With two of the NBA’s second-round series tied up after Game 4, another pair of teams will look to even the score tonight. However, neither the Boston Celtics nor the Memphis Grizzlies will have the benefit of home-court advantage. That will make their lives considerably more difficult tonight, and I’m fading both squads accordingly.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Monday’s playoff action.
1. Rebounds H2H: Robert Williams vs. Al Horford | +150 (.5u) at DK Sportsbook
I haven’t experimented much with DraftKings’ head-to-head prop markets, but I actually think this one comes with a ton of value. Al Horford just played 39 minutes on Saturday, which is a massive ask from the 35-year-old veteran. That comes after he played 36-plus minutes in Games 1 and 2. Horford hadn’t played 36-plus minutes in three consecutive games since the 2019 playoffs.
I have my doubts about whether Horford can keep this up. Of course, it’s almost a do-or-die game for the Celtics—a loss tonight will put them in a 3-1 hole—but Boston is asking him to do too much. He has a large role on offense and serves as one of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s primary defenders.
In contrast, the Celtics have been keeping Robert Williams’ minutes low as he works back from injury. Time Lord played only 15 minutes per game against the Nets, and we’ve only seen him get around 25 per game against the Bucks. That playtime differential corresponds to a wide rebound disparity between Horford and Williams—the veteran has grabbed 12.3 rebounds per game in the second round to Williams’ 5.7.
I anticipate a less impressive game from Horford here, and that should allow Williams to surpass whatever number he records on the glass. Let’s lock this prop in at a friendly, plus-money price. I advise keeping this play to a half-unit and using the other half on the bet below.
2. PPD: MIL ML/Giannis Antetokounmpo Double-Double | +116 (.5u) at FD Sportsbook
I expect the Bucks to head back to Boston with a 3-1 series lead against the Celtics. Despite all the defensive grit that the Celtics showed in the regular season and in the first round, Giannis Antetokounmpo has still found ways to stuff the stat sheet this series. He is averaging 31.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game through Game 3. With him nearly averaging a triple double, it’s no surprise that FanDuel Sportsbook has the odds for his double-double market set at -800.
Antetokounmpo’s strong play underpins my decision to back the Bucks here. Through three games, only Al Horford has really slowed him down. Grant Williams, Robert Williams, and most other Celtics have allowed the star forward to make more than half of his shots against them.
With Horford forced into a massive role that he hasn’t played in years, the minutes could start getting to him soon. That would be a huge problem for Boston’s defense and a boon for Antetokounmpo. I haven’t seen enough from Boston’s other defenders to believe that they have anything for Antetokounmpo, and I plan to keep backing the Bucks until they prove me wrong.
3. Grizzlies/Warriors Wire to Wire: Any Other Result | +106 at FD Sportsbook
I don’t think the Grizzlies will win this one without Ja Morant, but they could keep things closer than many analysts expect. Remember, the Grizzlies went 20-5 without Morant in the regular season, and three of those losses came in meaningless late-season games. The Grizzlies have been in this situation before, albeit not in the playoffs, and they’ve often kept things close.
Further, the Warriors are no strangers to slow starts, which is what we’ll need from them to cash this bet. Golden State ranked 14th in average first-quarter margin for the regular season, trailing the likes of San Antonio, Atlanta, and Cleveland. In contrast, Memphis led the association in the metric by winning their opening frames by an average of 3.1 points.
Through three games against the Warriors, the Grizzlies have won the opening frame by an average of six points. They left the first quarter with a two-point lead in Game 3 and eight-point leads in Games 1 and 2. The Warriors’ wire-to-wire line sits at -108, which creates a bunch of value for those bold enough to target the Grizzlies without Morant.
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