“Buckets” NBA Picks | Top Predictions for Wednesday’s Play-In Games (April 17)

“Buckets” NBA Picks | Top Predictions for Wednesday’s Play-In Games (April 17) article feature image
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Photo by Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Caruso (Bulls)

Two NBA Play-In games are taking place on Wednesday, so our basketball betting experts broke down their NBA picks and predictions for tonight on the latest edition of the BUCKETS podcast.

Find their NBA best bets for Wednesday, April 17 below.


GameTime (ET)Pick
7:00 p.m.Over 207.5
7:00 p.m.Joel Embiid Under 30.5 Points, Tyrese Maxey Over 23.5 Points
9:30 p.m.Bulls -3
9:30 p.m.Under 221.5

Over 207.5

7:00 p.m. ET ⋅ ESPN

By Matt Moore

I think there are two different outcomes for this game: Either the Heat somehow score 115+ points when they've scored like 86 points a game the last two months, or the 76ers put up 130 points.

I don't think this game will be close. It'll tilt one way or the other.

I have zero confidence this will be a 76ers win by less than five or a Heat outright win.

Pick: Over 207.5


Joel Embiid Under 30.5 Points, Tyrese Maxey Over 23.5 Points vs. Heat

7:00 p.m. ET ⋅ ESPN

By Bryan Fonseca

Joel Embiid at 30.5 was interesting to see, considering he's only done this 14 times in 53 attempts.

He just doesn't do this often against Bam Adebayo. In the last game, he finished with 29 points.

Tyrese Maxey is the guy who gives the Heat problems, whereas Embiid has only hit 30+ twice in 13 tries against Adebayo. Maxey has gone over this number in four of his last five against this team.

Embiid wasn't particularly effective — scoring-wise — in last year's series against the Heat. He can have a great night, but 30.5 is too much for me.

Pick: Joel Embiid Under 30.5 Points | Tyrese Maxey Over 23.5 Points


Bulls -3 vs. Hawks

9:30 p.m. ET ⋅ ESPN

By Sean Little

The Bulls finished the season with three straight road games and three straight covers. I was impressed with how they played down the stretch.

On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of how the Hawks closed the year. Chicago leads the head-to-head matchup, 2-1, this season, and both wins came with Trae Young on the floor. Since he's come back, he hasn't shown me enough to have confidence in this Hawks team.

With three full days off, I like Chicago at home in this spot. I don't trust either of these teams, but I have more faith in the Bulls to get it done.

Pick: Bulls -3


Under 221.5

9:30 p.m. ET ⋅ ESPN

By Matt Moore

There's a really strong trend towards unders in the Play-In tournament.

Unders are 6-3 in the last two years of the Play-In, which makes sense. Of course, we know how poor the Hawks defense is, but the Bulls can defend a little bit.

I look at these numbers, and I think this is going to be an ugly, grind-it-out game. I think we're looking in the 215 range.

Pick: Under 221.5

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC