For basketball bettors, the NBA season has reached sacred ground. The championship is imminent, and there are plenty of opportunities to profit along the way.
As the playoffs reach a pinnacle, we’ll have game picks (either ATS, SU or O/U) for you to consider, plus prop picks that we think will put some cash in your pocket.
NBA Expert Picks: Game Lines
All NBA odds come courtesy of our various sportsbooks.
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers
|Boston Celtics||-2.5 (-110)||-140||O 212.5 (-110)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||+2.5 (-110)||+120||U 212.5 (-110)|
Pick: Celtics -2.5 (-110)
The Celtics aren't toast. Even with elimination on the line at a road arena, Boston won't quit. Fatigue is a factor, with the C's having played four more games than the 76ers, but I'm still not ready to fade last year's Eastern Conference champs.
Watch for Boston's bench to pick it up. The Celtics have a far better bench unit, which averages 28.3 PPG (better than Philly's 21.8 PPG).
Denver Nuggets vs Phoenix Suns
|Denver Nuggets||+3.0 (-110)||+135||O 226.0 (-110)|
|Phoenix Suns||-3.0 (-110)||-155||U 226.0 (-110)|
Pick: Nuggets ML (+135)
Devin Booker has been red-hot, but the Nuggets have done a good job isolating him and Kevin Durant on defense. From there, the Suns secondary scorers can handle the ball, and that's exactly what Denver wants.
I'm surprised the Nugs are underdogs. They are a better team in all elements of the game, so let's roll with Denver at +135.
NBA Expert Picks: Player Props
Let’s check out some player props.
Malcolm Brogdon Points
|Malcolm Brogdon (BOS)||@ Philadelphia 76ers||O 14.5 Points (-130)||U 14.5 Points (+100)|
Pick: OVER 14.5 Points (-130)
This one is a lay-up. Brogdon is averaging 16.8 PPG this series and has hit the OVER in four of five games.
As I said earlier, the Celtics bench will decide the fate of this contest, and Brogdon is the best guy to lead the charge. I'll happily take the OVER on his points.
Devin Booker Threes Made
|Devin Booker (PHX)||Denver Nuggets||O 2.5 Threes Made (-140)||U 2.5 Threes Made (+110)|
Pick: OVER 2.5 Threes Made (-140)
Booker is a god right now. The Suns guard is averaging 35.9 PPG and can do no wrong everytime the ball lands in his hands. Now, you can take the OVER on his points prop (32.5), but I'd rather take a crack at three-pointers.
The 26-year-old has drilled three or more treys in four out of five games this series. For the playoffs as a whole, he's hit the OVER 2.5 in eight of 10 contests.
More Free NBA Picks and Prop Tools
After you’ve checked out our How To Bet NBA page, you should be ready for some of our more complex basketball betting analysis. We’ve got NBA power rankings, referee handicapping and even NBA computer picks if you’re trying to keep things nice and simple.
NBA Picks and Prop fAQs
Let’s go through some frequently asked questions.
What is an NBA prop bet?
During the NBA season, you’ll see prop bets. In sports betting, props (short for proposition) are wagers on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain events or highlights that may not directly correlate to the outcome of the game.
A prop usually centers around the total points, assists, rebounds, turnovers, etc. that a player might produce during a game. The books will set an OVER/UNDER total for each prop bet and bettors would wager whether a player’s production goes OVER or UNDER the set total.
What is a spread bet?
Like with NFL betting, when two NBA teams aren’t evenly matched, the point spread gives NBA bettors an alternative to picking one team to win over the other. The dog is given an advantage before the game starts, and the favorite is put at a disadvantage. Odds would look something like this:
|Golden State Warriors||-17.5|
In this scenario, the Kings would need to either win the game outright or lose by 17 points or less. As for the Warriors, they would need to win the game by 18 or more.
When you make this type of bet, you are choosing a team to cover the spread. You’ll often see ATS in association with this kind of bet. This means “against the spread.”
Spreads for an NBA game will typically be more than five (5) points since basketball is such a high-scoring sport. There will be times when the spread won’t have the decimal (.5) and you would see a whole number.
What is combined score betting?
To make a totals bet, you would wager on whether the combined final score will go OVER or UNDER a set number of points. If the New Orleans Pelicans are facing off against the Houston Rockets, the odds would appear like so:
If you take the OVER, it means you need the total points to be more than 220 to win your bet. If you take the UNDER, you need the collective score to be 219 or less to win your wager. PUSHES can also happen in OVER/UNDER betting if the shared points hit the exact number set by the oddsmakers.