April 20th, 2024 NBA Playoffs Betting Tips

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NBA Playoffs Betting Tips for April 20th, 2024.

1-1 last night on Patreon.

W Heat -1.5
L Kings +1

The Playoffs are finally here. The Play-In is fun, but it’s not the best of the best. That starts today.

Below I have my bets for each game as well as my series picks.

My Finals pick is Boston vs. Denver, with the Nuggets winning in six games. How we get there may change along the way, but I just don’t see anyone stopping either team thanks to injuries/experience/talent.

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Four games, let’s do this.

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Orlando Magic at Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Tips:

Orlando Magic (+175) at Cleveland Cavaliers (-205)
Series Pick: Cleveland 4-2

Nobody is excited about this one, but I feel like it could be competitive.

The Magic had one of the best defenses in the league and were the top defense overall post-All-Star break. If this team had any sort of playoff experience then I might have taken this as my round one upset pick, but that experience will probably end up deciding this.

The sportsbooks are very low on this series with a 207.5 total. I know playoff basketball can be tighter, but this feels like an over-correction.

The Cavs were beat up, but over their last 29 games, they had a 115.5 Defensive Rating which was 25th in the NBA.

These are two defensive-minded teams, but three of their four games this season had final totals over 225.

I would have this total closer to 210, worth an over bet.

Magic/Cavs Over 207.5
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Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves Betting Tips:

Phoenix Suns (-132) at Minnesota Timberwolves (+112)
Series Pick: Wolves 4-3

This is a tough series and could be the tightest of the round, a true match-up of strength versus strength.

Minnesota had the league’s best defense against top-ten offenses.

Phoenix had the league’s third-best offense against top-ten defenses.

Minnesota had a 30-11 record at home with a +9.3 Net Rating.

Phoenix finished 16-11 on the road with a +5.4 Net Rating.

This game is extremely tight and my System would have it as a pick ’em. That said, Phoenix won all the regular season games between these two this season and really frustrated Anthony Edwards in those games.

If Phoenix is going to make this a series, I think they need to come out strong and steal the first game. Minnesota needs to figure them out, not vice versa.

Suns +2
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Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks Betting Tips:

Philadelphia 76ers (+104) at New York Knicks (-124)
Series Pick: Knicks 4-3

This was one of the toughest picks of the first round for me. The 76ers absolutely deserved better this season with how things started, but there is a difference between deserve and reality.

I can see this series going a lot of ways. Seven games is the pick, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see four or five games either.

The big reason is that Joel Embiid doesn’t quite look all the way back. He’s always kind of lumbering up the floor, but he was sucking wind a lot in the Heat game. His shooting percentage has been under 50% in all but one game since his return and he seems willing to hang on the perimeter.

If he can turn it around and somehow get stronger as he goes, this team can be a real threat. I just don’t know if there is enough time left to get that done.

The key thing for the Knicks is OG Anunoby. What an amazing trade that was. The Knicks have a +13.2 Net Rating in the 23 games played with him this season. A 20-3 record with a defense that would be one of the best in the league.

The Knicks defense will lock down on Maxey which means that it will have to be Embiid and company getting it done. I don’t see it.

Knicks -3

Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets:

Los Angeles Lakers (+305) at Denver Nuggets (-375)
Series Pick: Nuggets 4-0

I have less to say here than anywhere else.

The Nuggets have won eight straight dating back to last year’s playoffs. I think they are going to extend that here.

Is there a chance of a gentleman’s sweep? Sure. I just don’t think we see it.

The Lakers are a flawed team and the Nuggets really can exploit them. They have zero answer for Jokic and that’s all there is to it.

Of the eight wins, six of them were by 8+.

Nuggets -7