Here are tonight’s top bets for the NBA action tonight.
Los Angeles Clippers (+8.5, 227) vs Phoenix Suns
The Suns came in -7.5 favorites for Sunday’s game, and are even heavier favorites for tonight’s game. Much of the public is jumping on the Clippers with the points because of this, but let’s take a deeper look into this game.
The Clippers seem to have a clear coaching and cohesion advantage. The Clippers knew their assignments and roles much better than the Suns, and while Phoenix failed to find Kevin Durant for large stretches of the game, the Clippers’ hierarchy was effective and clear. Lue also had the Clippers mixing up their defensive assignments, but crucially, Lue never stuck with any one alignment for too long, leading to hesitation by Suns players trying to run sets only to be facing a different matchup than they expected.
With Cameron Payne a late scratch ahead of Game 1 (and status uncertain for Game 2), only six Suns players played 10 minutes or more, which meant that the Suns’ stars put in absurd minute totals for a Game 1. They may be facing a similar situation in Game 2.
The Clippers beat the Suns up on the boards. Ayton routinely got outmuscled by Zubac and Mason Plumlee, and while Westbrook had a nightmare shooting game, he was very effective on the boards.
While L.A. is shorter on top-end talent, it’s full of capable contributors up and down the roster. With a clear edge in depth, game plan, and continuity, this game should remain close.
We like the Clippers +8.5.
Atlanta Hawks (+10.5, 229.5) vs Boston Celtics
The final score of game one wasn’t indicative of how fast the game was played. There were 102 possessions in the game, but had the game been competitive, it would have been even faster. The Celtics went into halftime with a 30-point lead and had a noticeable decrease in their pace in the second half.
The Hawks 41.3% effective field goal performance ranked as their second-worst shooting performance of the entire season. The Hawks shot 5-of-29 from deep (17%) and Trae Young was only 5-of-18 from the field with five turnovers. There will be positive regression from the Hawks here.
Two of their three regular season matchups cleared this number and the one that didn’t finished at 227. That game was in November and was another historically bad shooting performance from the Hawks to fall under 229.5 by 2 points. Trust the Hawks’ offense to bounce back and keep this one competitive.
We like the Over 229.5.