Hawks-Heat, Timberwolves-Grizzlies, Pelicans-Suns Game 5 NBA playoffs bets
Miami leads Atlanta 3-1 and hosts Game 5 at its own arena, where it was one of the best teams in the regular season and took the first two games of this series.
Trae Young’s performance has been limited by the Heat’s fearsome defense. Jimmy Butler has been spectacular through four games.
The later games–Timberwolves–Grizzlies and Pelicans–Suns–have been much more exciting. The series are tied at 2-2 going into Game 5. This is surprising considering the huge seeding differences. The series will return to Memphis and Phoenix with the lower-seeded teams having won a game on the road.
Regular season record: 117-113-2
Play-in/playoff record: 21-22
Time: 7 p.m. ET | NBA TV
Spread: Hawks 7.5 (-118) | Heat -7.5 ( 100)
Moneyline: Hawks ( 260) | Heat (-333)
Total: Under 217.5 (-110) | Over 217.5 (-110)
This series has not been particularly close. Each Miami win came by an average of 19.3 points; the Hawks’ lone victory was by one point. Atlanta had the opportunity to even things at home Sunday and instead put up a series-low 86 points, nine of which were scored by Young, who finished with single digits for the second time in four games. Instead, Miami took a commanding 3-1 lead behind Butler’s game-high 36 points. The Hawks look out of place and are unable to get contributions by their biggest stars. While the Heat have help from their entire team, the Hawks have looked outmatched. Young is averaging just 16.5 points and as many assists (six) and turnovers per game. Clint Capela, the center, made his debut in Game 4 but was not himself. John Collins, who is also recovering from an injury, hasn’t performed up to his potential.
De’Andre Hunter is the only Atlanta player to have improved his play in the postseason. He leads the team’s scoring.
Miami hasn’t gotten anything significant from players not named Butler, but it hasn’t mattered. Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro, and Tyler Herro are playing like shadows of regular-season selves. Kyle Lowry (hamstring), who missed Game 4, will not be playing Tuesday night. The Heat still have the No. The Heat have the No. 1 net rating, despite not performing to their full potential. I originally picked the Heat to win six games, but I’m going up to five. Atlanta only stood a chance in this series if Young improved on his regular-season average of close to 30 points and 10 assists per game–he’s hardly performing at 50% of that productivity. Miami smells blood and the Heat (29-12 during the regular season) don’t lose at home.
BETS: Heat -7.5 ( 100); DeAndre Hunter Over 14.5 Points (-108)
Scroll to Continue
Time: 7: 30 p.m. ET | TNT
Spread: Timberwolves 6.5 (-118) | Grizzlies -6.5 ( 100)
Moneyline: Timberwolves ( 205) | Grizzlies (-250)
Total: Under 232.5 (-110) | Over 232.5 (-110)
Saturday’s game was the first of the series decided by less than nine points. Minnesota scored a 119-118 win at home to even the series. Karl-Anthony Towns (33 points and 14 rebounds) had a dominant game and Ja Morant’s shooting struggles continued (9-31 on the road). Now things head back to Memphis, where the Timberwolves stole Game 1 and the Grizzlies responded in Game 2 with a 28-point win. The T-Wolves are yet to play well in their Big 3 overlap. Anthony Edwards has cooled off after his 36-point playoff debut, D’Angelo Russell’s best performance of the series came during the Game 3 collapse and he’s been abysmal otherwise and Towns has had high highs and very low lows. In wins, Towns averages a 30-point double-double. In losses, Towns is barely scoring in double figures. It’s been the Desmond Bane Show for Memphis in the past two games. He hit 15 threes across the two games in Minnesota and is the team’s leading scorer for the series. Although Morant’s playmaking has improved, his finishing in the paint is not as good as it was during the regular season. Brandon Clarke is still a revelation. His play has been crucial in Steven Adams’s removal and Jaren Jackson Jr. taking himself out of games because of his excessive fouling.
Perhaps the biggest storyline for both teams has been fouls and ensuing free throws. The T-Wolves shot 40 Saturday and won–the Grizzlies attempted 25. The team with more free throws is 3-1 in this series (Game 1 is an exception).
I expect Memphis to have a larger free-throw advantage on its own court. Morant, who is much more efficient at home than on the road shooting, should be a greater scoring threat Tuesday. The Grizzlies have been the better team in this series thus far, and that trend will continue at FedEx Forum. Memphis was the only team with better regular-season home records. Memphis was second. As long as Minnesota doesn’t get outings from Towns Edwards, Russell, and Russell on the same evening, this series and game are the Grizzlies’ to win.
BET: Grizzlies -6.5 ( 100); Desmond Bane Over 20.5 Points (-106); Jaren Jackson Jr. Under 13.5 Points (-116); Karl-Anthony Towns Over 10.5 Rebounds ( 104)
Time: 10 p.m. ET | TNT
Spread: Pelicans 6.5 (-110) | Suns -6.5 (-110)
Moneyline: Pelicans ( 225) | Suns (-275)
Total: Under 215.5 (-110) | Over 215.5 (-110)
New Orleans scored the most lopsided win of the series over the weekend. The Pelicans beat down on the Devin Booker-less Suns for a 118-103 win to even the series, 2-2. After Phoenix had won the first game at Smoothie King Center by three points, that was it. This entertaining series now heads back to the desert where the Suns won Game 1, and were stunned in Game 2.
The Pelicans are the No. The Pelicans have the No. 2 offensive rating in the playoffs, just behind the Warriors. This is against the No. 3 regular-season defense. Brandon Ingram has played like a superstar in this series–he’s averaging close to 30 PPG, distributing the ball well and shooting 51/50/88 splits. C.J. McCollum has been a knockdown shooter as well and the rest of the rotation including Jonas Valanciunas (16 rebounds per game) and rookies and defensive pests Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado have made a perfect foil for Phoenix. This series is down to Chris Paul. Fair or not that the 36-year-old has to shoulder so much of the scoring load with Booker sidelined, that’s what he’s being tasked with. The results so far have been mixed. Paul had 28 points and 14 assists in Game 3 and followed that with four points in Game 4. He got some assistance from Deandre Ayton, but it’s really all on Paul to orchestrate the offense and get his 20-plus points. That’s hard enough without Alvarado hounding him for 94 feet. It’s hard to pick against the Pelicans, after what they did on Sunday to the Suns in the fourth quarter. Phoenix should respond at home and I can sense a Paul revenge match. He clearly did not enjoy the final 12 minutes of that most recent loss, evidenced by a hard foul for which he was hit with a flagrant.
It’ll take a monster game from Ingram to propel the Pelicans to a win or cover, which isn’t out of the question, but I’m putting my trust in Paul.
BET: Suns -6.5 (-110); Chris Paul Over 32.5 Points Assists (-115)
More Betting, Fantasy and NBA:
Eastern Conference Betting Preview
Western Conference Betting Preview
NBA Championship Futures
Over/Under Skill Players Drafted
NBA First-Round Series Length Betting Preview
Best Fantasy Landing Spots for Deebo Samuel
Travon Walker Favored to be No. 1 Pick
Steve Nash is Being Exposed
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.