With the Los Angeles Clippers eliminating the Dallas Mavericks last night, the quarterfinals are now in full swing. We’ve got a Game 1 and a Game 2 on tap this evening, and I believe most of the betting value lies in Phoenix’s first playoff tilt with Denver.
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1. Suns -5 | -110 at FD Sportsbook
The Suns struggled against the Nuggets in the regular season, as they lost the series by a 2-1 margin. However, the Nuggets have lost much of their edge relative to Phoenix.
Denver relied heavily on Jamal Murray in those wins. The star point guard scored 31 (30% of their total score, Jan. 1), 18 (13.8%, Jan. 22), and 26 (21.7%, Jan. 23) points in those three matchups. That may be because point guards have been Phoenix’s biggest weakness this year. They allow the 15th-most points per game to the position, which doesn’t sound bad, but they have fared much better against every other spot on the court. And since Facundo Campazzo isn’t a high-ceiling player, Denver will have a hard time exploiting Phoenix’s weakness.
I also like this prop because I have faith in the Suns. They have been the NBA’s best team against the spread this year. Phoenix boasts a 25-14 ATS record at home, good for a second-best cover percentage of 64.1%. Meanwhile, the Nuggets have gone an uninspiring 20-19 ATS on the road.
Look for the Suns to set the tone for this series with at least a five-point win over Denver.
2. Facundo Campazzo Over 8.5 Points | +102 at FD Sportsbook
I may not have much faith in Denver, but it would behoove them to feature Campazzo against Phoenix’s defense. The point guard is averaging 9.3 points per game through the playoffs, and he averaged 9.1 points per game after Jamal Murray’s injury. Both of those figures point to value on this line, which sits in the plus money.
Campazzo even cleared this total in four of his six games against the Blazers. A three-point showing in Game 5 torpedoed his average; he would have averaged 10.6 points per game without it. Although the Trail Blazers give up a few more points per game to point guards than the Suns, Campazzo can afford to have a below-average night and still cash the over.
If the Nuggets want to win this game, they’ll probably need to trust their backcourt — or hope for a 40-plus point explosion from Nikola Jokic.
3. Joe Harris Over 13.5 Points | -122 at FD Sportsbook
The Milwaukee Bucks give up the most made threes per game (14.7), and their perimeter vulnerabilities were on full display in Game 1. Joe Harris nailed five threes on his way to 19 points, Blake Griffin hit four and scored 18, and Kyrie Irving hit three and ended with 25 points.
With James Harden sidelined, Harris should see plenty of looks from deep. The prop betting total for his made three-point shots sits at 3.5, which would be good for 12 points — just two short of this prop! While I also like that line, I’d rather play things safe and hope that Harris hits at least three shots from deep and makes a few layups.
Harris is averaging 14.3 points per game through the playoffs so far, and he has hit this over in three of six games. He averaged 14.1 points per game in the regular season, too. With the averages and the situational matchup point to value on the over, I’m locking in this play despite the unfriendly juice.
Today’s Plus-Money Prop: Facundo Campazzo Over 10.5 | +198 at FD Sportsbook
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