Two more NBA conference semifinal series tip off Monday, with player props and same-game parlays available to enhance the action for fans and bettors.
The Miami Heat host the Philadelphia 76ers, who are facing lengthy odds with their big man Joel Embiid set to miss at least Games 1 and 2. The Phoenix Suns, playing host to the Dallas Mavericks, are dealing with their own injured star, but Devin Booker did manage to work his way back into the lineup to close out Round 1.
Bettors have a number of quality sportsbooks through which to wager, and whether it’s point spreads, totals, moneylines, props, or SGPs, it’s good business to shop around the betting market for the best prices.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat Game 1 Odds
76ers vs. Heat Player Props
James Harden ‘Over’ 25.5 Points (+105, DraftKings)
Embiid’s absence frees up 16.7 shots and heavy usage for Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and Tobias Harris. It’s actually Maxey, not Harden, who stands as the team’s leader in shot attempts during the playoffs (15.3). But will Doc Rivers and the coaching staff ask a 21-year-old with 408 career postseason minutes to lead the scoring charge in hostile territory? Or will they turn to the superstar they acquired to do what superstars do? It’s reasonable to expect Harden to put a ton on his shoulders and attempt significantly more than the 13.2 shots he’s attempted through six games. Monday night will be a grind for Harden, but he’s more than capable of chipping his way to an ‘over’.
James Harden ‘Under’ 9.5 assists (+100, DraftKings)
Even though Harden will dominate the ball and facilitate the offense, we’re betting on him finishing a couple of dimes short of a dollar. Without Embiid’s interior presence, the Sixers have no choice but to resort to jump shots more often than they may consider ideal. That plays right into the Heat’s hands. They not only finished top-third in the league in limiting opponents’ easy two-point attempts, but they tied for the league’s top spot in three-point defense as well. Betting on Harden to score plenty is one thing, but expecting the players around him to be sharp in this spot might be a bit too much to ask.
Bam Adebayo ‘Over’ 10.5 Rebounds (+100, FanDuel)
There are a lot of factors that make the ‘over’ an attractive play for Adebayo’s rebound total. The most obvious is the absence of Embiid, which gives Adebayo access to more real estate in the paint and on the glass. He averaged 2.4 offensive boards during the regular season. And even though his postseason rebounding average (8.0) is modest, it’s important to note that in the two games in which he played 35 and 41 minutes, he pulled down 11 boards. For risk-conscious bettors, the primary concern relating to an ‘over’ wager is another game with a light load of minutes. The Heat are 7.5-point favorites, suggesting a commanding win but not necessarily a blowout.
Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns Game 1 Odds
Mavericks vs. Suns Player Props
Luka Doncic ‘Under’ 30.5 Points (-105, DraftKings)
Doncic has seemingly put his calf injury behind him, culminating in 42 minutes in the Mavericks’ series-clincher Thursday night against Utah. Usage and shot attempts aren’t the concerns, just the Suns’ stifling defense. The Suns finished the regular season ranked third in defensive rating and effective field goal percentage against. They also have a lot of tough-as-nails individual defenders, including All-Defensive First Team selection Mikal Bridges, among others. Doncic is too good not to get his numbers, but efficiency figures to be a challenge. Even in Games 4 and 6 in the first round, in which Doncic attempted 21 shots apiece, he still fell short of 31 points. And the Suns are a tier above the Jazz defensively.
Devin Booker ‘Under’ 23.5 Points (-115, DraftKings)
Booker returned from a hamstring strain to help the Suns close out the New Orleans Pelicans in six games. Fans and bettors shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming that Booker is at full strength. Though he’s had the benefit of three full days of rest following 32 minutes of run on Thursday, it’s still smart to keep expectations in check considering he was originally expected to be out for 2-3 weeks. There isn’t any news of a setback, and 24 points is a modest total for a player of Booker’s caliber, but it’s not a bad idea to operate under the assumption that he’ll still be at less than 100 percent and on an uphill climb to reach that scoring total.
While same-game parlays offer a potentially high return for your wagering dollar, it’s important for bettors to understand that sportsbooks have a bigger edge with these types of bets than they on straight bets like point spreads, totals, and individual props. Still, throwing a couple of bucks on an SGP parlay or two can make for a fun evening of betting.
If you’re so inclined, consider combining some of our plays with some of your own in a correlated SGP. For example, if you like the Suns -5.5, going ‘under’ on Doncic points makes sense. If you’re taking the Mavs plus the points, pairing that play with Booker ‘under’ is a logical SGP path.