The Heat and 76ers are tied up at two games apiece, as are the Suns and Mavericks. Both series will head back to the higher seed’s home court, and I expect series-defining wins by both favorites. Head coaches Monty Williams and Erik Spoelstra are too talented to let their dominant rosters suffer second-round exits.
Here are my top NBA betting picks for Tuesday’s playoff action.
1. Heat -2.5 | -110 at BetMGM
The Heat were 3.5-point favorites before Kyle Lowry got ruled out, but now they’re 2.5-point favorites. That number could move down even further as tip approaches, which makes for a great opportunity to buy the dip.
Lowry has been a key piece of Miami’s roster this year, but injuries have slowed him down tremendously. His most recent one, a hamstring injury he initially suffered against the Hawks, seriously limited him in Games 3 and 4. Lowry shot 3-for-14 from the field and 0-for-8 from beyond the arc. He finished with a net plus-minus of -11 in those games.
The Heat won Games 1 and 2 of this series without Lowry in the lineup. Of course, the 76ers didn’t have Joel Embiid in those games, but Miami still throttled them by 14 and 16 points, respectively. Keeping an injured Lowry off the floor—and hopefully putting Duncan Robinson back on it—should give the Heat a much-needed shot in the arm for Game 5. Look for them to win and cover.
2. PPD: Jae Crowder 10+ Points/Phoenix to Win | +126 (.75u) at FD Sportsbook
3. PPD: Jae Crowder 3+ Threes/Phoenix to Win | +210 (.25u) at FD Sportsbook
I like Jae Crowder and the Suns tonight for a handful of reasons, but Crowder is the crux of both of these plays. After shooting an atrocious 0-for-14 from beyond the arc to start the playoffs, Crowder is 13-for-25 from the three-point line against the Mavericks. We’ve seen him score at least 10 points every game, and he made at least three treys in all but one of those contests.
Crowder’s performance against the Mavericks lines up with his regular season averages. He averaged 9.4 points per game. That number jumps to 10.7 when you isolate his games against Dallas. Crowder nailed at least three triples in two of their three regular-season contests, too.
Ultimately, we’re backing Crowder here because of his consistently exceptional playoff form. Since joining the Suns, Crowder has averaged 10.7 points and 2.2 triples per playoff appearance. If you ignore his outlier performance against the Pelicans, Crowder has averaged 2.6 triples per playoff game on 40.5% shooting.
We’re backing the Suns at home because they’ve consistently topped Dallas in the Chris Paul and Devin Booker era. Before Dallas’ Game 3 win, the Mavericks hadn’t beaten Phoenix since 2019. Phoenix swept Dallas in the regular season both this year and last, so I’m not buying the Mavericks hype just yet.
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