NBA Play-In Best Bets Wednesday | Expert Spread Picks, Player Props, Odds (April 17)

NBA Play-In Best Bets Wednesday | Expert Spread Picks, Player Props, Odds (April 17) article feature image

Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Bogdan Bogdanovic (Hawks)

The second day of the NBA Play-In games is here, as the Heat take on the 76ers in Philadelphia and the Hawks duel the Bulls in the Windy City.

With that in mind, we have NBA Play-In best bets for Wednesday, including expert spread picks, player props and odds for April 17. Dive in below for seven picks.

NBA Play-In Best Bets Wednesday

GameTime (ET)Pick
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
7 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
9:30 p.m.
Specific betting recommendations come from the sportsbook offering preferred odds as of writing. Always shop for the best price using our NBA Odds page, which automatically surfaces the best lines for every game.

Heat vs. 76ers

Wednesday, April 17
7 p.m. ET

Over 207.5

By Chris Baker

These teams cleared this number in their game on April 4, despite both units shooting poorly from the field and having inefficient offensive performances.

I expect the Heat's offense to be much better here, with Duncan Robinson having some more time to get acclimated back from his injury and the return of Tyler Herro.

Bam Adebayo was -25 while Kevin Love was +29 in their loss to the 76ers on April 4. Love spaced the floor well and rebounded it an elite level, grabbing 16 boards. I don’t think it's unreasonable to expect Love’s minutes to trend up as the Heat try and figure out a way to generate more offense.

If Herro, Robinson and Love all play more minutes, it's a recipe for more offense and less defense.

Additionally, the Heat shot 30% from 3 on a high volume of 43 3s in that previous matchup. I expect positive regression in that department tonight.

The Heat also had their most success in transition, while they were shaky in the half-court offensively, so they may look to push the ball here off rebounds.

All of these factors lead me to think this total is slightly off, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see this game soar over if the Heat make a conscious effort to push the ball in transition like they did on April 4.

Pick: Over 207.5

Tyrese Maxey Over 23.5 Points

By Bryan Fonseca

Tyrese Maxey is the Heat killer, not Joel Embiid.

Maxey has gotten this over in four of five against Miami, and he's the guy who can routinely use his speed and get to his spots against the Heat in most instances — though they haven't seen him in the playoffs since 2021-22.

Maxey hurt them in that series but was inconsistent, and he's made a leap since.

Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith will likely shoulder the bulk of the load here, but I still feel good about Maxey.

It's the speed, the changing of directions, the ability to get downhill and his perimeter shooting that poses problems.

Pick: Tyrese Maxey Over 23.5 Points

Joel Embiid Under 30.5 Points

By Bryan Fonseca

In all the games Embiid has played against Bam Adebayo, he's gotten this over twice — we'll call it 13 relevant games going back to when Adebayo became a full-time starter.

And that does include the 2022 playoffs, where Embiid never poured in more than 24.

Embiid has gotten this over 14 times in 53 playoff games, nine of which predated 2022.

He just doesn't do this often. And this year, when healthy, he was again in the MVP conversation. Philly is 31-8 with him, but despite social media narratives, he doesn't typically play that well against Adebayo, nor is his record any good against him.

It's just a high point total. The Sixers may win and Embiid could play great, but over 30.5? I don't see it.

Pick: Joel Embiid Under 30.5 Points

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid (76ers)

Hawks vs. Bulls

Wednesday, April 17
9:30 p.m. ET

Over 222.5

By Andrew O'Connor-Watts

This is a fade of both defenses more than anything.

The Hawks are allowing 121.9 points per 100 possessions and the Bulls are allowing 119.1 over the past five games — that's 29th and 24th, respectively.

Trae Young hasn't even played in all those games, but he'll suit up Wednesday night for the Hawks. However, Atlanta will be without Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu — two of their more capable defenders, which is few and far between for Atlanta.

The Hawks also play at the sixth-fastest pace, which means more possessions for the Bulls' offense, which has ranked seventh in the last five games (118.5).

The total has already been bet up from it's opening number of 118, but we could see a shootout in this one, and I see value on the over up to 224.

Pick: Over 222.5 (Play to 224)

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Over 222.5

By Chris Baker

The Hawks have been awful on defense all season long, ranking 27th in Adjusted Defensive Rating despite playing the fourth-easiest schedule of opposing offenses.

When Young and Dejounte Murray have been on the floor together, this team is allowing a dreadful 123 points per 100 possessions.

The Bulls haven’t been much better, ranking 22nd in Adjusted Defensive Rating.

The Hawks have begun to play lineups that feature tons of legitimate spacers surrounding Young and Murray. Guys like Vit Krejci, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Garrison Mathews and Dylan Windler have all seen minutes over the past few weeks.

These players pretty much all can shoot 40+% from 3 but can’t defend at all.

The Bulls' defense allows the highest opponent 3-point attempt rate (41.7%) and ranks 18th in opponent 3-point accuracy (37.5%). Allowing that many quality 3s against a Hawks team with this much shooting in their lineup might be a recipe for disaster.

Additionally, both of these teams rank top-10 in offensive rebound rate but bottom-15 in defensive rebound rate, so even when they're missing shots, we should see opportunities for second looks.

Neither of these defenses are good, and I believe both teams have enough offense to get us over this number.

Pick: Over 222.5

Bogdan Bogdanovic Over 16.5 Points

By Maltman

Bogdanovic has had an amazing season. He's been the best player off the bench this season for Atlanta, and probably the best player on the Hawks period.

The Hawks are +4.4 points per 100 possessions when he's on the floor, which is amazing for a team that was 36-46 and -1.6 on the season.

In order for the Hawks to win this game, they're going to need a lot of Bogdan, especially since they've been decimated by injuries,

I'm not sure why, but Bogdan really gets up when playing the Bulls. His 17.7 point-per-game average against them is his second-highest against any team. He's averaging 19.6 points per game against them since joining Atlanta and has had 20+ in eight of his last 10.

Alex Caruso will probably guard Young, which will leave Bogdan with even more room to operate.

I put a free bet on him to be the top scorer at +2400, but the best bet is the base points over.

Pick: Bogdan Bogdanovic Over 16.5 Points

Garrison Mathews Over 4.5 Points | Over 1.5 3s

By Bryan Fonseca

Mathews has gone over 4.5 points in 15 of his last 18 games. He's hit two or more 3s in 13 of those.

It's fairly simple: I think he goes over on points because he's been and should be allotted the minutes to do so. And given the lack of attention that he'll get next to Murray and Young, he should be a direct beneficiary of that.

Because Mathews shot 44% from 3 with an 85.4% 3-point rate this year, if you like his points, bet his 3s as well. They'll often go hand and hand.

Pick: Garrison Mathews Over 4.5 Points | Over 1.5 3s

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Nick Sterling
May 21, 2024 UTC