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Free NBA Betting Picks - Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (5/12/22)

It was a great night for my underdog picks last night! Not only did the Bucks and Grizzlies cover, but they both won outright, albeit in very different fashions. The Bucks won by only three points in the final minute while the Grizzlies absolutely rolled up the Warriors by 39 points in a blowout.

That's the good news, and hopefully, you had some money on those money lines at plus odds. Because both games went OVER their totals while I had the unders and the funky blowout in the late game led to uneven minutes for players on both teams and so player props went 0-3. It was a weird way to go 2-5 overall on the night, but I at least felt vindicated that I got the main outcome right of each game. Now I have to shift my focus to both game sixes with both road teams trying to close out their series despite the road teams not yet winning a game in either of these series!

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Thunder Dan's NBA Best Bets for Today

  • Postseason Record 65-71
  • Against the Spread 26-23
  • Over/Under 9-11
  • Player Props 30-37


NBA Betting Picks for 5/12

Miami Heat (+2.5) @ Philadelphia 76ers (207.5 total)

What do we make of game five? The Sixers look uninspired and uninterested from the outset, which was really bizarre to me considering they had come back to even the series at 2-2 after it looked like they were dead in the water down 2-0. They're now 2-1 in this series with Embiid in the lineup, but they need to get it together in a hurry tonight or they'll be eliminated and what looked like a promising season with a chance at a title run will be over just like that.

I've been on the Heat pretty much the whole series, so that's where I am going to stay. I don't really subscribe to the home-court advantage theory here even with the home team being undefeated in this series as I think the absence of Embiid has more to do with Miami holding serve at home in the first two games than anything else. I think the Heat are really just a better all-around team. Is Jimmy Butler better than Joel Embiid? No. Has he officially passed James Harden? Probably. And it's really not just about Butler, it's about the way Miami plays the game. They play great defense and then figure out a way to get a decent shot on the other end. Their defense forces turnover that lead to fast break points and they're patient enough on offense to work for an open shot.

In crunch time, Butler goes to work and he has a knack for making tough shots down the stretch or getting himself to the free-throw line. I think it's quite possible that the Heat have figured out how they want to scheme their defense against the Sixers with Embiid and that what we saw in game five could happen here again. Erik Spoelstra is such a smart coach and he's constantly tinkering and making adjustments. I don't think we can say the same thing about Doc Rivers, who has really earned the reputation of being a poor "in-game" coach in terms of his inability to adapt to what the other team is doing.

Philly won't give up tonight as they did on Tuesday, but I think Miami wins this game and wraps up the series. Embiid is banged up and trying his best to play through the injury, but I don't think he's anywhere close to his usual self. Miami is better, deeper, and have the best big-game player (Butler) and coach (Spo).

The Picks: Heat +2.5 (-110), Heat ML (+115)


Phoenix Suns (-2) @ Dallas Mavericks (212 total)

This series has been weirdly similar to the Miami-Philly series in that the top-seeded team jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to have their opponent tie it up 2-2 and then subsequently blow them out in game five for a 3-2 lead. The Mavs didn't look quite as lifeless as the Sixers, though, in their loss and only trailed by three points at the half. Phoenix jumped all over them in the third quarter, building a 20-point lead going into the fourth that Dallas couldn't recover from and the blowout was on.

This is where it would be really easy to just do what I did in the first game and pick the #1 seed to close out the series. After all, Phoenix is the better team and I don't think many people other than the most die-hard Dallas fans would dispute that. But I have a hard time just writing off Luka Doncic and something tells me that Dallas has one last surge in them here at home that can push this series to a seventh game.

That's certainly not a very data-based take, but we are at the point in the playoffs where there is only so much data you can pull anyway. The Mavericks are a team that you can just never truly count out and they've battled all season long. They shot the ball so poorly in game five that they had no chance. This is a team that relies on three-point shooting for a large chunk of their offense and they shot only 8-32 from deep (25%).

Being outmanned like they are, they'll have to play a near-perfect game to pull out another upset but I've seen them do it enough times that I think it's worthy of an investment. Luka is going to get his and I think his supporting cast plays better tonight. The Mavs win here and force the Suns to close out the series at home in game seven - you heard it here first!

The Pick: Mavs ML (+110)


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

Luka Doncic over 9.5 rebounds (-120 DK): Luka has double-digit boards in three of the five games in this series. He's the best rebounder on the team and most of the time, the biggest guy on the floor for Dallas at any given point. As long as the game is competitive, we should see him for almost 40 minutes tonight, and based on his per-minute rebounding numbers, that would put him well over ten for his boards projection.

Chris Paul under 28.5 PRA (-110 DK): I hate taking unders! But sometimes they are the right bet. We've seen CP3 fade into the background in this offense with Devin Booker taking back over. He's gone under this number in four of the five games this series. Now, anything can happen. Booker could get hurt and CP3 goes off. Or CP3 gets hot shooting early and decides to take more shots, but I'm betting on the sample size we have so far that suggests that Paul will continue to pass first instead of shoot and defer to Booker on offense.

Jimmy Butler over 5.5 assists (-150 DK): With Kyle Lowry out again, we are going to see even more point-Jimmy. He has six assists in the last two games of this series and it's hard to imagine him not having the ball in his hands on nearly every possession that he's in the game. If his shooters are knocking down open shots on looks from Butler, he should get there again tonight. Definitely some juice here, but it's a nice prop to parlay with a few others.


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