We have betting picks and predictions for the both NBA playoff games on Friday, including 76ers vs Hawks and Suns vs Nuggets.
Both games should be exciting and bookmakers have framed even markets, so punters get excellent value.
NBA Betting Picks
Philadelphia 76ers vs Atlanta Hawks @ State Farm Arena
The Hawks looked terrific in Game 1 but were manhandled in the second game. Bouncing back is possible with home court advantage, which can be enough to turn the tables.
Atlanta went 25-11 at State Farm Arena during the regular season and you can’t keep this team down long. Trae Young is playing incredibly for a second-season player and he’s getting support from the swing players.
He needs the support if they’re to stand any chance against Joel Embiid and the 76ers, who showed why they’re a top seed in the Eastern Conference. Embiid is the key player for Philadelphia, which scored an emphatic 118-102 win.
Ben Simmons was good at driving into the paint and finding open shooters, so expect more of the same on Saturday. However, beating the Hawks is easier said than done.
Despite being one of the younger teams in the NBA, that works for them in this situation. They don’t have any playoff demons, unlike the 76ers who haven’t been able to progress to the finals in previous seasons.
It only takes a few of Atlanta’s shooters to get hot and the game can be put to bed early. It will need to knock down the open shots, but the Hawks are one of the best shooting teams, so it’s not a huge ask.
Bookmakers have the Hawks as home underdogs, which is good value. They might not win the series, but playing in front of a home crowd is ideal and we’re expecting a bounce back performance after looking flat.
Take the $2.01 and expect the likes of Young, Kevin Huerter, John Collins and Clint Capela to catch fire.
Bet: Atlanta Hawks to win @ $2.01
Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets @ Ball Arena
There is supreme confidence with the Phoenix Suns at the moment. They are playing excellent basketball and everything is clicking perfectly.
They scored a 122-105 win in Game One before winning 123-98 in Game Two, so they haven’t been close games and the only change on Saturday is geography.
Denver is hoping returning home will make the difference, but despite having MVP Nikola Jokic, we don’t have much confidence in this unit. They were able to survive Portland without Jamal Murray, but the Suns are deep team and Denver is struggling.
Keeping Devin Booker from scoring big numbers has been a problem and if he’s having an off game, Phoenix has a number of secondary shooters who can get it done.
Chris Paul gets another chance to make a tilt at the NBA title, and no player deserves a ring than Paul. He is orchestrating the offence perfectly and his experience is leading this team.
We can’t believe bookmakers have the Suns as underdogs. If they were playing at home, they would be paying $1.50, so getting $2.05 is well worth taking.
Denver should be able to close the gap, but it’s a significant gap to close. We’re not sure they have the depth to outplay the Suns and it would require a massive scoring effort from Jokic. He’s capable of living up to high expectations, but we’re not sure his teammates are at that stage yet.
Aaron Gordon is too inconsistent and Jordan Clarkson is enigmatic at best, so we’re going with the safer bet.
Bet: Phoenix Suns to win @ $2.05
After graduating from the University of Auckland (BA – English), Daryl was thrown into the world of sports and horse racing journalism.
Having worked as a racing journalist for two years, he decided to move into the online world of horse racing and sports writing. Coupled with his love of US sport, Daryl’s picks have been featured on various websites around the world and viewed by millions of readers. After years of honing his craft, Daryl became a professional punter in 2009 – with a focus on horse racing, NBA, NFL, and college sports. When he’s not working, Daryl tries to avoid making bogeys on the golf course.