NBA Expert Picks and Best Bets | May 2

Bryan Zarpentine pic
Bryan Zarpentine
NBA Picks and Best Bets
NBA Best Bets 2023-2024

The NBA schedule on Tuesday features just two games, but they’re both big games in the Eastern Conference. Both the Knicks and Pacers are looking to close out their series in Game 6 after failing to do so in Game 5. The USA Legal Betting team has picks against the spread for both games, as well as a bonus over/under bet for one of them. The playoffs are only going to keep getting better, so this might be a good time to check out some of the best betting sites to find one you like during the NBA playoffs.

Milwaukee Bucks vs Indiana Pacers Best Bet:

Bucks + 8 | -110 at bet365

Admittedly, we drastically underestimated Milwaukee's supporting cast. Without Giannis and Damian Lillard in Game 5, the Bucks won in convincing fashion to extend the series. There is at least some chance that Lillard will be back in Game 6 to help out. Either way, the pressure is off the Bucks with expectations lowered due to their injuries. A veteran coach like Doc Rivers can use that to his advantage. The Bucks are also 3-1 against the spread as the underdog in this series. At this point, the eight-point spread bet365 has for this game seems like a lot, so we’ll lean toward the Bucks to at least keep this game close.

To be fair, the Pacers have won both of their home games in this series. However, they also needed overtime to survive one of those games. Indiana also had a modest record against the spread during the regular season as a home favorite. Given Indiana’s infamous defensive struggles all season, it’s hard to believe the Pacers can close out an elimination game against a desperate Milwaukee team by a comfortable margin.

Bet365 Sportsbook Logo
Bucks +8 | -110 at bet365

Milwaukee Bucks vs Indiana Pacers Best Bet:

Over 215.5 | -110 at BetMGM

Speaking of Indiana’s porous defense, that has us thinking that the over is the best bet in Game 6. Based on the regular season, BetMGM’s over/under of 215.5 points seems rather modest despite these teams finishing under the total of 217.5 points in Game 5. Games 2, 3, and 4 in this series all went over 215.5 points.

With Game 6 being back in Indiana, the Pacers should have more success increasing the tempo and putting the ball in the basket. They’ll be able to force the Bucks to play a high-scoring game. Of course, the Bucks have scored a minimum of 108 points in every game of this series, with or without Lillard. If the underdog in this game scores at least 108 points, the over on 215.5 points is the smart play. 

BetMGM Sportsbook
Over 215.5 | -110 at BetMGM

New York Knicks vs Philadelphia 76ers Best Bet:

76ers -3.5 | -110 at BetRivers

Despite the Knicks taking a 3-1 lead, this series looks destined to go seven games. The 76ers carry a lot of momentum back home with them after a thrilling road win in Game 5. That should also boost the confidence of fans using Pennsylvania sportsbooks to back the Sixers. Once again, the 76ers are home favorites. In that position, they went 22-13 against the spread during the regular season.

As for the Knicks, if you include the end of the regular season, they are 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games. Keep in mind New York had to win late in the season to secure the no. 2 seed, so those games mattered. With a record like that, it’s hard to believe in the Knicks as an underdog despite a road win in Game 4. A lack of size and reliable scoring outside of Jalen Brunson are both issues that continue to hurt the Knicks, which is why we’re backing the Sixers in Game 6.

76ers -3.5 | -110 at BetRivers

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