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NBA Best Bets Today: Monday, May 23

Kyle Lowry over 5.5 assists (+100) vs. Celtics

BetMGM, 3:56 PM CT

Without Tyler Herro in the mix, I'm expecting more touches for Lowry, though I don't necessarily expect him to score. He's been up and down in that department all season – mostly down – but I still trust him as a facilitator. That's been shown in the numbers this playoffs when Herro is out. With Herro off the court – and Lowry, Butler and Adebayo on – Lowry has averaged 9.3 assists per 36 minutes (70-minute sample)

Max Strus over 13.5 points (+100) vs. Celtics

DraftKings, 1:30 PM CT

Strus has essentially emerged as the new Duncan Robinson for Miami over the last two months. His production has been very much up-and-down during the postseason, but he caught fire in Game 3, hitting four three-pointers en route to 16 points in 34 minutes. While the Heat expect Jimmy Butler back in full capacity tonight, they'll be without Tyler Herro, so I like Strus' chances to again approach 35 minutes.

Victor Oladipo over 1.5 steals (+180) vs. Celtics

BetMGM, 1:09 PM CT

With Tyler Herro (groin) out, plus Jimmy Butler (knee) and Kyle Lowry (hamstring) banged up, I expect Oladipo to get major minutes. Miami's Game 3 defensive plan was to alternate between pressuring the ball early in tight man, then switch to a zone when Boston had fewer shooters on the floor. Both approaches led to 19 steals for the Heat in Game 3. I suspect they'll stick with a similar approach in Game 4. Remember, Oladipo averaged 2.4 steals per game in 2017-18. He had four thefts in Game 3.

Kyle Lowry over 11.5 points (-106) vs. Celtics

FanDuel, 1:09 PM CT

With Herro out, and Jimmy Butler possibly dinged up, someone needs to pick up the scoring. Oladipo seemed gun shy in Game 3. Lowry should finally be over his hamstring issues, and I like his championship swagger. Boston has Marcus Smart pre-occupied with helping stop Bam Adebayo, potentially leaving Lowry open for some easy jumpers. Lowry did average 13.4 points per game during the regular season. He's due for some playoff buckets.

Jimmy Butler over 25.5 points (-112) vs. Celtics

FanDuel, 11:29 AM CT

Man, does this line confuse me. Butler is already expected to play Monday night, which leads me to believe that there will be no minute restrictions on the star forward. This is also paired with the fact that Miami's second most dynamic scorer, Tyler Herro, has been ruled out with a groin injury. Butler is in a prime position to continue his scoring dominance here in the postseason, and his line certainly is still too low. Not including Friday's outing where he exited early, Butler has averaged 31.4 points in his last seven full performances.

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