Tyler Herro over 24.5 points + assists (-125) vs. Hawks
Despite this being just a one-game series, I watched about an hour's worth of possessions from this regular-season series (minus the game Jimmy Butler missed). The Hawks went through a mid-season coaching change, but one thing remained constant -- Trae Young was guarding Herro. And when Trae was out, Atlanta put Bogdan Bogdanovic on him. The result was a ton of Herro/Adebayo pick-and-rolls (we'll get to Bam later). I actually thought Herro could have been more aggressive shooting the ball out of those actions, and to me, his shooting woes in the series (14.8 PPG on 36 FG%) seem more fluky than anything. I'm also hoping for some dimes to Adebayo, as the Hawks couldn't seem to figure out how to stop him once he got to the middle of the paint.
Trae Young under 24.5 points (-115) at Heat It turns out the sportsbooks aren't stupid, and they watch games, too. I was hoping to bet Young under his three-point prop, but the books set the number at an almost comically low 2.5 (which has still seen action to the under and is sitting at -155). Personally, I expect Young to struggle, especially from three, but the number is just too low for me. The Heat swarm him on the perimeter and try to force him to drive, often getting Adebayo switched onto him -- something Trae is clearly bothered by. I'd rather bet on Young struggling more generally than hitting the under on that three-point mark. Young averaged 19.8 PPG in four games against Miami this season.
Bam Adebayo leading scorer of game vs. Hawks (+1,000) Despite having a nice center rotation of Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu, Adebayo repeatedly cut through the defense in this regular-season series, whether it be through the pick-and-roll or taking free-throw line jumpers. He averaged 24.5 PPG on 62 FG% in the four games, and there was a point in the third quarter of the second game in Atlanta where the Heat just gave him the ball and essentially said "save us." I love getting 10-to-1 odds on him leading the scoring with how much I expect Trae Young to struggle, and Jimmy Butler isn't afraid to defer to teammates and focus on defense.
Karl-Anthony Towns going up against Anthony Davis, which practically leaves just one option for the Wolves -- Edwards. The sample size of Edwards being on the floor without Gobert, McDaniels and Reid since the trade deadline is quite small (54 total minutes), but he posted a 35.2 percent usage rate and averaged 27.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per 36. I'm not sure he'll be efficient, but I think he'll try to take over.
Anthony Davis over 27.5 points + assists (-130) vs. Timberwolves I just don't think Towns can check Davis. But, I want to hedge by adding assists to the points prop because believe Minnesota will opt to double-team AD and force the ball out of his hands. And I didn't include rebounds because I think he'll often be out on the perimeter defensively guarding Towns. This is a huge opportunity for AD to take some pressure off LeBron in what's turned into an extremely advantageous matchup for the big man.
Jimmy Butler over 0.5 made threes (-145) vs. Hawks Butler is a low-volume three-point shooter in the regular season, but on an annual basis he tends to roughly double his output in the playoffs. That was the case last season, when he attempted four or more three-pointers in 10 of 17 playoff games, hitting at a 34% clip. Butler is 2-of-3 from downtown in three matchups against Atlanta this season, but I'm counting on him to be a bit more aggressive from beyond the arc as the Heat look to lock up the 7 seed in the East.
Anthony Edwards over 27.5 points (-110) at LA Lakers While the absence of Rudy Gobert is a big difference-maker for the Wolves, I think there's a case to be made that it plays to Edwards' advantage on offense. Gobert is completely ineffective outside of the restricted area, and his absence means Minnesota will be cleared to play a more freewheeling, five-out style that should help create lanes for Edwards to attack. He's been a bit up-and-down of late, but after shaking off an ankle injury + an illness, I like Edwards to erupt against a Lakers team that should win this game, but also has trouble stepping on the gas against undermatched opponents. I'm also leaning toward Karl-Anthony Towns U23.5 points tonight – mostly due to foul trouble concerns.