Smart Money NBA Picks For Friday 5/28/2021
The first week of the NBA playoffs is in the books, and we’ve gotten to see some electric basketball. In tonight’s matchups, we’ll have a critical Game 3 between the Atlanta Hawks and New York Knicks, the Clippers’ last chance to save their season, and the Celtics’ second to last game of the season.
After a 3-3 performance last week, I’m extra motivated to crack the .500 mark this week. Here are my NBA picks to help make you money.
Smart Money NBA Betting Picks for Tonight’s Action
I think that Atlanta ultimately wins this series, and they’ll do so in part thanks to a
big Game 3 win tonight. My thinking here is that the Knicks have been heavily carried by their home crowd so far in the series and that without them, the Hawks will be a bit more comfortable on both ends.
Even despite the fact that they won, I didn’t love how the Knicks looked in Game 2. Their offense struggled for much of the game, especially in crunch time, where they pulled the game out in large part thanks to the Hawks missing makeable shots. Not to discredit them, but I thought that they hung around in Game 1 in large part thanks to outlier performances from role players like Alec Burks.
Julius Randle just doesn’t quite seem to be his usual self in this series. The Hawks are doing a great job defensively with him, and that has to catch up to the Knicks eventually. Take the Hawks to cover this one.
Simply put, the Celtics are done. Game 2 was proof that they are about ready for their season to be over, and they just don’t have a ton of fight left in them.
They have had a season from hell, between COVID issues, injuries, and simply poor play. I can’t see them putting up any sort of “all hands on deck” major effort in this game. But even if they do, Brooklyn is so much better than them that it likely won’t matter. Brooklyn has covered the spread in the first two games of this series with ease, and they’ll do so again tonight.
This pick is in the same vein as my Celtics pick. I just don’t believe the Clippers have it in them to fight back in this series. The Mavs’ confidence is at an all-time high. And the Clips still have no idea who they are or how they want to defend Luka Dončić.
I have lost a bunch of money over the past 10 months betting on the Clippers to finally figure it out – for their talent to finally mesh together at some point. I will make that mistake no longer. The Clippers are done, and the Mavs will cover this spread with ease tonight.
Top Player Props for Tonight’s NBA Action
I’m a huge Bogdanović fan. He’s got stones, he can score in any number of ways, and he gets after it on defense. He’s an excellent complement to Trae Young.
My thinking here is that the Knicks will go all-out on stopping Young, blitzing his ball screens, and throwing double teams at him occasionally. In those situations, the ball will find Bogdanović, and he’ll capitalize with some buckets of his own. He has scored 18 points in each of the first two games. And as long as his jumpers fall, he’ll crack that number again tonight.
The Celtics simply have no answer for Durant. The only chance that this bet doesn’t hit is if the Nets blow the Celtics out by so much that Durant sits for the entire fourth quarter – which is a real possibility.
Durant had 26 points in 29 minutes in Game 2. Assuming the Celtics can force Durant to at least play a full game’s worth of minutes, I have full confidence in him hitting the over here. Plus, the odds are great once combined with the parlay for them to win.
This is an unorthodox technique, given that I’m betting on the Mavericks to win the game. But simply put, Kawhi Leonard is the only Clippers player who I believe in. And perhaps more importantly, Kawhi is probably the only Clippers player at this point that Kawhi believes in. I think that Leonard will try to put the team on his back in this game, resulting in a big scoring output for him in spite of the fact that it will ultimately result in a loss.
I might be getting a little too cute here, betting on a big night for Leonard that still results in a loss. But at the end of the day, this is a testament to my belief in Leonard and my lack of belief in the Clippers. Plus, it’ll help you hedge if you’re feeling uneasy about betting the Mavs to win the game.
Mike’s Year to Date Record: 45-57