NBA playoff favorites taking opposite approaches: Best Bets for April 22

Brooklyn Nets' Mikal Bridges (1)drives past Philadelphia 76ers' James Harden (1) during the second half of Game 3 in an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, April 20, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Each day, one of our experts will offer up a best bet (or two or three) that mobile sportsbooks are offering. It might be a traditional spread bet, a player prop or one of the various odds boosts that books offer.

Here are our best bets for Saturday, April 22:


The play: NBA playoffs, Nets money line over 76ers

The odds/bet: +106

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 1 p.m. (TNT)

Our take: Joel Embiid was ruled out for this game Friday night, and it’s starting to feel an awful lot like a gentlemen’s sweep — the 76ers won’t try to lose, certainly, but they’re well aware of the situation. If the Nets manage to win a game at home, the Sixers will be content to let the banged-up probable MVP rest before going back to Philadelphia to close it out in five games.

There are other reasons to believe Brooklyn can take a game here, too. The Sixers survived Game 3 by five points despite good 3-point shooting, something that will be tougher without Embiid there to space the floor. Nic Claxton is an efficient scorer who can find even more opportunity without Embiid’s defensive presence, and on the other end, the Nets have plenty of shooting to take advantage of more space on that end.


The play: NBA playoffs, Suns -7½ over Clippers

The odds/bet: -110

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: 3:30 p.m. (TNT)

Our take: On the other hand, the momentum in this series has totally flipped, and this feels like a blowout coming as the Suns try to take control of the series.

The Clippers won Game 1 in Phoenix behind a big game from Kawhi Leonard, but the oft-injured star apparently suffered a sprained knee in that game, and though he played through it in Game 2, he sat out Game 3 and won’t play in this one, either. The Clippers, already without their other star in Paul George, fought vainly without Leonard on Thursday night, but asking them to hold up against Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Chris Paul and this Suns firepower for a second straight game seems like a lot to ask.


Thursday’s best bets

NBA playoffs: Hawks first half +1½ over Celtics (WON)

MLB parlay: Rangers over A’s/Angels over Royals (LOST)

Friday’s record: 1-1

Total for the week: 4-5, 1 pending

Total for April: 17-24, 1 pending

Total for 2023: 82-94, 1 pending

NOTE: If a line or odds are minus, it considers the juice one must lay to place the bet. Ex: Team A is -160 on the money line, one would have to bet $160 to win $100 (or $16 to win $10). OR Team B is a 5-point favorite at -110, one would have to bet $110 to win $100 (or $11 to win $10.)

Conversely, on positive lines, if Team C is +140 on the money line, $100 would bring in $140 (or $10 to win $14).


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