With 11 playoff games down, betting favorites sit at 9-2 SU. Lower-seeded teams are also 9-2. Tonight, we’ll get a rematch of the biggest upset thus far—Minnesota’s win over Memphis—and I’m backing the Grizzlies for a bounce-back showing.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Tuesday’s playoff action.
1. Memphis Grizzlies Wire to Wire | +136 at FD Sportsbook
The Grizzlies got off to a slow start in Game 1. They took a 13-point loss to the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves after shooting poorly, especially from beyond the arc, and losing the rebound battle. Jaren Jackson Jr. got into foul trouble early and only played 24 minutes. Steven Adams finished with only three rebounds and no points. Jackson, Ja Morant, De’Anthony Melton, and Ziaire Williams shot a combined 0-for-12 from beyond the arc.
But we’re taking Memphis here because those issues aren’t terminal. The Grizzlies led the NBA in total rebounds per game (58.2) and rebound rate (52.7%) in the regular season. Jackson played an average of 27.3 minutes per game. As a team, Memphis shot 35.2% from beyond the arc—much better than the 25.9% they shot on Saturday.
The Timberwolves showed a lot of spirit and energy in Game 1, but they won’t follow it up with as strong of a performance in Game 2. The Timberwolves made 50% of their field goals in that game, but they made only 45.7% in the regular season. That disparity misses another key part of Saturday’s outlier performance—Memphis ranked fourth in defensive efficiency this year! The Grizzlies allowed only 105 points per 100 possessions, and their opponents converted only 45.5% of their field goals.
Look for the Grizzlies to assert themselves and earn a commanding win over the Timberwolves. They’ll need to get out to a hot start to cash this bet, but because they led the NBA in average first-quarter margin (+3.0), I expect them to do so.
2. Jae Crowder Over 7.5 Points | -124 at FD Sportsbook
Few players stunk it up in a Game 1 more than Jae Crowder. The veteran forward went a dismal 0-for-4 from the field. He recorded one point, one rebound, one assist, and one block—and three personal fouls. Yikes.
However, we’ve seen enough of Jae Crowder to know that he is much better than this. Crowder averaged 9.4 points per game this season. He also averaged 10.8 points per game in last year’s playoff run.
This line feels awkwardly low because it cashes should Crowder make two triples and a layup. Most other books have set it at 8.5, but they aren’t putting that line in the plus money: DraftKings has that line at -115. As a result, I think we’re getting a great deal on this prop at FanDuel. If anyone has the experience to bounce back from a nightmarish Game 1, it’s Crowder.
3. Trae Young Under 26.5 Points | -116 at FD Sportsbook
Speaking of nightmarish Game 1s, Trae Young scored just eight points against the Miami Heat on Saturday. That marked his lowest scoring output since January 15th, 2021, when he scored seven points against the Utah Jazz in 24 minutes. Young hadn’t scored eight points or fewer in 25-plus minutes of action since his rookie season.
While it’s safe to expect Young to bounce back in Game 2, a combination of factors make it unlikely for him to surpass this total. First, the Hawks remain without Clint Capela, and John Collins is still working his way back up to speed. This leaves the Hawks with very little size, thus freeing up Bam Adebayo to help smother Young.
Second, Miami already had an elite backcourt defense. The Heat surrendered the second-fewest points per game to point guards this year at 21.2 per game. The Heat held Young to 25.5 points per game in their four regular-season meetings this year. Other books have this total set at 25.5, so I’ll take the extra point of security at FanDuel.
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