Yesterday’s matchups were extremely exciting, with the Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors stealing victories on the road to start the NBA semifinals matchups.
Tonight, we’ve got two more semifinal games to start up. Both home teams are current favorites. But after both road teams ended up winning in yesterday’s matchups, will the trend of road teams winning continue?
Here are our picks and predictions for the two NBA Playoff semi-finals games on May 2.
(Odds courtesy DraftKings)
76ers vs. Heat
The Philadelphia 76ers will be without Joel Embiid for at least the first two games of the semifinals against the Heat. With the loss of Embiid, the 76ers are going to lose 39 minutes of production, including 26.2 points per game in the playoffs and 11.3 rebounds.
That’s going to sting.
However, let’s not forget that Miami is extremely banged up. While everyone but Kyle Lowry might end up playing, the Heat aren’t fully healthy, and some guys might’ve chosen to sit out a couple of games if it were the regular season.
Miami has held teams to 109.2 points per 100 possessions this season and has also been terrific at forcing turnovers. However, the Heat are known for fouling a whole lot, which is something the 76ers could take advantage of. Of course, Philadelphia got to the line at an extreme rate this year because of Embiid, who isn’t going to play. So it might not be as big of an advantage.
The 76ers have already struggled on the offensive glass with Embiid. Therefore, the Heat should be able to dominate the defensive glass and keep the 76ers away from second chances.
On the other hand, Miami is turning the ball over 14.9% of the time. If the 76ers want to win this game, they’re going to need to earn more turnovers knowing Miami isn’t all that careful with the ball. The Heat still shoot at a high rate, shooting a 55.1% effective field goal percentage. The 76ers are an average defense at best, but if they earn more takeaways and find ways to get to the line, they’ll still shock some and stick around in this game. I’ll try my luck with the 76ers against the spread.
Bet: 76ers + 7.5 (-110 at DraftKings)
Mavericks vs. Suns
The Phoenix Suns have held teams to 107.6 points per 100 possessions this season while also holding teams to a 51.5% effective field goal percentage. If the Mavericks are struggling to get quality looks up, things will not get any better. Dallas has struggled on the offensive glass and is also below-average at getting to the line.
The Mavericks will typically take care of the basketball, but the Suns are one of those sneaky teams that can earn many takeaways.
The Suns are also very consistent on the offensive end shooting the basketball. Phoenix is scoring 116.1 points per 100 possessions and shooting a 55.5% effective field goal percentage. But the reality is, the Suns aren’t going to crash the offensive glass at a high rate and won’t get to the line at a high rate against the Mavericks.
Both teams are usually careful with the ball; however, neither team is getting to the line at a high rate, and neither team dominates the offensive glass to get second chances. On top of that, both teams have been above-average in points allowed on the defensive end and continue to give up low effective field goal percentages.
I’ll grab the under in the first game between these two teams.
Bet: Under 215 (-110 at DraftKings)
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our Sports Betting Strategy and Advice page is for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including 10 Sports Betting Tips for Beginners — or head to more advanced strategy — like Key Numbers When Betting Against the Spread — to learn more.