The NBA Playoffs just got a whole lot more interesting and unpredictable following Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games.
Jimmy Butler erupted for 45 points in the Heat’s 115-105 victory over the Hawks in Game 2. Miami now leads the series 2-0 as both teams head to Atlanta.
The Chicago Bulls evened up the series 1-1 against the Milwaukee Bucks with help from DeMar DeRozan’s 41 points.
The Suns’ Devin Booker was torching the New Orleans Pelicans with 31 first-half points in Game 2. However, he missed most of the second half after suffering a hamstring injury in the third quarter. Brandon Ingram took advantage of Booker’s departure by scoring 37 points and helping the Pels tie the series up at 1-1. Booker is likely out for Games 3 and 4 and potentially even longer, jeopardizing Phoenix’s chances of winning the series and giving New Orleans a good opportunity to pull off a shocking upset.
All three games on Friday are Game 3s, meaning that the lower-seeded teams now have home-court advantage. The spreads are no larger than 2.5 points at DraftKings, so bettors are in for a treat.
Sportsbooks have set up several prop bets to keep bettors involved in the action.
Top NBA Player Props On Friday
No. 1 Miami @ No. 8 Atlanta (MIA leads 2-0)
Trae Young ‘Over’ 2.5 Threes (-145, DraftKings)
No one is happier to be playing basketball in Atlanta right now than Trae Young. He shot the three ball at a 41.4% clip at home this season, compared to just 35% on the road.
A change of scenery will be good for Young, considering how poorly he shot the ball from distance in Games 1 and 2 in Miami (two of 17 from three).
Hitting three three pointers is well within his ability, even if it comes from 10 to 15 shots.
No. 3 Milwaukee @ No. 6 Chicago (Tied 1-1)
Giannis Antetokounmpo ‘Under’ 55.5 Points, Rebounds, & Assists (-105, DraftKings)
Giannis Antetokounmpo can compile a stat line better than most players, but over 55.5 for points, rebounds, and assists combined seems too rich for my blood.
An example stat line that would hit the ‘over’ is 35 points, 15 rebounds, and 6 assists. He is surely capable of hitting those three marks in separate games, but banking on him to hit all three in the same game might be asking too much.
For reference, he grabbed 18 rebounds and gave out nine assists last game. Those are his most in a game in five and two months, respectively. We’re likely to see some regression in both departments in his next game, which should set him up for the ‘under’ here.
No. 1 Phoenix @ No. 8 New Orleans (Tied 1-1)
Jonas Valanciunas ‘Over’ 12.5 Rebounds (-105, DraftKings)
Jonas Valanciunas is averaging 19 rebounds through two games this series, with his fewest being 13.
Phoenix will be without their best player and scorer in Devin Booker in Game 3. They will likely struggle offensively because of it, missing more shots than usual and setting up Valanciunas with more opportunities to grab boards.
Chris Paul ‘Under’ 20.5 Points (-105, DraftKings)
With Booker out in Game 3, you would presume that the next man up would be Chris Paul. But that hasn’t been the case this season. In the eight games in which Paul played with Booker out, Paul exceeded 20.5 points just twice, averaging a mere 13.9 points in the process.
Also read: Odds To Win 2022 NBA Championship