NBABet's Best Bets for Wednesday's NBA Playoff Games

Check out Action Network's best bets for Wednesday's trio of NBA Playoffs games, including Heat vs. Bucks and Timberwolves vs. Nuggets.

Wednesday’s NBA Playoffs slate features a trio of Game 2 matchups, including two series in which the home team and higher seed trails after Game 1. The Miami Heat toppled the Milwaukee Bucks when Giannis Antetokounmpo left with an injury while the Los Angeles Lakers blew out the Memphis Grizzlies with Ja Morant injured. There’s also the top-seeded Denver Nuggets looking to capitalize on their huge home win in Game 1 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Our analysts are focused on two of those games for their best bets today and feature a play on a total, spread and player prop. Check out their expert picks for Wednesday’s NBA Playoffs slate below.

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NBA Odds & Best Bets

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Heat vs. Bucks Spread
Heat vs. Bucks Player Prop
Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Total

Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Pick Bucks -5.5
Book DraftKings
Tipoff 9 p.m. ET

Chris Baker: Giannis Antetokounmpo will likely be out for this one, but I’m willing to trust the Bucks as they look to avoid going down 0-2 at home tonight. Antetokounmpo is certainly one of the most valuable guys in the NBA, but this Bucks team is certainly not dependent on him as we saw all season long. This is the deepest team in the NBA and they have a plethora of talented offensive players who can pick up the scoring load with Antetokounmpo out.

The Bucks’ shot profile was far more attractive than the Heat in Game 1. The Bucks attempted 44% of their shots from deep while the Heat were down at just a 28% 3-point attempt rate. That is a significant math disadvantage. The Heat overcame their shot profile with a historic shooting performance, shooting 60% from deep and 68.5% effectively from the field (100th percentile). That 68.5% effective field goal percentage ranked as their best shooting performance of the season by nearly two full percentage points. The Heat will not repeat that performance against a great Bucks defense. The Bucks still rank in the 73rd percentile of defensive rating with Antetokounmpo off the court, with a Defensive Rating of 112.8.

Additionally, their offense remains effective at generating 3s with Antetokounmpo out, as they average a 43.2% 3-point attempt rate (90th percentile) with the Greek Freak off the court this year. I highlight the 3-point attempt rate as that is an area where the Heat have struggled this season, ranking 29th in 3-point rate allowed and 20th in percentage allowed (37%).

I expect the Bucks offense to positively regress from their 26% 3-point performance, especially considering a large amount of their 3s were clean corner looks. Expect the Bucks offense to positively regress, and expect the Bucks to come out with massive urgency as they look to avoid a hole heading to Miami.

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Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks

Pick Jrue Holiday o1.5 Steals (+185)
Book DraftKings

Bryan Fonseca: As great as Jrue Holiday is on defense — arguably the best perimeter defender in the NBA — he does a lot of his work by beating ball-handlers to their spots, causing discomfort, contesting difficult shots after forcing them, not necessarily by steals.

I’d like to think people learned long ago that steals don’t equal great defense — if they did, Holiday would average more than the 1.2 he did this season. He averages 1.5 for his career, the 1.2 is his lowest since his 2009-10 — his rookie campaign.

That said, with the Milwaukee Bucks heading into Game 2 down 1-0 to the Miami Heat, already losing home-court in the series, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is doubtful with a back contusion — even if he plays, he wouldn’t be 100 percent — the Bucks will need to be aggressively defensively to win.

The Heat win was largely driven by an outlier three-point performance. They were 27th in the NBA in three-point percentage during the regular season, and in Game 1, they hit 15-of-25 from deep — 60% (!!)

Which is to say, the Bucks will have to do a better job of running Heat shooters off the three-point line with or without Giannis, and this is where Holiday comes in.

The Bucks haven’t been good at forcing turnovers all season — in fact, they were dead-last at forcing just 11.8 per game. But they haven’t been in a situation where they’ll need to create said turnovers in dire straights as they’ll be on Wednesday.

Plus, with Tyler Herro out, more of the ball-handling burden will be on Jimmy Butler, which could make Wednesday night an exhausting one. And it’ll have to be him and Bam Adebayo, who Heat fans would hell you has butterfingers at times.

All that said, you’re giving me two Holiday steals in a must win game at nearly +200 odds? I’m taking that chance.

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Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets

Pick Over 223 (-108)
Book BetRivers
Tipoff 10 p.m. ET

Matt Moore: This line dipped from Game 1 (225) to Game 2 because of how good Nuggets’ defense looked. The Nuggets’ defense clearly looked better than it had all season, but the Wolves played about as badly as I could imagine them playing. The shot poorly (37% from the field), they turned the ball over (17 points of 12 turnovers), they had no coordination, they were impacted by the crowd — it was miserable.

Karl-Anthony Towns got going late in the third and early in the fourth quarter when it was a blowout just so he could see some shots go in offensively. He should do much better in Game 2. I expect the Wolves to go away from the staggered rotation where they had Rudy Gobert and Towns together in the second unit in the non-Nikola Jokic minutes. If you just put Towns out there, I think he eats against the second unit of the Nuggets with Aaron Gordon, who got into foul trouble as the small-ball center.

The Nuggets also didn’t shoot well and I think we’ll see some regression on that front. The Nuggets mentioned that they want to play with more pace and get into the clock earlier. They are one of the best transition teams in NBA and when actually put the effort in, their offense is elite.

My number makes this total 229.5 and my model usually like the under in Nuggets home games, but this one projects as an over on the current line.

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