NBA Playoff Betting – Friday, May 12 Picks

By Phil Simon

The defending champion Golden State Warriors aren’t done yet. And the NBA playoffs will continue for at least one more game for the New York Knicks after both clubs avoided elimination with a Game 5 win on Wednesday. In order to take their series to the limit, the Dubs and Knickerbockers will need to win Game 6 of their conference semifinal on the road with both teams pegged as NBA betting pick underdogs at BetRivers sportsbook. Including their play-in win over Minnesota, the Lakers have yet to lose at home this postseason going 6-0 SU and 5-1 as a top NBA pick against the spread. Advancing to the Western Conference Final could be tough if Anthony Davis misses the game. He was clocked in the head with a Kevon Looney elbow on Wednesday and didn’t return. LA hit the board as a 2.5-point favorite. Miami can become only the second No. 8 seed to advance to a conference final with a win over the Knicks on Wednesday. The Heat opened as a 4.5-point favorite on the NBA betting line.


Daily NBA Picks


New York at Miami, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Golden State at LA Lakers, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)


New York Knicks at Miami Heat


The Knicks got back to doing the things that made them successful during the regular season and as a result their season was extended with a 112-103 win. Being called out by team leader Julius Randle may have saved the series with New York playing its best game on Wednesday. Randle did his part scoring 24 points with five rebounds and five assists. But it was New York’s backcourt that came up big. Jalen Brunson and Quentin Grimes each played the entire 48 minutes with Brunson going off for 38 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Grimes added eight points with five dimes and a couple of blocks.


The strategy of going six deep paid off in the short term but it’s not sustainable against anyone in the long run. Four reserves saw action with Isaiah Hartenstein the only one of the quartet to play more than 13 minutes. The bench tallied just eight points.


New York’s defense played a role, but the Heat misfired on plenty of good looks from behind the arc. When the shots started falling they closed the gap from 19 points to just two late in the fourth. They couldn’t get over the hump. The Heat were just 13 of 43 from three-point range matching their second-fewest made triples this postseason. The series has been tighter with the Heat averaging 106 points after averaging 124 in the first round win over the top-seed Bucks. We can expect Jimmy Butler to be more involved after the Heat’s leading scorer tallied a playoff low 19 points in Game 5. Butler skipped Game 2, a 111-105 Miami loss, and is averaging 31.9 in the playoffs. The Heat will ride Butler to series clinching Game 6 win.


NBA Playoff Pick: Miami Heat -4.5


Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers


The Lakers are anxiously awaiting the diagnosis on Anthony Davis after he left Wednesday’s tilt with a head injury. There are no load management days in the playoffs and if AD can go he will. He’s been a big reason for the Lakers surge to the second round and his defense has been as impressive as his 21.5 points and 13.5 rebounds per playoff game. Though they have a 3-2 series lead this seems like the game LA needs. They’re perfect at home this postseason and they’ve beaten the Warriors in all four games at Arena going unbeaten as a NBA point spread pick.


The champs won’t go quietly, though. They rebounded with two road wins, including the first round Game 7 clincher against Sacramento after losing the first two. And the championship pedigree runs deep. Despite their two wins over the Kings, the Warriors are an awful road team boasting an overall record of 13-34 in away games with the NBA’s worst cover rate at just 28.3 percent.


The rebuilt roster produced immediate positive results for LA with one of the best records in the NBA since the trade deadline. Though he had a quiet night on Wednesday, I don’t think LeBron James wants to lose to Golden State again making the Lakers my NBA betting pick at BetRivers.


NBA Playoff Pick: LA Lakers -2.5


Check out the latest NBA betting odds at BetRivers.