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Free NBA Betting Picks - Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (4/12/22)

The NBA postseason is upon us and so is the excitement that comes with it! The league has been toying with the playoff structure the last few seasons since the COVID-shortened season of 2020 and this year we had 10 teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. Teams that finished seventh through tenth will now compete in a play-in tournament to try to grab the final two spots in the first round. The four teams in action tonight are the seventh and eighth seeds that have the benefit of double elimination. Tonight's winners will be locked into the seventh seed, while the losers will have one more chance to grab the eighth seed later this week against tomorrow night's winners. Does that all make sense? If not you can see the NBA's breakdown here.

Attention fellow sports bettors! We have some exciting news to share as we are now officially partnered with various sportsbooks and have some sweet sports betting promo offers! Get your deposit bonus, as well as a year of free RotoBaller Premium access, when you sign up with a new account today! After you're signed up, use our picks in this article for spreads, totals, and props to win big.

This is the first postseason betting picks piece so I will reset my record for the playoffs. In this article, I'll be providing my favorite picks against the spread, game totals, parlays, teasers, and player props for NBA games on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. I would also strongly encourage you to join our RotoBaller premium slack group by signing up for a premium pass!


Thunder Dan's NBA Best Bets for Today

  • Season Record 196-168-2
  • Against the Spread 85-75-2
  • Over/Under 38-46
  • Player Props 73-47


NBA Betting Picks

L.A. Clippers (+3) @ Minnesota Timberwolves (230.5 total)

This game should be awesome and I know my buddy Kyle Ringstad (the biggest T-Wolves fan I know) is going to be in attendance and sweating bullets. The last thing that Minnesota fans wanted was for their team to drop into the seventh spot in the West and run the risk of missing the main tournament. And the absolute last thing they wanted was to face a surging Clippers team that has a healthy Paul George. I smell trouble, sorry Kyle!

It's been a hugely successful year for Minnesota, who like Cleveland was one of the most improved squads in the league this year. They finally got the right pieces around Karl Anthony-Towns and their second-year stud Anthony Edwards has blossomed into a star. Minnesota's offense is a thing of beauty and they've been piling up points on opponents all season, but their defense has been rather poor and that's where I give the Clippers a big advantage. The Wolves allowed 113 points per game on average this season and that number has ballooned to 122 points allowed during their most recent 10-game stretch.

L.A. had a solid season, finishing two games above .500 without a single game from Kawhi Leonard and only 31 games from Paul George. Consider that they were 18-13 with PG13 in the lineup (and 2.5 points better in net rating) and you'll start to see why I am siding with them in this matchup. Paul George is one of only a handful of NBA players who can do what he does. He's an elite three-point shooter, solid passer, and still a high-end defender. He's one tier below Giannis, Durant, and LeBron, but his ability to play positionless basketball and affect the game in multiple different ways has still been on display this season.

This Clippers team has reeled off five straight wins and only lost once since George returned to the lineup. They have the size to match up with Towns with the big man platoon of Isaiah Hartenstein and Ivica Zubac, as well as the perimeter shooting and defense that Norman Powell and Robert Covington (both acquired from Portland before the deadline). Reggie Jackson gets buckets and their bench has a ton of experience this season as guys like Luke Kennard, Amir Coffey, and Terence Mann have all played big minutes when the team was so banged up.

I have three bets here in this game and only one in the second game. The biggest bet is on the Clippers to cover, followed by smaller bets on the L.A. money line and team total. My model has this game going over it's total by a full six points and win or lose, I think the Clippers score 115 tonight in a high-scoring affair.

The Picks: Clippers +3 (-110 DK) and half unit on Clippers ML (+130 DK)

Clippers team total over 114.5 points (-115 DK)


Cleveland Cavaliers (+8.5) @ Brooklyn Nets (228.5 total)

I was disappointed that Cleveland stumbled down the stretch and fell into the play-in tournament because at one point they looked like they could really compete for a seed as high as fourth or fifth in the conference. They simply didn't have the depth to deal with injuries to Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, and Jarrett Allen in the second half. Allen's interior defense, rebounding, and post scoring have really been missed and yesterday he was officially ruled out for this game, dealing my optimism for the Cavs postseason hopes another blow.

But not all is lost. Evan Mobley has returned to the lineup and got two games under his belt, including a productive 17-7-3-2-2 line against Brooklyn last Friday. I had the Cavs picked to cover a nearly identical spread in that game and was feeling pretty good about that pick until the Nets did what they do - turned it on late and got some separation in an 11-point win.

No matter how I run the numbers, I keep coming up with the Cavs to cover here. Even with their most recent form being significantly less impressive than their first-half form, I can't find the math to support a spread this large. Surely the playoff atmosphere and the gritty character of this Cavs team will help aid their cause, too, right? I'm not sure if I am trying to sell you here or maybe talk myself into this pick.

But again, in all honesty, and fandom aside, the Nets should win this game, but I think the Cavs should cover, too. The Nets have a 3-1 season series lead, but the win last Friday was the only time they covered this number. I'm taking Cleveland and the points here and banking on their ability to continue to compete against good teams. Hopefully, they show up tonight in a huge game for the franchise.

Bonus Pick: Cavs +8.5 (-110 DK)


Attention fellow sports bettors! We have some exciting news to share as we are now officially partnered with various sportsbooks and have some sweet sports betting promo offers! Get your deposit bonus, as well as a year of free RotoBaller Premium access, when you sign up with a new account today! After you're signed up, use our picks in this article for spreads, totals, and props to win big.


NBA Prop Bet Picks

Darius Garland over 33.5 points/assists (-125 DK)

This is the softest Garland prop I could find. His rebound prop is 3.5 and I think he can easily grab four boards, but it's no safe bet as he had no boards in Saturday's game against Brooklyn and the Cavs usually have at least two 7-footers on the floor at the same time to gobble up boards. So let's take rebounds out of the equation and focus on Garland's strengths - passing and shooting. He's going to have the ball in his hands every possession and in a game of such importance, I have pushed his minutes' projection up to 40-42 minutes. The Cavs are simply much, much better with him on the floor even after bringing in Caris LeVert to help shoulder the ball-handling and scoring duties.

Anyway, the long-story-short is that despite only having three assists in their last meeting with the Nets, Garland had 6, 11, and 12 in the other games and averages almost nine per game. His scoring of late has been way up from his season average of 21.7 and I like his chances of getting to 34 with points and dimes here whether he does it with more buckets or assists doesn't matter to me.

Reggie Jackson over 17.5 points (-105 DK)

I was looking for a prop that wasn't so soft and where I think the field or Vegas is off a bit and wound up here. Jackson functions more like a shooting guard than a point guard with George in the lineup. He scored a half-point more with George this season than without him and his assists go down a tick. He averaged over 18 per game against Minnesota this year with the one really bad game (only five points) dragging that average down. In a game where I expect the Clippers to score a bunch of points, I see Jackson clearing this number.

Ivica Zubac over 17.5 Points/Rebounds (-120 DK)

The big man might be splitting time with Hartenstein, but has still been very effective and is coming into tonight with four straight double-doubles. In three games against KAT this season, he's averaged 22 points/boards and only missed this number once (16 combined stats in the very first meeting). If he gets his usual 24-25 minutes of run, he's very capable of clearing this number with ease.

Paul George over 1.5 steals (-155 DK)

This is what I can a parlay prop. It's not something I want to bet as a straight with those odds, but definitely something you can add another soft prop to get some decent odds. George averages over two steals per game and has two or more in every game since he's returned. If you want some better odds, consider over 2.5 steals/blocks at +105 since George is right around 2.6 "stocks" per game on the season.

I usually post all my favorite props in our RotoBaller premium slack on a nightly basis - if you're not a premium member for NBA content you can change that by signing up here!

We just added a new player prop tool that is available to our NBA premium and betting premium members, too!


NBA Betting Picks: Team/Player Stats Matrix

(click either chart to enlarge)

I use this chart when making player prop bets! I hope you find this information useful when making your bets as well.

Thanks for checking this new column out and check back every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the rest of the NBA season! Good luck and bet responsibly!

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