NBA Player Props & First Basket Scorer Bets for Wednesday’s Playoff Games: Circle Butler, LeBron

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Wednesday night’s NBA Playoff schedule consists of two potential close-out games, as Jimmy Butler and the Heat look to wrap things up against the Knicks, and LeBron James and Anthony Davis try to end the Warriors’ season. Both the Heat and Lakers are underdogs in tonight’s matchups, but the odds haven’t seemed to impact them much in the playoffs this year.

Elimination games make good wagering environments, so we’ve put together a few of the best player props and first basket scorer bets for Wednesday’s playoff games on the top sports betting apps

More Hoops Betting Action: Lakers vs. Warriors Game 5 Predictions | Knicks vs. Heat Game 5 Predictions

NBA Playoff First Basket Scorers and More Player Props for Wednesday

Neither of these series was predicted to be 3-1, especially in the Lakers and Heat favor. However, both teams have identified what works against their opponent and have continuously gone to that well. With an opportunity to punch their tickets to the next round on the line tonight, Butler, James, and Davis must continue to do their part to ensure the victory. 

NBA Playoff First Basket Scorer Prop Odds for Heat vs. Knicks Game 5

Butler recently proclaimed himself as the best player in the NBA. When you look at his playoff performances to date and the impact he has had on winning, he may have a case. His tenacity is evident from the opening tip, and that has shown up as early as the first basket of the game. 

PlayerDraftKingsFanDuelCaesars (Code 'TODAYFULL')
Julius Randle+475+470+475
Jalen Brunson+500+490+475
RJ Barrett+550+650+550
Bam Adebayo+550+650+550
Jimmy Butler+600+550+440
Gabe Vincent+900+1200+850

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Mitchell Robinson’s opening tip win percentage is 64%, and Bam Adebayo’s is 55%. Robinson has won the last three tips of the series, and the last two of which led to Butler scoring the first basket.

The Knicks have had a great season to this point, but Game 5 will be the most pressure they have faced all year. With so much pressure on the up-and-coming team, it may take some time for them to get on the board as nerves may get the better of them for a while. 

One thing Butler has shown throughout his career, and especially of late, is a ferociousness that loves the big moments. Given Butler’s aggressive disposition and Robinson’s winning tip streak, Butler is a great option at +600 odds at DraftKings to win this wager. 

Also check: NBA Championship odds | NBA Playoff game Lines

Best Player Prop Bets for Heat vs. Knicks on Wednesday

If the Knicks are going to have a chance to survive, they’ll need a scoring punch beyond their trio of Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle, and RJ Barrett. As for the Heat, if their defense continues to show up, they should be just fine. 

Jimmy Butler to Score Under 27 Points (-106 on Caesars)

Butler hasn’t been as explosive in this series as he was against the Bucks, but the Heat hasn’t needed that version of him. However, he is still averaging 26 points on 48% from the field thanks to a lot of one-on-one looks. In an elimination game, Tom Thibodeau should be able to draw up a one-game solution to slow Butler down. It’s highly unlikely that a defensive-minded coach like Thibodeau allows Butler to freely dominate in a potential close-out game. 

Look for defensive sets that force the ball out of Butler’s hands to his teammates, who the Knicks will be looking to force to beat them. 

Jalen Brunson to Score Over 30 Points (+220 on DraftKings)

The overwhelming majority of the Knicks’ offense has come from just three players. Brunson is one of those three, and he has the biggest green light of them all. He is averaging 20 shot attempts per game in this series and has a favorable matchup against Gabe Vincent and Kyle Lowry. With a need for even more points to keep pace with the Heat, Brunson is the Knicks’ best option. 

He has proven to be explosive when needed and stands a good chance of answering the call for his team tonight. In the last game, he scored 32 points on 10-for-21 shooting from the field and 10-for-11 from the free throw line. That was the most free throw attempts he shot in this series, which signals an increase in his level of aggression offensively. Look for him to maintain that level of play in tonight’s contest. 

First Basket Scorer Odds for Lakers vs. Warriors Game 5

The Lakers still have work to do to dispatch the defending champs, but they have already stunned the basketball world by getting this far and taking a 3-1 lead against Golden State. With a golden opportunity to end the series starring them in the face, look for a more assertive performance from James in this contest right from the opening tip. 

PlayerDraftKingsFanDuelCaesars (Code 'TODAYFULL')
Anthony Davis+500+500+425
LeBron James+550+480+480
Klay Thompson+550+550+550
Stephen Curry+600+600+575
Andrew Wiggins+650+650+700
D'Angelo Russell+700+950+700

Anthony Davis’ opening tip win percentage is 56%, and JaMychal Green’s win percentage is close behind at 54%. However, Davis has won the opening tip in each of the three games the two have jumped it up against each other in this series, which has helped the Lakers strike first in the last two games. The odds in this one favor the Lakers getting the first crack at getting on the scoreboard.

If anyone can come back from down a 3-1 deficit, it’s Golden State, who did it before against the Kevin Durant-led Thunder in 2016. James is well aware of what Steph Curry and Co. are capable of, and there is a good chance LBJ will be looking to put his stamp on the game early for that exact reason.

Although James hasn’t scored first in this series yet, he takes the first shot 31% of the time for the Lakers. Look for him to do so in this one with so much on the line on the road. 

Best Player Prop Bets for Lakers vs. Warriors Game 5

The Lakers’ 3-1 series lead is in large part thanks to the inconsistency of Klay Thompson, but he could be in line for a big game to help avoid going home via a gentleman’s sweep.

Klay Thompson to Score Over 25 Points (+130 on FanDuel)

Throughout the course of his postseason career, Klay Thompson is as up-and-down as they come. However, he has also proven to be as clutch as they come when the Warriors face elimination. The last time they were down 3-1 in a series was in 2016, and they bounced back to win.

That was largely thanks to an explosive performance from Thompson, who stepped up to save their title aspirations in back-to-back games against the Thunder. In Game 5, he chipped in 27 points to force a Game 6. In the pivotal Game 6, Thompson exploded for 41 points on 14-for-31 shooting to force a Game 7.

In his last two games in this series, he has had shooting performances of 5-for-14 and 3-for-11 for a total of 24 points. Given his history, another poor shooting night is highly unlikely, especially considering how Los Angeles has been defending the Warriors from beyond the arc. 

In the first two games of the series, he averaged over 20 attempts per game. Look for him to draw closer to that number and capitalize on more of the open looks he is getting from behind the three-point line. 

About the Author
David Fletcher

David Fletcher

Writer
David Fletcher is a sports betting writer at Gaming Today. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Stephen F. Austin State University and has nearly a decade of experience covering high school, collegiate, and professional sports in Houston. Fletcher is a big fan of the Astros, Rockets, and, unfortunately, according to him, the Texans. He enjoys bringing his love of sports and writing to the gaming industry, providing insight into quality sports bets.

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