The second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs got started on Sunday, as underdogs went 2-0 ATS with both the Bucks and Grizzlies getting the cover. Now, the attention turns to Miami and Phoenix, as the Heat host the 76ers and the Suns host the Mavericks in game 1 of their respective series.
Let’s take a closer look at both, and key in on a two-team parlay I have cooked up for today.
Leg #1. Heat -7.5 | -105 at DK Sportsbook
The 76ers’ tall task of beating the Heat got even taller last week, as potential league-MVP Joel Embiid will miss the start of this series with an orbital fracture and concussion. Eliminated in this round in three of the past four seasons, the 76ers have no time to feel bad for themselves as expectations are sky-high following the acquisition of former league MVP James Harden.
Averaging just 19 points per game through the first round, Harden has been as pedestrian as we’ve seen since joining the league. As Tyrese Maxey has largely carried the guard play averaging 21.3 points per game through round 1.
For the Heat, the Jimmy Butler is expected to suit up tonight after missing Game 5 of the last series with knee inflammation. Tyler Herro (non-COVID illness), is likely to return as well, giving the Heat another offensive spark with Kyle Lowry still sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Just 6-8 this season with Embiid out of the lineup, I like for the Heat to largely have their way tonight in game 1, pulling away late as this one turns in rout setting the tone for what could be a quick series if Embiid cannot return quickly.
Leg #2. Mavericks +5.5 | -110 at DK Sportsbook
The Mavs will look to buck the regular-season trend this evening in Phoenix, having lost all three meetings vs. the Suns by an average of 7.7 points. All three, however, were prior to the trade of Kristaps Porzingis (Washington) for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans.
While Bertans has added another shooting threat coming off the bench, Dinwiddie has been a real difference-maker. Consistently reliable, Dinwiddie has averaged just shy of 16 points per game both in the regular season and so far this postseason.
For the Suns, Devin Booker returned for game 6 of their first-round series vs. the Pelicans, scoring 13 points off the bench in limited action. Expected back in the starting lineup tonight for this series, his opponent-level will take a step up in one of the surprises of the first round; Jalen Brunson.
Averaging 27.8 points per game in the first round, I expect Brunson to be the difference for the Mavs in this series, as they push the game Suns in every game.
Total Odds: +272 at DK Sportsbook
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