By Harry Gagnon
Here are my best plays and props for the first weekend of the NBA playoffs (finally).
SATURDAY, APRIL 16
MAVERICKS +5 OVER JAZZ
MAVS DORIAN FINNEY-SMITH OVER 12.5 POINTS SCORED
Even without Luka Doncic I believe the Mavs will show up and rally at home without their star player. Dallas is 9-1 SU in their last 10 games at home and have beaten the Jazz by a total of 22 points in their last two meetings. Finney- Smith has scored 13 or more in three straight games and will need to pickup the scoring slack with Doncic officially ruled out for Game 1.
GRIZZLIES -6.5 OVER TIMBERWOLVES
T-WOLVES ANTHONY EDWARDS OVER 2.5 THREE POINTERS MADE
This Memphis team is led by superstar Ja Morant and they have covered 8 of their last 10 games at home. Even though I believe Minnesota hasn't stopped celebrating making the playoffs yet one of their rising stars Anthony Edwards will keep them close until the Grizzlies pull away late. Edwards has made at least 3 three pointers in six of his last eight games.
RAPTORS +4.5 OVER SIXERS
SIXERS JOEL EMBIID OVER 33.5 POINTS SCORED
The Raptors have taken the Sixers down in 3 of their 4 meetings this season. Trent, Jr, Siakam, and VanVleet are veterans and will keep Game 1 close and Toronto gets the cover. Their is a lot of pressure on James Harden to perform in the playoffs and the Toronto defense will be primarily focused on causing him issues which will leave the bulk of Philadelphia's points coming from Joel Embiid.
WARRIORS -6 OVER NUGGETS
WARRIORS KLAY THOMPSON OVER 3.5 THREE POINTERS MADE
Jokic is a stud and more than likely the leagues MVP but Denver overall does not have enough weapons to hang with Golden St whether Steph Curry plays or not. Thompson is coming into the playoffs hot with three straight games of at least 33 points and has a total of 21 three pointers in those three games.
SUNDAY, APRIL 17
CELTICS -4 OVER NETS
CELTICS JAYLEN BROWN OVER 3.5 ASSISTS
Boston has won three straight games over Brooklyn by a whooping 64 points. Overall, the Celtics are too deep for the Nets and should win Game 1 going away. Brown has at least 4 assists in his last 6 games and has averaged 5 assists against the Nets this season.
BUCKS -10 OVER BULLS
BULLS TEAM TOTAL UNDER 109 POINTS
The defending champs were 4-0 SU against Chicago this season. Over the past three weeks the Bucks have beaten the Bulls by 21 and 28. To add insult to injury over those two blowouts of the Bulls Giannis didn't even lead the Bucks in scoring in either of those games. This game should be a blowout and the Bulls will struggle to even reach 100.