2022 NBA playoffs – Betting tips for Wednesday’s first-round matchups

Jump ahead: game of the night | picks and props | Analytics edge

All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

What you need to know for Wednesday’s playoff games

Take What They Give You: The Bucks are a top-three defense in opposing 3-point percentage. Nikola Vučević has been more than happy to oblige in this series and has averaged 8.3 3PA per game. Chicago’s backcourt is far from healthy at the moment, so Vucevic will get all of the usage he can handle, something that makes him a viable prop target and DFS staple in this win-or-go-home spot.

Chicago Deep Dish: The Bulls could be without Alex Caruso and Zach LaVine tonight. LaVine paced the team with a whopping 22 potential assists in Game 4, while Caruso netted four dimes in just 17 minutes before he suffered his injury. With LaVine and Caruso both questionable, DeMar DeRozan‘s assist prop and DFS lineups including Ayo Dosunmu appear inviting. For those seeking some underrated scoring upside, patrick williams delivered his first career playoff double-double on Sunday and should be busy Wednesday night.

Air Gordon: The Warriors’ newly formed lineup is potent, to say the least, but it does open up some matchup advantages for Aaron Gordon. In Game 4, he played a series-high 35 minutes, took 11 shots from the field, and made more free throws (10) than he had attempted over the first three games of the series (7). Gordon’s ceiling is only so high as he shares a frontcourt with Nikola Jockic, but his impressive stat line on Sunday (21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 blocks) didn’t happen by accident. He may be relieved upon heavily again Wednesday night.

Joker’s Scoring: It is clear that the Nuggets’ offense funnels through Jokic. While the team relies on his generational passing talent to produce clean shots for others, it’s become necessary for him to do more scoring damage of his own. He has delivered 37 points in each of the past two contests against the Warriors, lofting at least 20 shots in each game of the series. Jokic’s scoring prop of 30.5 points appears achievable.

Getting Grayson: The Bucks will be without Chris Middleton for the next few weeks, which increases Grayson Allen‘s offensive responsibility. Allen delivered 27 points on just 12 shots in 28 minutes in Sunday’s win, evidence he will likely be tasked with more shooting and scoring opportunities in Game 5. Allen also has value as a parlay target. He’s in a good spot to sink multiple 3-pointers given he has made 11 over the past two games while registering four steals.

— Jim McCormick & Kyle Soppe

game of the night

Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors
10 p.m. ET, Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

Line: Warriors (-9)
moneyline: Warriors (-440), Nuggets (+340)
Total: 226 points
BPI Projected Total: 229 points
BPI Win%: Warriors (67.3%)

questionable: None

Ruled Out: None
Note: BPI numbers factor in players who are ruled out but assume questionable players will play

Remarkable: The Warriors have covered both games in Golden State during this series, a good sign after they had failed to cover eight of their previous 10 home playoff games.

Best bet: Warriors -9. While the Nuggets showed pride by staving off the sweep in Game 4, they played about as well as they were able to in Denver, while the Warriors have plenty of room to improve. With the series returning to the Bay Area, I’m looking for a bounce-back effort from the newest Splash Brother, Jordan Poole, and a comfortable Warriors victory — Andre Snellings

Bestbet: The Nuggets avoided a sweep by stealing Game 4 on their home floor, but that should be the only win they notch in this series. With the series returning back to Chase Center, Golden State should close this out in dominant fashion. Yes, nine points is a lot to lay, but Golden State won Game 1 at home by 16 and Game 2 at home by 20. The Warriors’ 125.4 offensive rating this postseason is by far the best of any team in these playoffs, and they should be able to ride that and the home crowd to a double-digit win –Tyler Fulghum

Breaking down the rest of the slate

Chicago Bulls at Milwaukee Bucks
7:30 p.m. ET, Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee

Line: Bucks (-12)
moneyline: Bucks (-800), Bulls (+550)
Total: 218 points
BPI Projected Total: 221.4 points
BPI Win%: Bucks (83.1%)

questionable: Alex Caruso (concussion)

Ruled Out: Zach LaVine (health and safety protocols), Chris Middleton (MCL Sprain)
Note: BPI numbers factor in players who are ruled out but assume questionable players will play

Remarkable: The Bucks are 8-2 ATS in their past 10 playoff games that have gone under the total.

Best bet: Bucks -12. This is a huge number for a spread, but this game just shapes up as a blowout. Chris Middleton‘s injury seems to have caused the Bucks to play more to their strength: their overwhelming size advantage. The Bulls just don’t have an answer for Giannis Antetokounmpo, bobby portis and brooklyn lopez and have lost the past two games by a total of 54 points. Now the series returns to Milwaukee, and the Bulls may potentially be without Zach LaVine and Alex Carusowhich could make the matchup even more lopsided –Snellings

Bestbet: bobby portis over 10.5 rebounds. Portis has grabbed double-digit rebounds in all three of the games that he played in this series, totaling 38 boards. While he had only 10 last game, he seems motivated to play well against his former team. If the game becomes a blowout, Portis seems more likely to get extra minutes than his veteran frontcourt mates. –Snellings

Analytics edge

BPI highest projected totals

1. Golden State Warriors (117)
2. Milwaukee Bucks (116.1)
3. Denver Nuggets (112)

BPI lowest projected totals

1. Chicago Bulls (105.3)
2. Denver Nuggets (116.1)
3. Milwaukee Bucks (116.1)


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