Smart Money NBA Playoffs Picks For Friday 6/11/2021
The NBA playoffs are in full swing, and with the second-round series starting to take shape, we can now make some slightly more educated guesses than we could have before the series began. Here in this piece, I’ll be getting into my picks for tonight’s games – the Philadelphia 76ers versus the Atlanta Hawks and the Phoenix Suns versus the Denver Nuggets – in hopes of making you money.
Smart Money NBA Betting Picks for Tonight’s Action
Not to sound like I think the series is over by any stretch, but I do feel like the Sixers figured some things out in Game 2 that the Hawks will have a hard time countering. They finally put Ben Simmons on Trae Young, they mixed up Young’s pick and roll coverages, they went at Young a tad bit more on defense, and they found a spark off the bench in Shake Milton. On all of those fronts, I’m not exactly sure how Atlanta can rebuttal.
The Hawks’ best hope is that Young puts on a passing clinic – he won’t put up crazy scoring numbers if the Sixers keep their coverages this aggressive – and that Bogdan Bogdanović and Kevin Huerter go berserk from downtown. So long as that doesn’t happen, I’m very confident in taking the Sixers -1.5. Embiid has been unstoppable, and the Sixers have made the right adjustments in other areas.
I think the Suns will win this series handily, but I’m expecting the Nuggets to have a Bucks-type “all hands on deck” performance in this game. They’ll turn it into a rock fight, and end up stealing what might be their only win of the series tonight.
Also, you have to assume that at some point the MVP has to go nuts in this series, right? Nikola Jokić will receive his MVP trophy before the game, and I’d bet that he and his teammates will be fired up following that ceremony. The Suns are the better team, but the Nuggets will win an emotional, hard-fought game tonight. Take them to cover two points.
Top Player Props for Tonight’s NBA Action
I have to think that Hill will be heard from at some point in this series – and I think things are taking shape such that we will hear from him tonight. With Shake Milton’s emergence and Tyrese Maxey’s poor play, I could see Hill assuming a slightly larger role as the Sixers perhaps shrink their rotation by a player or two.
Additionally, if Danny Green continues to prove completely incapable of guarding Trae Young (while also being cold from the three-point line), his minutes could get cut in favor of Hill’s. The result will be Hill making a couple of buckets and finding his rhythm as he sees his minutes increase. Take the over here.
I am expecting the Sixers’ strategy from here on out to involve making Young
more of a passer than a scorer. In Game 2, that’s what happened, and the result was Young scoring just 21 points on 6-16 shooting.
The only way I can foresee Young going nuts as a scorer in this game is if he resorts to taking a bunch of ultra-deep threes in order to beat the Sixers’ pick and roll coverages. If that happens, this bet is toast, but that’s a risk I’m willing to take.
As I said earlier, the Suns will win the series, but this is the Joker’s night. With him and his teammates being fired up after receiving the MVP trophy, Jokić will go on a rampage against a Suns defense that has kept him largely in check. This is less of a bet on a strategic development and more of a bet on the character of the Nuggets and their superstar. Jokić will finally get the better of Deandre Ayton and smash the over on this points/rebound/assists line.
Porter is banged up, but I have to think that he will gut through it and deliver a big performance in the Nuggets’ biggest game of the season. With Jokić leading the charge, the Suns will have to divert extra attention his way, and the result will be Porter getting open for catch-and-shoot threes. Take the over here.
Mike’s Year to Date Record: 49-64