NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Lakers vs. Grizzlies, Clippers vs. Suns Sunday, April 16

NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: Expert Picks for Lakers vs. Grizzlies, Clippers vs. Suns Sunday, April 16 article feature image
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Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Norman Powell #24 and Nicolas Batum #33 of the LA Clippers.

  • Sunday's NBA playoff slate is full of star-studded matchups as the rest of the postseason field gets going in four Game 1 matchups
  • Action Network's NBA betting analysts have six best bets today, including Clippers vs. Suns.
  • Check out their expert picks for Sunday.

Day 1 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs brought us some instant classics. The slate for Day 2 has four more must-see matchups, including LeBron James' Lakers against Ja Morant's Grizzlies to open the afternoon and Kawhi Leonard going head-to-head with Kevin Durant (not literally as Matt Moore pointed out) in Clippers vs. Suns.

If Saturday's games are any indication, we're in store for more exciting Game 1s and our betting analysts are prepped with six best bets today, including player props and the case for both sides of the total in Heat vs. Bucks Game 1.

Check out their expert picks for Sunday's NBA playoffs slate below.

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NBA Odds & Best Bets

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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
3 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
3 p.m. ET
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks
5:30 p.m. ET
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks
5:30 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns
8 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns
8 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Pick
Grizzlies -3.5 (to -4)
Book
DraftKings
Tipoff
3 p.m. ET
TV
ABC

Brandon Anderson: I like the Lakers in the series, but give me the Grizzlies in Game 1.

Memphis will have FedEx rocking and should come out amped, flying up and down the court. The Lakers matched this team's pace early in the season, and they've slowed it down some late but the playoff inexperience of LA's spare parts could show itself early. Los Angeles will win games when it slows things down to a grind, but I'm not expecting that early.

The whistle will be a key, and that's been such a talking point already in favor of the Lakers that I wonder if we could see a nice home whistle to set an early tone that things will be "fair." Keeping Jaren Jackson Jr. out of foul trouble will be key. I'm also not sure I trust Darvin Ham early in this series to get his rotations figured out right away.

More than anything else though, I'm fading LeBron James. Wait, what?

LeBron is 3–14 lifetime in road Game 1s. You didn't read that wrong. For all his greatness, it's been one consistent down spot. Road Game 1 means LeBron's team is the seed underdog, and he typically uses this road spot to feel out the opponent and get his teammates going. James averages 25.1 PPG in Game 1s vs 28.9 in other playoff games, and his assists are up from 8.2 to 9.1 since 2016.

LeBron is actually 9–8 in these series, but his teams just haven't come through in these road Game 1s. His last 10 such losses dating back to 2011 are all by eight or more points. The Lakers have lost by more than seven only once in the last 19 games, so I'll stay away from any alternate lines.


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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Pick
Grizzlies -1.5 1H
Book
PointsBet
Tipoff
3 p.m. ET
TV
ABC

Andrew O'Connor-Watts: The Grizzlies should have their hands full with an older, more experienced Lakers team. I have the Lakers advancing, but it should be a lengthy series either way.

For this series to go the distance, both teams have to win a few games. And for Memphis, I think that starts with Game 1, and early.

Historically, the Grizzlies under Taylor Jenkins have excelled early in games and early in the series. In Game 1 and Game 2, the Grizzlies are 4-2 ATS in the first half going back the past two post seasons.

During the regular season, the Grizzlies were 50-31 ATS in the first half and 28-12-1 at home. The Lakers were above .500 on the road (43-39-1 ATS), but to close out the season, they were just 4-6 in the first half their last 10 games.

I like Memphis to get down to business early and outrun the Lakers. I’ll take them in the first half down to -2.5.


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Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Pick
Under 219
Book
PointsBet
Tipoff
5:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Bryan Fonseca: I expect a lot of unders this series.

No one is giving the Miami Heat a chance — and rightfully so. They're not going to win this series.

This is a matter of how long this takes, whether it's four, five, perhaps six, and improbably even a seven-game series.

To me, this also feels like a low-scoring series, even if we get a couple of blowouts. The Heat generally have a difficult time scoring. They ended the regular season last in points, second-to-last in Pace, fourth-worst in 3-point percentage, fifth-worst in field goal percentage, and the advanced metrics that I could bore you with aren't friendly to them either.

The Milwaukee Bucks aren't constipated on offense the way it seemed early on, but they're not necessarily elite either. They're much better than Miami, though, by any metric. Both are defense first — and that's what this series will be, one for the basketball masochists.


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Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Pick
Over 218.5
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
5:30 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Chris Baker: It’s difficult to pick a side here since I'm right in line with the spread. That being said, if you were looking for the game when the Heat may hold value, your best bet might be Game 1. The Bucks haven’t played in two weeks, and I'd anticipate their being some rust early in the first half.

My personal best bet for this game will be the over.

The Heat offense has improved slightly, but veterans like Kyle Lowry and Kevin Love are massive negatives on the defensive end at this point in their careers. Combine that with Strus and Herro on the floor, and you get a lot of mismatches and advantages for the Bucks offense.

On the other end of the court, I think we could see the Heat have a bit more rhythm given how active they've been with the play-in tournament. Miami should start hot as the Bucks shake off some of their rust from their long break.

Additionally, I expect the Bucks to look to play fast as they have all season long and press their math advantage by increasing the number of possessions in the game. Take the over 218.5 and play this up to 219.5.


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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns

Pick
Nicolas Batum o1.5 3-Pointer (+105)
Book
BetMGM
Tipoff
8 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Gilles Gallant: Batum's been starting for the team now with Paul George out and has seen a 3-4 min bump in the 10 games since PG got hurt. Marcus Morris may still be limited from the back injury, which should keep the frenchman on the floor.

Batum averages 2.1 3-pointers per game on three or more days rest. He's also shooting 42% from deep since the All-Star break. I know he hasn’t fared well against the Suns, who defend the 3-point line at a top-five level, but shooting 3s is legit all he does offensively. Batum has taken 381 shots this season total and 317 have been from 3-point range; that’s 83%, an insane ratio.

With Kevin Durant in Phoenix and no PG-13, I project Batum having to play a bit more on the wing in this series to match up and be able to switch. In the 10 games with Paul George, Batum has five games where he hit three or more 3s. I sprinkled on 3+ 3PT at +420 odds and played the over 1.5 line at +110, but BetMGM has the best odds at the time of writing.


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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Phoenix Suns

Pick
Norman Powell 25+ Points (+550)
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
8 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Jim Turvey: I like the Suns to win Game 1, but with the moneyline as juicy as it is, I am targeting a player prop instead.

Norman Powell has been key in filling Paul George's void all season, and the ceiling on his points total is especially notable as he's cleared 25 points in six of the 19 games without George. I am playing Powell to score 25+ points (+550) at FanDuel.


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