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Free NBA Betting Picks- Today's Best Bets, Expert Predictions, Odds (5/6/23)

Jimmy Butler - NBA dfs lineup picks, daily fantasy basketball

After two nights this past week of single games, we are back on a double-game basis (for now). This Saturday of the NBA playoffs features two matchups locked in 1-1 ties. Jimmy Butler makes his return to the court after a one-game absence to host the New York Knicks in the arena with ever-changing names. Stephen Curry takes his show on the road to Los Angeles where the stars will be in full force.

The last time I wrote here, I was able to redeem myself with a 2-0 night. New York and Miami finished their game two total at 216, cashing the over 206.5. Los Angeles went into Golden State and won outright, easily covering +5. I'm 6-7 now in the 2023 playoffs but I will try to use that momentum built and keep moving forward.

In this article, I’ll be providing my favorite picks against the spread and game totals for the NBA playoff games that tip off at 3:30 PM EST on Saturday, May 6.

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New York Knicks (+3.5) @ Miami Heat (209.5 total)

Series: Tied 1-1

The story of this game will be the return of Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler after missing game two. Butler has done everything for the Heat these playoffs when he's on the court and is averaging 35.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.7 assists, and nearly two steals per game.


Miami actually held it together in Game Two despite Butler being on the bench. They entered this game as ten-point underdogs after it was announced Julius Randle would be back for the Knicks. The Heat were able to get 22 points from Caleb Martin, 21 points from Gabe Vincent, 17 from Max Strus, and 15 from Bam Adebayo. Those four players made up 75 of Miami's 105 points.

Gabe Vincent has scored 21 and 20 points in the first two games of this series. Adding Game Five against Milwaukee, Vincent has scored 20+ in three straight games with 13 total three-pointers.


Erik Spoelstra's team hit 38/85 (45%) field goal attempts, 17/49 (35%) three-pointers, and 12/17 (71%) free throws in Game Two. Without Jimmy Butler, the Heat relied more on three-pointers as they don't really have playmakers on the floor.

Miami has averaged 37 three-point attempts per game in the playoffs, up from the 34.8 they averaged in the regular season. They are also hitting 15.3 threes per game with a 41.3 average which is tops among playoff teams. In the regular season, they hit 12 per game at a 34.4 percent clip, bottom four in the NBA.

We could also talk about how they are averaging 119 points in the playoffs which is almost ten points higher than their season average. Not to nitpick too much, but the 49.6 field goal percentage is almost four percent better than the regular season mark. I point all this out and it's probably pretty clear by now, I'm skeptical those numbers will continue for Miami.


The Knicks didn't do much better in terms of scoring in Game Two, only putting up 111 points. They hit 37/82 (45%) field goals, 16/40 (40%) three-pointers, and 21/30 (70%) free throws. It was by far their best three-point shooting game of the playoffs and only the second time they made 10+ threes in a game in the 2023 playoffs. Prior to this game, they were 49/183 (26.7%) from three.

The free throw disparity can't be ignored. New York took 13 more foul shots which is not something you can always rely on game to game. New York may have gotten a friendlier whistle in Game Two at home, Game Three in Miami could look different.

Julius Randle playing in Game Two also slowed things down for the Knicks. In Game One without Randle, the game had a 95 pace. With Randle inserted back for Game Two, the pace in the game dropped to 90. The Knicks also saw their field goal attempts go from 86 in Game One to 82 in Game Two. That number feels about right and then you can factor in they probably don't shoot that well again from three or take that many free throws.


The total for this game is sitting at 209.5. Both games in this series have gone over and I think we're in a good position for an under. Miami could try to slow the game down more to keep Jimmy Butler and his ankle fresh. I also think we've seen some players overperform and I wouldn't be surprised if they came back down to earth. This should be a hard-fought physical series that hopefully has good defense and a lot of misses on Saturday afternoon.

The Pick: Under 209.5 (-110 Fanduel)


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Golden State Warriors (+2.5) @ Los Angeles Lakers (227.5 total)

Series: Tied 1-1

History of Game Two response from the home team losing Game One:

Game Two of this series was the classic response of a home team refusing to drop both games at home. In the 2023 NBA playoffs, home teams are now 7-0 in Game Two after losing Game One at home. The streak extends back even further to 16 straight playoff games.

The Warriors shot the ball incredibly well in Game Two. They hit 48/95 (50%) field goals and 21/42 (50%) three-pointers. I don't care who you're playing, if your opponent shoots like that, most teams are losing that game 9/10 times. It can also be chalked up to history as home teams are now 13-3 ATS in those Game Two wins off of a home Game One loss.

Hot Laker start:

The way this game started, it felt like the Lakers were going to steal both on the road. A 33-26 first quarter left the expensive Warriors crowd pretty silent. Anthony Davis only scored two points in the opening frame, LeBron opened the game with 12 points in the first and it looked like he wouldn't be denied.

Warriors 2nd-3rd quarter domination:

This game would be decided in the middle quarters where the Warriors outscored the Lakers 84-47. Golden State hit 6/12 threes in the second quarter and 8/10 from deep in the third. Again, if a team shoots that hot from three they will be impossible to beat. Another big change was the Warriors also attacking the basket as seen with the 30 points in the paint they scored in the first half:

A problem Steve Kerr's team had in Game One is they were bullied in the paint. The Lakers outscored them 54-28 in Game One points in the paint. Golden State held strong in Game Two, outscoring them 48-42.

Stephen Curry has been guarded pretty heavily in the first two games of this series. Being the great player he is, Curry was able to adjust in Game Two, picking up 12 assists while only scoring 20 points in 29 minutes. Steph, understandably so, looked fatigued in Game One of this series after his 50-point herculean performance in Game Seven against the Sacramento Kings only two days earlier. Nonetheless, he found teammates in Game Two and the Warriors were much more effective and prepared. When Curry got picked up as the ballhandler in this game, the Warriors nearly doubled their points per possession:

It will be interesting to see how the Lakers play this in Game Three. On one hand, the Warriors carved them up, but on the other, GS shot a crazy percentage which is just hard to sustain. Game Two is a bit hard to evaluate which is why I think Game One is a better sample size. If the Warriors hit 21/42 three-pointers again, I can live with that.

Los Angeles looked deflated after the 41-23 second quarter and found themselves down 30 points entering the fourth quarter. This should be a long series and a rebound by the Warriors was expected. Sometimes it's best to just save the energy and that's what the Lakers did.


I like the Lakers to bounce back in Game Three. Game Two got away from them but they were the tougher team in Game One and Anthony Davis should be ready to go. Davis loves to do this act where he has a bad game after having a big game. Typically, he recovers in the next game and the Lakers should look to him early in this one. Los Angeles finds their toughness and takes Game Three in what should be a series for the long haul.

The Pick: Lakers -2.5 (-110 Caesars)

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