Tonight’s NBA slate may be the best one of the NBA Playoffs so far. We’ve got four Game 5s across NBA TV and TNT: Knicks vs. Cavaliers (7 p.m. ET), Lakers vs. Grizzlies (7:30 p.m. ET), Heat vs. Bucks (9:30 p.m. ET) and Warriors vs. Kings (10 p.m. ET).
Three teams are on the brink, star players are hobbled, role players are poised for huge games. It should be a ridiculous night of playoff basketball and our crew has best bets today for all four games.
Read on for their expert picks and predictions for Wednesday night.
NBA Odds & Best Bets
|Click on a picks to skip ahead|
|Knicks vs. Cavaliers Spread||7 p.m. ET|
|Lakers vs. Grizzlies 2H Spread||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Heat vs. Bucks Total||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Heat vs. Bucks Player Prop||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Warriors vs. Kings Player Prop||10:30 p.m. ET|
New York Knicks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
|Tipoff||7 p.m. ET|
Andrew O’Connor-Watts: Game 5 is a must-win for the Cavaliers who face elimination on their home court on Wednesday.
The Cavs did well to limit Jalen Brunson in Game 2 at home, but largely abandoned their Game 2 tactics and Brunson came away with 29 points in Game 4.
Meanwhile, Cleveland did little to combat the Knicks double teams on Donovan Mitchell and will need to find an answer for when Brunson targets Mitchell on defense.
JB Bickerstaff hasn’t made the necessary adjustments so far, but if the Cavs have any chance of making this a series, they’ll have to come away with a dominant win on Wednesday. I like Cleveland -5.5, but wouldn’t bet them past -6.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
|Pick||Grizzlies -2 1H|
|Tipoff||7:30 p.m. ET|
O’Connor-Watts: I covered this game in the Game 5 Lakers vs Grizzlies betting guide (you can read it here). The Grizzlies seemed to run out of gas and now face elimination in Game 5. Despite their offensive woes, the Grizzlies have brought the defense — especially in the first half. Including the regular season, Memphis is the best first-half home team at 53-32-1 ATS.
Even in losses this series, the Grizzlies have done well in the first half. Their infamous nine-point quarter was the worst all year, but outside of that game, they’ve covered the first half in every game against the Lakers in this series and in seven of their past 10.
The Grizzlies showed fatigue late in Game 4, but they’re young and resilient. I think there’s a good chance the Lakers will be the ones to show fatigue in Game 5. This is a huge spot for the Grizzlies.
I really like the Grizzlies to take care of business in the first half. They desperately need this game and don’t have the firepower to win without starting the game hot. I’ll take their first-half line to -3.
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks
|Tipoff||9:30 p.m. ET|
Tyler Schmidt: I wrote about this matchup in the Heat vs Bucks Game 5 betting guide (you can check it out here). After ranking last in the league in scoring with 109.5 points per game, the Heat have averaged 123 per game during the postseason, which leads all playoff teams. They are shooting 54% from the field and 47.6% from behind the arc. Those percentages are likely to come back down to earth, but the Heat have found a successful way to attack the Bucks defense.
We’re following the public in Game 5, but on the total instead of the 11-point spread. The Bucks are likely to bounce back, but the Heat have a knack for hanging around and keeping games competitive. With 75% of the bets on Milwaukee and the money split, we are following suit and betting the over of 219.5.
Each of the past seven games in Milwaukee between the Bucks and Heat has gone over the total. The over has hit in three of the four games this series and given how many points have been scored per game, I would bet this over up to 223.5 points.
Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks
|Pick||Giannis Antetokounmpo o11.5 REB|
|Tipoff||9:30 p.m. ET|
Bryan Fonseca: Expect a try-hard effort from Giannis Antetokounmpo tonight.
I mean, we always get that, don’t we? But this time, down 3-1, with Giannis not speaking to media after squandering a double-digit lead with over five minutes to go as Jimmy Butler tore them up for 56 points — scoring 20+ in the first and fourth quarters each — I expect Giannis to get after it on the glass.
Really, he’s the best board man in the series. Bobby Portis comes off the bench, Bam Adebayo isn’t a high-volume rebounder, and Brook Lopez has never been that guy in the NBA — he certainly isn’t as he plays further from the rim offensively.
The Bucks are favored to win this game, sure, but given all we’ve seen — who knows? Either way, Giannis does have a history of explosive rebounding efforts in close out games, though.
Last year, Giannis had 20 rebounds in both Game 6 and Game 7 against the Celtics in the semifinals — both losses. He had 14 in the to win the championship in 2021. He also had 17 and 13 in Game 6 and Game 7 against the Nets in round two and 12 to close out the Heat in round one that season — all in victories.
In every closing game he has played, he’s gone over this. It’s a close out game tomorrow — one the Bucks are favored to win by 11 (ballsy line) — expect Giannis to do all he can to be a menace on the glass if nothing else.
Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings
|Pick||Jordan Poole u17.5 Points|
|Tipoff||10:30 p.m. ET|
Brandon Anderson: I broke down this matchup in more detail and have two bets that I like for Game 5 (you can find that here in Wednesday’s betting guide). The Warriors started Game 4 with Green off the bench to play with one big again, but the Kings countered by with Keegan Murray attacking Golden State’s alternate starter, Jordan Poole. Murray showed up for the first time all series with 23 points and the Warriors started Green in Poole’s place in the second half, returning to their usual rotations and opting for defense over offense.
Poole is a smart fade. He saw a diminished role in the second half, and he’s been better at home in the playoffs than on the road. He scored 19 PPG in the two home wins with just 10.5 PPG in Sacramento, and he could lose a few minutes to a healthier Payton too. I like Poole’s under 17.5 points. He’s gone under that in eight of 10 career road playoff games.