NBA playoffs, Celtics-Sixers and a Devin Booker prop: Best Bets for May 11

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Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) drives to the basket during Game 5 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series, Tuesday, May 9, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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 Thursday, May 11:

TOP PLAY

The play: NBA Eastern Conference series bet, Celtics over Sixers

The odds: +142

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Time/TV: Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Our take: Sure it would be easier (and safer) to just take the Celtics money line, but the value isn’t quite there. Our thinking is this: If Boston wins Game 6 like we think they will, their championship pedigree will lead them to a win in Game 7, as the Sixers would be under the gun like they haven’t been in quite some time.

Following back-to-back losses, the Celtics will be at the top of their game with sharp focus in Game 6. They have won three of five on the road in the playoffs thus far and have won six series down 3-2 in a best-of-7 in their history. Lucky 7 comes here.

Obviously, this is the biggest one, but if they take this, one would have to assume they’ll be about -250 or -300 on the money line in Game 7, which makes this +145 inherently more valuable than -130 in Game 6 by itself.

PLAYER PROP IN PHOENIX

The play: Devin Booker to score more than 32.5 points

The odds: -113

The book: FanDuel Sportsbook

Our take: No question Booker wasn’t himself in Game 5, but with Phoenix’s life on the line Thursday, one can expect him to light up the basket. One thing is for certain, the team will clearly lean on him to try and do so.

He has scored 36 or more points in four consecutive home games in the playoffs and has averaged 36 points overall in 10 playoff games.

He also is better than 50 percent from 3-point land in the postseason and 8-for-12 in Games 3 and 4 in Phoenix.

HOW WE’VE FARED

Wednesday’s best bets

NBA playoffs: Warriors money line over Lakers (WON)

PGA, Byron Nelson Championship: Hideki Matsui to finish in the top 20 (PENDING)

Wednesday’s profit/loss: 1-0, 1 pending

Total for the week: 4-1, 1 pending

Total for May: 11-8, 1 pending

Total for 2023: 99-113, 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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