consecutive games, six or more rebounds in 29 of 30, two or more assists in 19 games and had three or more in all six games against the Knicks over the past two seasons. If you parlay those all together, you get -110 odds.

If parlays aren't available to you, Mobley has exceeded his 17.5 Points + Assists line in 23 of his 30 games alongside Allen and in nine of his past 10, while averaging 22.3 P+A. If Randle is unable to go or is limited at the start of this series, Mobley will have an even bigger size mismatch against Toppin.


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New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

By Gilles Gallant

Pick
Evan Mobley O2.5 STL + BLK (+160)
Sportsbook
bet365
Tipoff
6 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Mobley went over this line in three of his four games against the Knicks this season and in seven of his past nine home games since the All-Star Break. (I didn’t count the last game where he played 12 minutes.) Since the all-star break, Mobley is averaging over two blocks per game and just under one steal per game.

One of the things I love about Mobley is how he gets to roam with Jarrett Allen on the floor and play passing lanes, which helps his potential for steals.

Mobley finished the season with the most-contested 3s in the NBA and fourth overall in contested shots per game. The Knicks rank eighth in 3-point attempts per game and seventh since the break.

Julius Randle is nursing an ankle injury, but is expected to try and play, according to reports. Randle may get blocked a few times if he has no lift or ends up shooting more 3s to avoid contact.

If you want to take the safer approach, you can take over 1.5 blocks at plus-money, but I’m a risk taker.


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New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

By Bryan Fonseca

Pick
Julius Randle under 23.5 pts (-105)
Sportsbook
PointsBet
Tipoff
6 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Julius Randle hasn't played since March 29, and as of this writing, we're not 100% sure he'll even play in Game 1 of this series. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Randle "plans to test his left ankle prior to gametime before making a final decision."

This is to say, he isn't fully healthy.

But beyond that, there's been a narrative that the Knicks might be better off without him in this series. I don't think that's a leap I'd take, but simultaneously, I don't expect him to have a great series.

Randle struggles against length and speed — to be fair, who doesn't? But it's relevant when he faces guys like Bam Adebayo or Giannis Antetokounmpo or, as we'll see over the next week or two, Evan Mobley. Oh, and at his side, Jarrett Allen.

Randle finished with fewer than 20 points in each of his first two showings against the Cavs this season, shooting well under 40% each time. Allen sat in the second game — Randle had 18 points on 7-of-19 shooting.

In January, the last time he faced Cleveland, he dropped 36 points because he shot 8-of-12 from deep. Similar to how he torched the Miami Heat randomly one game in March.

The norm for Randle against these bigs, unless he gets hot from beyond the arc. He'll certainly try, but we'll bet against that, especially coming off the injury.


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Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings

By Joe Dellera

Pick
Domnatas Sabonis Over 13.5 Rebounds
Sportsbook
DraftKings
Tipoff
8:30 p.m. ET
TV
ABC

One player that I am targeting in this series is Domantas Sabonis and I already jumped on his prop for Game 1. Sabonis has absolutely destroyed Kevin Looney and the Warriors this season with 22, 14, and 14 rebounds in just 29.9 mins per game.

He should push 40 minutes in a playoff game and set up a ladder opportunity. I grabbed this line early at 12.5, it has since moved to 13.5 and I think that’s acceptable as well given his history with the Warriors this season.


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Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings

By Brandon Anderson

Pick
Warriors ML (-104)
Sportsbook
FanDuel
Tipoff
10:30 p.m. ET
TV
ABC

I wrote at length about this matchup in the Game 1 betting guide and you can read that in full here. The Warriors are 21-3 in Game 1s in this eight-year dynastic run.

Golden State's offense is unlike anything else in the NBA and always takes opponents a game or two to adjust. No other offense is in such constant motion, with endless back cuts and two of the best shooters ever running around screens all night and launching a barrage of relocation 3s.

The Warriors tend to rack up easy 2s early in these series before the opponent catches up defensively, and when the Kings defense is this bad against 2s to start with, that could spell trouble in Game 1.

Forget the road record or the dynasty conversation. These is still the same Warriors offense, built to shred this Kings defense early, just like Golden State has done to every other playoff opponent for a decade.

We back the Warriors in playoff Game 1s. I'm playing the moneyline and expecting a Warriors road victory.


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Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings

By Andrew O'Connor-Watts

Pick
Kings +1
Sportsbook
DraftKings
Tipoff
8:30 p.m. ET
TV
ABC

The beam has been lit over and over this season and the Kings are the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. Their reward? Facing the reigning champs in the first round.

With the hype around the Warriors for the series win, I think we see the Kings come out in Game 1 with a vengeance. They’ve been solid at home (23-18 straight up) but their ATS record has been a bit lackluster (18-23). Considering this spread has essentially been +1 or -1 depending on the hour, I’m taking more stock of the Kings moneyline record since a win either covers or pushes.

The Warriors abysmal road record is old news at this point, but it has to be mentioned when handicapping this game. I don’t expect the Warriors to go winless in this series, in fact I think they win Game 2, but I do think they’ll need some time to reintegrate Andrew Wiggins into the rotations.

I have the Warriors to advance, but this should be a closer series than the series price suggests (implied 30.77% chance for Sacramento at FanDuel) and I think that starts with a Game 1 Kings win.

I’d take the Kings at -1 or better as I'm OK with a push, but would pivot to the moneyline down to -125 if the spread gets longer for Sacramento.


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