NBA betting: Picks against the spread for Friday night's playoff games

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The first round of the NBA playoffs continues on Friday night with three games. Yahoo Sports’ Jared Quay has the picks you need for all of the action.

All odds via BetMGM.

New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks (-4), Total: 211.5

After the Hawks took Game 1 at Madison Square Garden thanks to some late-game heroics from Trae Young, the Knicks responded and even up the series with a 101-92 win in Game 2. Now the series is headed south for Game 3 in Atlanta, where the Hawks are four-point favorites and the over/under is set at 211.5.

Knicks star Julius Randle really struggled in Game 1 and those struggles carried over to the first half of Game 2 as New York fell behind by double digits. Randle, however, came alive in the second half and helped lead the Knicks to a victory. Quay thinks Randle will put together a much more consistent performance over 48 minutes.

“I think [the Knicks] keep that momentum going. I think Vegas has the wrong team favored here, so I like the Knicks on the moneyline,” Quay said.

Prop we like: Clint Capela under 14.5 rebounds (-110)

Brooklyn Nets (-7.5) at Boston Celtics, Total: 227.5

Elsewhere in the East, the Celtics appear to be in serious danger of being swept. They kept it close with the Brooklyn Nets for much of Game 1, but ended up losing by 11. Game 2 was a blowout.

Can the Celtics get back into the series at home in Game 3? They are 7.5-point underdogs with the total set at 227.5. Quay is skeptical that Boston can keep up with Brooklyn’s offensive firepower, especially with Jaylen Brown sidelined. He is rolling with the Nets -7.5.

Prop we like: Jayston Tatum under 29.5 points (-105)

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics Saturday, May 22, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) shoots during the second half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics Saturday, May 22, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)

Los Angeles Clippers (-2) at Dallas Mavericks, Total: 219.5

In the late game, the Los Angeles Clippers surprisingly find themselves in an 0-2 hole and are headed on the road to face Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. The Clippers were the betting favorite in the first two games of the series, both in Los Angeles, and they lost both outright.

In Game 3, they are the favorite again. This time, the Clippers are favored by only two points with the total set at 219.5. Even though the Clippers are on the road, Quay has a hard time seeing them fall behind 3-0 in the series.

“If they lose this game there’s a good chance they get swept and I just don’t see that happening,” Quay said. “I’m taking the Clippers -2.”

Prop we like: Paul George over 4.5 assists (+105)

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