NBA betting: Picks against the spread for Saturday’s playoff games

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There’s a full day of NBA playoff action on Saturday with four games throughout the day. Yahoo Sports’ Minty Bets has the picks you need for all the action.

As always, odds are provided by BetMGM.

Milwaukee Bucks (-5) at Miami Heat, Total: 221.5

The Heat are getting a couple possessions against the spread as they attempt to stave off a sweep by the Bucks.

Miami has struggled so far this postseason on offense as Milwaukee’s defense has been much better than it was when the teams met in the 2020 postseason. Miami has shot just 38% from the field and is shooting less than 34% from three.

Milwaukee is 3-7 in its last 10 games as a favorite and Miami is 3-7 its last 10 as an underdog, so you’re not going to find much to go on there. Picking this game could ultimately come down to believing whether or not you think Miami is toast after going down 3-0 in a blowout loss on Thursday night or will stave off elimination for at least one game.

Minty Bets thinks that Miami is done after Saturday as the Bucks get out to another early lead.

“I’m looking for the trend to continue and for the Bucks to sweep the Heat and get it over with,” she said.

Prop we like: Giannis Antetokounmpo to score 40 or more (+575)

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) drives past Denver Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo (7) in the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Portland is aiming to even its series with Denver up at 2-2. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers (-4), Total: 227.5

Portland trails this series 2-1 but is favored by four at home. Will the Blazers be able to even the series against a patchwork Denver backcourt?

The Blazers had a fantastic game plan against likely MVP Nikola Jokic in the first game of the series but have lost the last two games as Jokic has been dominant. Jokic is averaging just four assists per game in the series — he had one in the Game 1 loss — but has scored at least 34 points in each game.

Portland is 10-5 against the spread in its last 15 games and Damian Lillard could be due for a big night after he went 5-of-16 from three in Game 3. A hot shooting night from Lillard and another high-scoring night from Jokic could lead to the over.

“Although I’m leaning for the Nuggets to cover, my pick is going to be the over,” Minty Bets said.

Prop we like: Trail Blazers to win by five or fewer points (+400)

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid plays during Game 2 in a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Washington Wizards, Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Can Joel Embiid and the Sixers go up 3-0? (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia 76ers (-6) at Washington Wizards, Total: 227.5

The biggest point spread of the day comes as Philadelphia tries to take a commanding 3-0 lead against the Washington Wizards.

Washington is at a massive defensive disadvantage against Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and the Sixers and that was evident in Game 2 as Philly won by 25.

That game totaled just 115 points and easily went under. As Minty Bets points out, the under is the smart play here too. There have been just four overs in the last 18 Sixers road games and five of the last seven Washington games have cashed the under.

Prop we like: Ben Simmons to record a double-double (-105)

Utah Jazz (-5) at Memphis Grizzlies, Total: 223.5

What does Ja Morant have in store after a 47-point performance in a Game 2 loss?

The Grizzlies won the first game to head home with a 1-1 series split and enter this contest 6-0 against the spread in their last six home games. Minty Bets thinks that will go to 7-0.

“I’ll take the points and the Grizzlies,” she said.

Memphis failed to cover on the road in Game 2 as Utah won by 12. But the Grizzlies got just 14 points from their bench in that game as the team’s reserves were a paltry 6-of-20 from the field.

Prop we like: Royce O’Neal over 6.5 points (-105)

Non-NBA bet: Our picks for the Indianapolis 500

If you’re looking to make a wagering foray into the racing world, Sunday’s Indianapolis 500 is a great opportunity. Polesitter and six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon is the race favorite at +350 and is the overwhelming choice of bettors. But if you don’t want to go with Dixon, look for a guy like defending Indy 500 champ Takuma Sato (+1800) or Rinus VeeKay (+1800).

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