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Free NBA Betting Picks - Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (5/17/22)

It's a little bit of a sad day as I have decided this will be the final free NBA betting picks article of the 2021-2022 season. It's been a really fun and wild ride and I appreciate all the support I had from you, the readers this year.

With the Conference finals kicking off today and tomorrow, I thought I would give you my game one and series predictions. But then it's time for me to move along down the dusty trail as I have a lot of other content that demands my attention, especially with baseball season in full swing. This season was great, but like all good things, it must come to an end. But hey, we will always have the Cavs against the spread in the first half won't we? And never forget Memphis without Morant! I think it was Shakespeare who said, "parting is such sweet sorrow" and if it brings you any solace please know that I intend to write even MORE about the NBA next season!

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. In this article, I'll be providing my favorite picks against the spread, game totals, parlays, teasers, and player props for NBA games that tip-off at 8:30 PM EST on Tuesday, May 17, and Wednesday, May 18, 2022. I would also strongly encourage you to join our RotoBaller premium slack group by signing up for a premium pass!

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Thunder Dan's NBA Best Bets for Today

  • Postseason Record 70-76
  • Against the Spread 28-25
  • Over/Under 9-12
  • Player Props 33-39

 

NBA Betting Picks for 5/17 and 5/18

Boston Celtics (+1.5) @ Miami Heat (204 total)

This series is going to be really compelling and I'd be lying if I told you I felt supremely confident in picking the winner. Both teams have battled their way through a really good Eastern Conference and dispatched the two preseason favorites in the second round by taking out the Bucks and Sixers. Both teams are great TEAMS in the truest sense of the word as they aren't nearly as reliant on star players as Milwaukee was with Giannis and the Sixers were with Embiid.

This series should be a bloodbath with both of these teams playing some elite defense (top five defenses during the regular season).

And that defense has helped carry them this far as Boston has the second-best defensive rating in the postseason with Miami right behind with the third-best.

The Celtics won the season series 2-1, but Miami does own the most recent victory as they took down Boston 106-98 in late March. Kyle Lowry played in that game, but won't play in game one it's important to point that out.

When we get this deep into the playoffs, it's tough relying on stats or metrics to help predict a winner, but for what it's worth I have Miami projected to win game one by four. I have to agree with the data today, I like the Heat, even without Lowry. They're at home and have had the benefit of a few extra days of rest while the Celtics just played game seven against the Bucks on Sunday. While the series win over the Bucks was really impressive by Boston, I wonder if it took a bit of a toll on them physically. The good news is they get Robert Williams III back for this series and they'll need his interior presence to combat Bam Adebayo, who has hurt the Celtics in the past.

I like Miami's bench unit quite a bit more and I think their depth lends itself well to being able to outlast Boston. Nothing would surprise me at this point from Boston, I've learned the hard way not to count them out. But I think Miami is the better team and with the home-court advantage in game seven they are able to win this series. So I am taking the Heat to cover tonight and win game one, and I think them to win in seven.

The Picks: Heat -1.5 (-110), Miami series winner (+155), Miami +1.5 games series spread (-125)

Series Prediction: Heat in Seven 

 

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Dallas Mavericks (+5.5) @ Golden State Warriors (214.5 total)

Who would have thought that the Mavericks would be here in the conference finals? Not many did, including me. But Dallas has defied the odds and strangely enough got even better after trading away their second-best player Kristaps Porzingis at the deadline. They played incredibly well down the stretch and have come together as a team. Luka is playing at an elite level right now and his supporting cast has been better than anyone could have anticipated.

But can Dallas keep it going against a rested Warriors team that didn't have to expend the same level of energy dispatching Memphis that Dallas did in their upset of Phoenix? I simply won't count them at this point. The Mavs have a bonafide superstar in Luka who is going to be a matchup problem for Golden State just like he was for Utah and Phoenix. Dallas has three-point shooters to flank Luka at every position with Kleber playing the stretch-five and Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock on the wings. And Spencer Dinwiddie and Jalen Brunson have been relentless, creating offense when Luka doesn't.

Golden State has the better team, there's simply no way around that. They have the best offense of any of the four teams remaining and they play pretty darn good defense, too. Jordan Poole has elevated his game in a big way this year and now makes a dangerous trio of scorers alongside Steph and Klay. The Warriors are deeper, too, and go to their bench for specialists some versatile players like Otto Porter Jr. and Nemanja Bjelica.

Believe it or not, the Mavs won the season series going 3-1 against the Warriors this season. Granted that Draymond Green only played in one of those games and that we didn't see Golden State at full health for too long of a stretch at any point this season, that's still something.

I think most people believe that the Mavs have already peaked at come as far as they can. But if you didn't come away impressed from their game seven drubbing of Phoenix or how they came back in that series, I'm not sure you were watching that closely.

In the end, I think the Warriors will likely be too much in the end, but I think Dallas is feisty enough to steal a few games. There's not much value in betting the Warriors series winner at -275 and I'm confident enough that they win in six to even bet the spread at -1.5 games.

Let's focus on this series one game at a time, I like the Mavs to cover in game one even though they are on the road. This Golden State team really hasn't been tested yet and got a break when Ja Morant was injured midway through the Memphis series. The Mavs have the firepower to keep up with Golden State in a faster-paced game environment than we saw in the Phoenix series and are playing well enough on defense that I think they can avoid being blown out. So give me the Mavs with the points tonight, and I will skip the series props. If you love the Warriors to win it all, they are now the favorite at +140 on DraftKings, but I have a different idea if you want to bet that market.

The Pick: Mavericks +5 (-110)

Series Prediction: Warriors in Seven

 

NBA FINALS PREDICTION: Heat over Warriors in Seven

I am not sure how the Heat are +500 to win it all and Dallas is +550. The Heat are the top seed in the East and I think many bettors are overreacting to the Boston win against the defending champs. The road to the finals still runs through Miami! And if Miami gets to the finals, they have the defense and experience to go the distance with the Warriors. Give me the underdog in the finals! The Miami Heat will be your 2022 NBA champs!

The Pick: Miami NBA Champion (+500 DK)

 

NBA Prop Bet Picks

Bam Adebayo over 2.5 assists (-150 FD): Bam is averaging over five assists in three games against Boston this season and averages four dimes per game without Lowry in the lineup this season.

Bam Adebayo to log a double-double (+120 DK): Bam's rebounds prop is juiced up at o8.5 on DK, but if he can snag ten boards, he should double-double with ease tonight and I like attacking Boston at the rim. This is a nice value and Bam did it against them in their most recent meeting.

Luka Doncic over 3.5 threes (-125 DK): Luka launched over 9 three-point attempts per game in the Phoenix series but only made four or more in three of the seven games. He was unconscious in gmae seven when he drilled 6-11 from deep and we know he won't shy away from firing them up. I like his chances of hitting four or more tonight and these odds are decent.

Spencer Dinwiddie over 18.5 PRA (-105): I have to go with my dude Dinwiddie here and ride the hot hand! He was pretty quiet in the Phoenix series but went crazy in game seven and this type of game environment against the Warriors should be a good fit for his game. I can see the Mavs playing a lot of extra-small ball tonight and in this series with Luka, Brunson, and Dinwiddie sharing the court together.

 

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