We’ve got two huge Game 3’s in the second round of the Playoffs to look forward to on Friday night. First up its the 76ers hosting the Celtics, then after that it’s the Suns playing hosts to the Nuggets.
Check out our preview and betting tips for both big games below.
NBA Playoffs Betting Picks - Friday May 5th
Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers
Wells Fargo Center, 7.30pm (ET)
After splitting the opening two games in Boston, this juicy second round matchup now heads to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4.
The Celtics were far too good for the 76ers on Wednesday night in what was a necessary bounce back game after a sub-par Game 1. The word from coach Joe Mazzulla ahead of Game 2 was that they’re going to let it fly from three and boy did they do just that. The Celtics drained 20 triples to the 76ers six and that was the difference in the end. They now travel to Philly full of confidence knowing they can blow their opponents off the court when they get things right.
The 76ers won’t be too discouraged with their Game 2 loss knowing they did their job in Boston to get the split and take home court advantage in the series. The onus is now on the 76ers to take care of home court in the next two games, which would go a long way to seeing them advance to the Conference Finals.
Although the 76ers did a superb job to pinch Game 1, I still don’t believe they match up well against this Celtics juggernaut. They have so many great wing scorers and defenders that the 76ers simply can’t negate. At even odds, I’m more than happy to pick the visiting team to steal Game 3 and earn back the advantage in the series.
Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns
Footprint Center, 10pm (ET)
Both the Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets have had plenty of time to digest Game 2, with three full days of rest before heading back to Phoenix for Game’s 3 and 4.
The Suns will have a bitter taste in their mouth after dropping both games on the road despite holding early leads on each occasion. Game 2 was the most disappointing as they lead for the majority of the first three quarters before collapsing in the last where they managed to score just 14 points. On top of that, point guard Chris Paul suffered a groin injury and is a chance to miss the rest of this series.
The Nuggets would’ve been the far happier team in the three days off knowing they have a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. They did their job by protecting home court and will know getting a split in Phoenix will all but guarantee their passage through to the Conference Finals.
Game 3 in Phoenix is an absolute must-win for the home side. No team in NBA history has even come back from a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs, and they’ll be fully aware of that fact. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker will need to be huge again, but it’s the Suns bench who need to step up the most after combining for just four points in Game 2. Notoriously, role players are a lot more comfortably and play much better on their home floor, so I am expecting a lift there. As long as that’s the case and the stars shine as expected, the desperate Suns should be able to win and cover the small spread in this one.