NBA Predictions, Picks: Wednesday Best Bets From the “Buckets” Podcast

NBA Predictions, Picks: Wednesday Best Bets From the “Buckets” Podcast article feature image
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Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images. Pictured: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Thunder)

The NBA Playoffs continue with two games on Wednesday.

Another night of playoff action means another night full of wagers from our "Buckets" podcast crew.

Check out all three picks and the most recent episode of "Buckets" below.


NBA Picks & Predictions: "Buckets" Bets

GameTime (ET)Pick
7:00 p.m.Celtics -14.5
7:00 p.m.Nikola Jovic Over 7.5 Points
9:30 p.m.Thunder -7.5

Celtics -14.5 vs. Heat

7:00 p.m. ET ⋅ TNT

By Matt Moore

The only thing I'm worried about is I don't know how seriously Boston can take this series after Game 1.

In the first round of the playoffs, one-seeds that are favored by double-digits that covered the previous game of a double-digit spread are 18-1 straight up and 11-7-1 ATS at 61%.

The prior win/cover is important because we're ruling out that the market expected more of a team that underperformed in Game 1. That can be indicative of the market being off, but they can't react in the subsequent game.

This is the opposite, where a team was favored by a ton and covered, so there's a clear power-rating advantage on top of the one-seed taking the game seriously.

If Miami was any other team in the East that doesn't have as much playoff history with the Celtics, I would probably bet it in this game, but since it's the Heat, I think the Celtics will keep the pedal down and cover this spread again.

I don't think the line should've moved, and the public seems to think Miami can cover tonight, but I don't see that happening.

Pick: Celtics -14.5

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Nikola Jovic Over 7.5 Points at Celtics

7:00 p.m. ET ⋅ TNT

By Bryan Fonseca

I would feel better about the Heat spread if Jimmy Butler and Terry Rozier were out there, but without them, I can't take it.

Nikola Jovic hit this number in 10-of-14 games to finish this season, and he hit this number in the first game of this series.

The Heat need his offensive production without Butler and Rozier. Jovic is one of the only guys who can get a shot off on this team. They need him to stretch the floor, they need him to create offense and the Heat can feel confident with the ball in his hands, at least more than anyone else currently available.

When he records 25+ minutes, he's covered this number in 8-of-13 games, and I expect to see him in the 25-to-30 minute range tonight because of how desperate the Heat will be for offense.

Pick: Nikola Jovic Over 7.5 Points


Thunder -7.5 vs. Pelicans

9:30 p.m. ET ⋅ TNT

By Matt Moore

The Pelicans got out-executed down the stretch by a young team, and the Thunder had an opportunity to blow the game open with a couple of extra buckets.

I'm fading the notion/perception that OKC isn't "good." Nobody wants to say that OKC is good, and it doesn't have to be the title/Western Conference favorite to be a good team. The Thunder are facing an un-serious franchise without one of its best players in Zion Williamson.

I like so many of the guys on the Pelicans' team, but just because I like them doesn't mean they're a good team.

I think this is an opportunity to get a better number on OKC from open, so I'll take the Thunder at -7.5.

Pick: Thunder -7.5

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Doug Ziefel
May 22, 2024 UTC