NBABet's 5 Best Bets For Thursday's Playoff Games

Check out Action Network's best bets for Thursday's NBA Playoff games, including 76ers vs. Nets, Kings vs. Warriors.

Thursday’s NBA Playoffs slate features two of the most intriguing series in the Western Conference as they shift to the lower seeded team’s venue for two games.

We already know what the reigning champions are facing: they’re down 0-2 and won’t have Draymond Green for Kings vs. Warriors Game 3. The Los Angeles Clippers are in good position to take the lead at home in their series against the Phoenix Suns after a split in the Valley. Our betting staff isn’t ignoring the other matchup on Thursday’s slate, 76ers vs. Nets Game 3, with the Mikal Bridges and Co. looking to get on the board in the series.

Our crew has five best bets today, featuring three player props, a spread and total bet. Check out their in-depth analysis of Thursday’s matchups and their expert picks below.

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NBA Odds & Best Bets

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76ers vs. Nets Player Prop
76ers vs. Nets Player Prop
76ers vs. Nets Spread
Kings vs. Warriors Player Prop
Kings vs. Warriors Total

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets

Pick Harden u19.5 Points (-105)
Book bet365
Tipoff 7:30 p.m. ET

Brandon Anderson: The 76ers appear to be rolling in this series, but that doesn’t mean everyone is playing well.

James Harden simply does not appear to be healthy right now. Since re-injuring his Achilles late in the Harden just hasn’t been the same. He’s not attacking the basket or getting his usual barrage of 2s at the rim, and he’s not getting to the line either.

Believe it or not, Harden has yet to shoot a single free throw in the playoffs. Maybe that changes after Doc Rivers’ complaints, but it tells the story of how little Harden is attacking the rim. He’s made just a single 2-pointer in each game so far, an ugly 2-of-13 on 2s, largely reducing him to step-back 3s and assists, effectively a bearded Trae Young.

Harden scored only eight points in Game 2, and though he had 23 in Game 1, hot 3-point shooting (7-of-13) masked an otherwise pedestrian performance with just two points not behind the arc. Harden is averaging just 14.4 PPG his last 17 games dating back to the regular season despite heavy minutes, and he’s making 38% of his 2s during that stretch.

With an over/under at 19.5, the way Harden is scoring so much of his point total on 3s, he might well need to make five or six treys to go over. I’ll take the under for multiple units. We hit this in Game 2 and also hit an alternate over then. The line has dropped a touch but under 14.5 at +280 is still tempting and probably also a good nibble at that number.

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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets

Pick Tyrese Maxey o19.5 Points (-110)
Book DraftKings

Bryan Fonseca: Maxey had 33 points on 23 shots in Game 2, and just 13 on eight shots in Game 1.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

I don’t expect Game 3 to be as much of a grind-it-out slog as Game 2 was — I typically find a level of charm in those low-scoring, defensively grueling battles that others don’t — and in Maxey’s young career, he’s proven to be a fearless playoff performer on the road.

In his first road game of last year’s annual Sixers’ run to a semifinals shortcoming, Maxey dropped 19 — but that followed playoff outings of 38 and 23, respectively. He later had scoring outbursts of 25 in Toronto and 34 in Miami, with two more 20-point efforts at home, and those four 20-plus point showings came in a seven-game stretch.

More often than you’d like, he’s been more dependable the James Harden in some playoff settings these last two seasons. And in Game 2, he found a ton of openings as the Nets were locked in on and guarding Harden and Joel Embiid expertly in the first half.

Maxey can be a wild card, but 20 points on the road feels relatively safe, especially if you’re a Harden playoff infidel like me.

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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets

Pick 76ers -4.5
Book FanDuel

Jacob McKenna: I covered this matchup in greater detail in Thursday’s Sixers-Nets betting guide, which you can read here, but I think this spread is to favorable to the home team. The line for Game 2 closed at Philadelphia -9.5. At the time of writing, the line sits at Philadelphia -4.5, a 5-point swing simply because the stadium has changed.

Brooklyn hasn’t shown that it can compete with Philadelphia at any point this season and the significant disadvantage on the offensive glass puts the Nets in a tough spot moving forward.

I don’t believe a shift in venue is worth five points in this matchup. I would play Philadelphia to -5.5.

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Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick Wiggins o6.5 Rebounds (-110)
Book DraftKings
Tipoff 10 p.m. ET

Brandon Anderson: I can’t recommend a side in good faith, but it feels like Kings or pass. I explained why in Thursday’s Kings-Warriors Game 3 betting guide.

Instead, I’ll recommend a prop that has value with Green on the sidelines.

Someone is going to have to hit the glass for Golden State. Andrew Wiggins leapt from 4.5 RPG in the regular season to 7.5 in the playoffs last year with at least five boards in 20 of 22 games. He had 10 boards his one game without Draymond Green this season. He’ll need to hit the glass at both ends and might end up even playing some center minutes if the Warriors get desperate.

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Sacramento Kings vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick Under 239.5
Book FanDuel

Andrew O’Connor-Watts: The Warriors will be without Draymond Green for their first game back at Chase Center. Green is serving a one-game suspension for stepping on Domantas Sabonis’ chest in the fourth quarter of Game 2 — a game in which the Warriors fell apart down the stretch.

Green is a crucial part of the Warriors speed and he’s excellent at running the break off of defensive rebounds. He ranks in the 91st percentile in transition opportunities off of rebounds, according to Cleaning the Glass.

One reason I like the under is Golden State’s Pace noticeably drops off at home (100.5) compared to on the road this season (101.4) and without Green in the lineup, there’s an even more significant drop-off compared to when he’s in (-1.3 possessions per game).

We already saw the Warriors attempt to slow down the Kings in Game 2 and I expect something similar in Game 3. Golden State’s defense also drastically improves at home and that’s reflected in its home/away splits. On the road, the Warriors are 29-13-1 to the over, but 23-17-1 to the under at home.

The Kings have the opposite situation. Strangely, their defense improves on the road compared to at home and the totals splits are also reflected as such. At home, Sacramento is 26-15-2 to the over, but 26-15 to the under on the road.

Green is obviously a huge part of the Warriors defensive identity, but even without Green in the lineup this season, the Warriors are 5-4 to the under. Against the Kings this season, the under is 3-2-1 including the playoffs.

I have this total significantly lower and even if I make a significant adjustment for Green’s absence, I still like the under at 239.5 and would bet it comfortably down to 237.5.

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