Betting The NBA Playoffs: Picks, Odds and Predictions For Today (4/21/22)
ScoresAndOdds betting expert Derek Farnsworth provides in-depth analysis and best bets for the NBA playoffs! Be sure to check out all of our FREE articles and picks under our news section.
I am still licking my wounds from last night’s slate. We got the amazing comeback from the Celtics to cover the spread and at that point, I was ready to bring out the broom for the second straight evening. Unfortunately, the Raptors gave up a lead in the fourth quarter and then missed a free-throw in overtime that would have given them the lead with two seconds to play. We all know what happened after that, as Joel Embiid made a three at the buzzer. Having the Raptors +2 was painful. And finally, the Bucks forgot to show up for the first two quarters and failed to cover the spread for the second consecutive game.
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As much as I would love for it to happen, we can’t expect to win every night. Despite getting kicked off, we’ll get right back in the saddle for tonight’s three-game slate.
Free NBA Betting Picks For Thursday
Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Wolves (Series: TIED 1-1)
The Grizzlies predictably bounced back in Game 2 against the Wolves. It felt like somewhat of a statement game and they certainly made one by beating Minnesota 124-96. The Grizzlies have to feel good about their chances after the big win and the Wolves have to feel good about getting the split on the road. The ever-important Game 3 will swing the momentum in the series one way or the other.
The Grizzlies enter Game 3 as 1.5-point favorites, so we should expect this to remain competitive for four quarters. During the regular season, the Grizzlies were very good on the road (26-15) and the Wolves were very good at home (26-15). Both teams are loaded with young talent and both finished the season in great form.
It will be interesting to see if Steven Adams draws the start at center, or if Head Coach Taylor Jenkins will keep him on the bench. Adams struggled in Game 1 and then picked up two fouls in the first three minutes of Game 2. He didn’t play another minute after that and the Grizzlies obviously coasted to a big win. I’m not sure the Grizzlies are a better team without him, but perhaps they are in this particular matchup.
I’m having a difficult time picking a side in this game. The Wolves home crowd will be electric, as they have seriously missed playoff basketball in Minnesota. At the same time, I ultimately expect the Grizzlies to pick up at least one win on the road. When in doubt, side with the home team. The Wolves should be able to get more from their role players and hopefully more from D’Angelo Russell.
- Game 3 PICK: Minnesota +1.5, DraftKings
Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz (Series: TIED 1-1)
The Jazz have been fortunate when it comes to injuries over the last two postseasons, but they have yet to take advantage of it. The Clippers beat them without Kawhi Leonard last season (even though they had home-court advantage) and now they find themselves tied with the Mavericks even though Luka Doncic has yet to suit up in this series. As of Thursday morning, he is officially listed as questionable for Game 3.
Given the fact that home-court advantage is generally worth 3-5 points in the NBA, it looks like the betting market is tentatively expecting Doncic to suit up. Obviously, there is still a good chance that he missed the game and even if he does draw the start, will the injury impact his play? There are a lot of question marks for the Mavericks. I have a hard time seeing Dallas winning this game on the road with Spencer Dinwiddie, Jalen Brunson, and a bunch of role players.
The Jazz have some question marks of their own. They have blown so many fourth quarter leads that it has to be ingrained in their memory at this point. The second the fourth quarter starts, they look tight and immediately start forcing the issue. That’s a big concern when betting on a team that is listed as 7.5-point favorites. Other than that, the Jazz should be the better team on both ends of the floor.
I’m on the Jazz in this spot. If Doncic ends up being out, we could see this spread jump up to eight or nine points. Even if he does play, I like the Jazz at home. Historically, they have had one of the best home-court advantages in the league.
- Game 3 PICK: Utah -7.5, FanDuel
Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets (Series: 2-0 GSW)
The Warriors struggled a bit in the first quarter of Game 2, but it never felt like they were in jeopardy of losing that game. When they get rolling, there is nothing like it in the league. In the blink of an eye, they can reel off 10-0 spurts and turn a five-point deficit into a five-point lead. With how good they have been at home with their big three over the years, it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t lose a single game at the Chase Center in the playoffs.
The big question is how well they are going to play on the road. They finished the regular season with a record of 22-19 away from home. While that’s not terrible, Denver has always been a tough place for teams to play. They have a raucous home crowd and most players aren’t used to playing in the elevation. On top of that, Denver has to know that if they lose this game, they will have no chance of winning this series.
There are two keys for the Nuggets in this one – Nikola Jokic needs to keep his composure. This is something he has done well throughout his career, but Draymond Green clearly got under his skin in Game 2. The other is that they will need a lot more from their role players. Generally, it’s easier for role players to perform well in front of their home crowd.
When it comes to betting this game, it’s pretty simple – I want to bet on the Nuggets at least once in this series and it certainly won’t be in Game 4 if they end up losing Game 3. Jokic has something to prove and his supporting cast should play much better at home.
- Game 3 PICK: Denver +1.5, BetMGM