The Milwaukee Bucks have punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference Final, and today’s matchup between the Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76ers will determine who gets to play them in that series. Since we have six games of data to work with for that battle, two of my featured bets come from that game — although I also have a strong read for Game 1 of the Western Conference Final.
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1. Devin Booker Over 5.5 Assists | -130 at FD Sportsbook
The juice isn’t great on this line, but it should be a safe play with Chris Paul sidelined for Game 1. Booker should have to do most of the ball-handling for Phoenix, and that gives him a real shot to sail over this total.
To give you some perspective, Booker averaged 6.5 assists per game without Paul in 2019-20, and he averaged 6.8 per game the season before. Last year, he even averaged 9.3 assists per game against the Clippers.
Booker played in just one regular-season game without Paul this year, and he recorded a rock-solid eight assists in that outing. Although the young superstar has averaged only 4.8 assists per game through the playoffs thus far, this total hasn’t been corrected for how much Phoenix’s offense must change with Paul out.
2. Clint Capela Under 11.5 Points | -118 at FD Sportsbook
If you’ve followed my writeups during the series between the Sixers and Hawks, you know that I’ve been on top of Capela’s under the entire time. It’s been a profitable ride — Capela has stayed under his posted total in four of the six games thus far, although his 14-point outing in Game 6 was concerning.
The logic behind this play is simple: Joel Embiid is a great defender. Atlanta’s center has averaged just 10.3 points per game against him through nine regular-season and playoff matchups, a full point below this threshold. He has gone over it in just three games — just one-third of the time.
If the hit rate has you concerned, don’t be — not only is it better than the implied odds (54.1%), but the home and away splits also point to even more value. Capela has only ever hit the over when playing in Atlanta! His 10.3 points per game against the Sixers fall to 9.4 when we look at just his games in the Wells Fargo Center. I suspect that trend will continue tonight.
3. Hawks First Quarter Under 26.5 | -110 at FD Sportsbook
I suspect that the Sixers will beat the Hawks today, but even if they don’t, they’ll at least get out to a strong start in the first quarter. Atlanta has struggled in the opening frame of this series — after their 42-point first-quarter showing in Game 1, they have averaged just 22.6 points per first quarter. They have hit the over just once through that span.
I’m targeting this prop and not the first-quarter spread because I have more faith in Philadelphia’s defense than in their offense. The Sixers rank second in defensive efficiency on the year, and they’ve been even more efficient at home. They have allowed just 26.1 points per first quarter on the year, a number that falls to 25.7 when they play at home.
Again, aside from a flukish Game 1 showing, the Hawks have averaged just 22 points per first quarter in the Wells Fargo Center this series. Atlanta also stayed below this mark in both of their regular-season meetings with the Sixers in Philadelphia, as they recorded totals of 17 (Apr. 28) and 26 (Apr. 30).
This bet doesn’t scream value at its posted odds, but it should be a safe play. You can also make your own value by buying it a bit lower.
Today’s Plus-Money Prop: Hawks First Quarter Under 24.5 | +154 at FD Sportsbook
Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>
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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.
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