All 72 of the regular season games have been completed and the NBA Play-In matchups will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Understandably, the stakes are extremely high for these teams and if you’re tuning in, chances are you want action! With that being said, I am going to be giving my predictions for each matchup and explaining where I see value based on the lines being offered.
Tuesday, May 18:
Charlotte Hornets (10) @ Indiana Pacers (9):
I am expecting this to be an absolute thriller between these two teams who would get absolutely curb-stomped in the playoffs. The dealbreaker for me is that I don’t trust Indiana’s defense. I get that they are built for a fast-paced style of play…but their defense just looks atrocious at times. Indiana has been dealing with some injuries, Lamelo Ball is elite, and Eric Collins turns me the fuck up! We’re backing the dogs here as I am giving the Charlotte Hornets the slight edge to win and get one step closer to getting embarrassed in the postseason. In terms of the betting line, I like Charlotte at +3.5 but I think the safer bet is to bank on them to score a lot of points. Give me Charlotte Hornets Team Total over 112.5. If you’re feeling a little risky, I also recommend sprinkling a little bit on the Hornets to reach the playoffs (+450) because the Charlotte Hornets are a fucking wagon!!!
Washington Wizards (8) @ Boston Celtics (7):
The Boston Celtics have to be the most inconsistent team in the NBA. When it comes to sports betting, I have been staying miles away from this team because predicting their performance is nearly impossible. But that isn’t going to stop you guys from betting on the game, so let’s get into it. The Celtics have been dealing with some injuries but Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum are expected to play as of now. Gun to my head, I’m probably taking Boston to win this game and claim the 7 seed. I think only 1.5 point favorites at home is pretty good value and when Boston is playing their best basketball, they are simply the more well-rounded team. If they can control the pace of the game and slow it down a bit I think that will play into their favor. The fact that the sharp bettors are backing Boston and the under makes me think they might be able to do just that! Overall, I think Boston has more depth and more playoff experience; I don’t trust Washington’s defense, and I don’t think the Wizards matchup great against the Celtics. I will be cautiously optimistic in backing Boston here. Just to be clear, I am really advising everyone to stay the fuck away from betting on this game. However, I know for some of you “no action” is just simply not an option. With that being said, we’re going to reluctantly take the Boston Celtics ML (-122).
Tuesday, May 18:
San Antonio Spurs (10) @ Memphis Grizzlies (9):
This season, the Memphis Grizzlies have been a very profitable team to back with a 42-30 record against the spread. Usually I don’t place too much emphasis on against the spread records because the casinos typically adjust fairly quickly, but it appears that with this team no significant adjustments were ever really made. Moreover, if you were a believer in Memphis early on then you probably made out very well, but I have still seen them getting some very favorable lines as of lately. I initially thought that this could potentially be a high scoring game, but I quickly realized that I could very well be falling into a trap. Reverse line movement alert!!! The line for the total opened up at 225.5 and 76% of the money currently sits on the over and yet they dropped the total to 222, enticing the public to continue to hammer the over while the sharp bettors are on the under. As for the spread, the money is pretty split with the sharps slightly favoring the Spurs at +4. For moneyline, we see 64% of the bets and 55% of the money on San Antonio. Overall, I think the line is screaming that we are in for a close low scoring game. San Antonio is just a team that has not impressed me as of lately. I think Memphis has more motivation to keep their playoff hopes alive and I think they match up pretty well against San Antonio. I would touch the spread but I like Memphis ML (-168) and I think the professional play here is investing in the total by taking under 222 total points.
Golden State Warriors (8) @ Los Angeles Lakers (7):
This is definitely the most anticipated matchup of the four play-in games. Assuming Lebron plays, the Lakers will have a healthy team which is really scary in the postseason. But Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have been red hot! I personally think both of these teams will make the cut, with the Warriors odds at -500 to make the playoffs and the Lakers, -5000. Regardless, this game is super important in terms of seeding. The winner of this matchup will become the 7 seed and face Suns and then the winner of the Nuggets/Trail Blazers series, while the loser will go on to play the winner of the Grizzlies/Spurs game to fight for the 8th seed, who will then have to face Utah and then the winner of the Jazz/Clippers series. Clearly, claiming the 7 seed in the West must feel much more rewarding than in the East, where the 7 seed will face off against the Nets in Round 1. Okay, enough bullshit, let’s break down this matchup! The Lakers opened up as 7-point favorites at home and the total opened up at 223.5. The public was quick to jump all over the Golden State spread, and so the spread went down to 4.5 which was enough value for the sharps to begin backing the Lakers. As for the total, reverse line movement part 2!!! The public has been absolutely hammering the over with 71% of the bets and 82% of the money on the over, and that total has been lowered to 219.5 such that the public will continue to do so. The sharps are on the under here! This paints a pretty clear picture to me to confirm what I already suspected. As hot as Golden State has been, the Lakers are a tough matchup for them and all signs are pointing towards a tough shooting day for Stephen Curry. The Lakers are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and Vegas has them as the favorites to make it out of the West alive! The Lakers are +400 to win the championship and the Warriors +16000 respectively. I like 2 bets here:
- Give me Lakers ML (-195). I think the Lakers are going to get some very very generous calls in their favor. Understandably, Vegas does not wish to see them going home any time soon. I also think the Lakers have the ability to limit Stephen Curry and that Golden State offense and control the pace of the game.
- I will be taking Warriors Team Total under 107.5. I know it goes against everything we know to take an under in a Golden State total that appears so low at first glance, but I believe it is this low for good reason.
Here is a quick recap of all of my picks along with the respective betting units that I am recommending you to wager on each. Tail it, fade it, I don’t really give a shit. With that being said, let’s ride!!!
- Charlotte Hornets +3.5 (To win 0.5 units)
- Charlotte Hornets TT over 112.5 (To win 1 unit)
- Charlotte Hornets to reach the Playoffs (0.25 units to win 1.125 units)
- Boston Celtics ML (risk 0.001 units)
- Memphis Grizzlies ML (To win 1 unit)
- Spurs/Grizzlies under 222 (To win 1 unit)
- Lakers ML (To win 1 unit)
- Warriors TT under 107.5 (To win 1.5 units)
- Parlay (5 legs):
Hornets TT over 112.5
Spurs/Grizzlies under 222
Warriors/Lakers under 219.5
(Risk 0.3 units to win 4.521 units)