The NBA Conference Finals continue on Thursday and Friday with two crucial games. Catch our best betting picks for both games right here!
NBA Playoffs Betting Picks: Thurs-Fri
Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Clippers
Staples Center, 9pm ET
The first two games of this Conference Finals series have gone exactly to plan for the Suns after two wins on their homecourt before they head to Los Angeles for Game 3. Game 1 was a relatively straightforward win for the home side, but Game 2 was anything but with the Suns taking the chocolates via an inbound alley-oop dunk by Ayton close to the buzzer to win by one point.
The Suns would be thrilled with their ability to take both wins on offer at home without Chris Paul who is set to return for Game 3 after passing all the appropriate Covid tests. Cam Payne has done a phenomenal job in his absence, particularly in Game 2 where he dropped 29 points along with nine assists, but the star of the show was undoubtedly DeAndre Ayton. The former #1 pick had another 20 and 10 game on huge efficiency and was the match winner with his slam at the death.
The Clippers would be proud of their efforts in the first couple of games in Phoenix despite coming away with two losses. It was always going to be tough without arguably the best two-way player in the game in Kawhi Leonard, but they’ve stilled gotten some decent contributions out of some of their key guys. Paul George has been solid in his absence, but would be shattered with his 0-2 visit in the dying moments. Terrence Mann continues to be a great story, as does Reggie Jackson who has resurrected his career.
The Clippers were brave on the road and certainly pushed the Suns all the way in both games; however, with Chris Paul back to the Suns and with Kawhi Leonard still out of action for the Clippers, it’s hard to see the Suns not taking the win and going 3-0 up in the series.
Atlanta Hawks at Milwaukee Bucks
Fiserv Forum, 8:30pm ET
Game 1 of this series went exactly according to plan for the Hawks as they stole it at the death by three points after trailing for the majority of the night. It was a win that not many people could honestly say they saw coming as the Hawks started as huge 8.5-point underdogs. Regardless, they’ve taken the initiative in the series and now control home court advantage over the seven games.
Trae Young continues to shine in his first playoffs campaign and put in a huge shift in Game 1 of the Conference Finals with 48 points and 11 rebounds, booming the first player in NBA history to record a 45+ point and 15+ rebounds game at this stage of the playoffs. He was simply fantastic but wasn’t the only one who had a big night for the Hawks, with John Collins and Clint Capela both recording huge double-doubles.
The Bucks may have lost Game 1 and will certainly be disappointed about that, however, they still got huge contributions from a couple of their stars in Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Holiday recorded 10 assists to go along with his 33 points, while the Greek Freak flirted with a 30-point triple-double with a split of 34/12/9. The obvious room from improvement has to come from Khris Middleton who was terrible shooting the ball with 15 points on 6-23 shooting.
Despite losing in Game 1 as the very short favorites, the Bucks will start as 8.5-point fancies at home again in Game 2, which seems about right in our opinion. Instead of playing that market, we’ll be looking to take the under’s in the total points market, which looks to be at least 7-10 points too high. The current line of 226.5 was only eclipsed by 2.5 points in Game 1 and that took the likes of Young, Holiday and Antetokounmpo to shoot the lights out. Look for a much more cagey affair in Game 2.
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