The NBA Playoffs continue tonight with another three game slate. It should prove to be one of the more exciting nights we will get in the first round as we have the New York Knicks playing their first road playoff game in almost a decade. We also have two banner matchups with the star-studded Brooklyn Nets taking on the Boston Celtics and the matchup of the night with Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks looking to put Kawhi Leonard in a potential franchise-altering 3-0 hole. It is sure to be an interesting night for fans and bettors alike.
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1. Nets -7.5 | -115 at DraftKings Sportsbook
The Brooklyn Nets have proven to be too much to handle for a Boston Celtics team down one of their star players (and top defenders) in Jaylen Brown. On a day where the two other games would be tough to predict, even if we were talking moneyline, the Nets stand out as a true value. Yes, the series will be moving to Boston, but the Nets average margin of 16.5 points tells us all we need to know about this series.
The Celtics simply do not have the firepower to contend with the NBA’s latest and greatest ‘Big 3’ and are now projected to get swept in this series. Boston should keep it interesting for the first two quarters, but unless Jayson Tatum plays 44+ minutes and Kemba Walker catches fire, we are likely to see more of the same tonight. We may not see another double-digit victory but covering the eight points needed to click is more than doable. Tap the Nets for one unit and enjoy the game.
2. Derrick Rose Over 18.5 Points | -114 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Derrick Rose has been the Knicks most consistent player through the first two games of this series and figures to play a large role once again with the series moving to Atlanta. He has totaled 17 and 26 points so far this series, and the 17 point Game 1 stat line came with zero attempts from the free-throw line, something that only occurred in 20 percent of his games this season. Rose should be able to sleepwalk to at least 16 points tonight and should be extra motivated after his spat with Trae Young.
Rose will see the minutes and shot attempts to cross the 20 point barrier once again tonight, and only a poor shooting performance should prevent him from hitting the 19 points required for the over to hit. Ride with Rose until the Knicks other top players start to show enough consistency to keep him from operating as a top option on offense.
3. James Harden Over 8.5 Assists | -103 at DraftKings Sportsbook
The early money has poured on the under for this prop, and for good reason. Harden has yet to hit nine assists in the playoffs and has fallen under the number in seven of his last 10 contests. Haden averaged 10.9 assists per game as a member of the Nets this season but has yet to really round back into form since returning from injury.
However, there is reason to project the over. Harden managed eight assists in Game 1 and put up seven in a Game 2 blowout in which he played just under 28 minutes. If tonight’s game is of a more competitive nature as expected, Harden should be able to reach double-digit assists.
As a playmaker, he has two of the best weapons in the league and a supporting cast, and regardless of whether or not his shot is falling, Harden looking to set up his teammates early and often is all but guaranteed. The suggestion here is to hold off on laying your action and monitoring the juice. If it continues to move in favor of the under, hold steady until plus money or an outright number change to a smash number of 7.5. The latter is the least likely scenario, so be prepared to tap when you see even money or better and enjoy the fireworks.
Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>
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Raju Byfield is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Raju, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyContext.
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