Suns-Nuggets NBA Playoffs spread play, 76ers-Celtics total: Best bets for May 1

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, left, looks to pass the ball as Phoenix Suns forward Torrey Craig defends in the second half of Game 1 of an NBA second-round basketball series Saturday, April 29, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

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 Monday, May 1:


The play: NBA Playoffs, Denver Nuggets (-4) over Phoenix Suns

The odds/bet: -110 ($33 to win $30)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 10 p.m. (TNT)

Our take: The Nuggets have lived up to expectations so far as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, and they set the tone in the second round with a dominant win over the Suns.

The 2023 NBA Playoffs have been anything but predictable, but the Nuggets at home have been the closest thing we’ve gotten to a lock, as they have a perfect 4-0 home record so far in the postseason and haven’t shown any signs of slowing down.

The Suns should put up more of a fight tonight than they did in Game 1, but we still like the Nuggets here since the spread is only four points, which feels like a value considering how strong they’ve looked.


The play: NBA Playoffs, Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics under 214.5 points

The odds/bet: -110 ($11 to win $10)

The book: Caesars Sportsbook

Time/TV: 7:30 p.m. (TNT)

Our take: The 76ers and Celtics had some intense regular season matchups, and the theme in the majority of those games was hard-nosed defense, which led to low point totals.

The Celtics play some of the best defense in the NBA, which is why we like the under in this matchup even though it’s set low for an NBA game since it likely won’t be a back-and-forth contest due to Joel Embiid’s expected absence for the 76ers.

Expect the Celtics to take control early and manage to hold the Embiid-less 76ers in check, but the Sixers should be able to do enough defensively to prevent the Celtics from running up the score.


Sunday’s best bets

  • NBA Playoffs, Miami Heat at New York Knicks OVER 207.5 total points (WON $30)
  • NHL Playoffs, Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins money line (LOST $9)
  • Mexico Open, Wyndham Clark to finish in the top 20 (LOST $11.50)

Sunday’s profit/loss: +$9.50 (1-2)

Final total for the week: -$138.50 (3-9)

Final total for April: -$457.70 (23-35)

Total for 2023: -$481.80 (88-105)

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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