NBA Playoff Picks for Wednesday, April 19, 2023

By Betmaker Team

Two teams are now 2-0 in their first-round series after the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings both took full advantage of home court advantage on Monday night. Philadelphia was a heavy favorite by the NBA futures odds in their series against the Brooklyn Nets, and it’s not a big surprise to see them go up 2-0. However, the same can’t be said for Sacramento as the defending champion Golden State Warriors were expected to win that series. Golden State has been awful on the road all year, but the observers and the oddsmakers thought that would change in the postseason.


I didn’t fall into that trap as I backed Sacramento on the basketball betting line in each of its first two games. The Kings set records for offensive efficiency this season, and the love for the Warriors was a bit too much considering it’s uncommon for teams to just flip a switch in the postseason. Unfortunately, I lost with the Brooklyn Nets as I expected them to cover the 10 against Philly. Brooklyn was up by five points at halftime, but the Nets scored just 35 points after the break and lost by 12 to just miss out on a cover by the NBA betting odds.


NBA Betting Odds at BetRivers Sportsbook



Memphis Grizzlies +1 vs. Los Angeles Lakers


It sounds like Ja Morant might be done for the series after falling on his hand and leaving Game 1, but the Los Angeles Lakers are being given too much respect as a road underdog against the No. 2 seed. We saw the Memphis Grizzlies play very well without Morant last month, and they led at halftime in Game 1 thanks to a great performance on both ends from Jaren Jackson Jr. However, Desmond Bane had one of his worse outings in a while, while the Lakers got a lot of help outside of their two superstars.


Rui Hachimura had the best game of his career in his playoff debut. The No. 8 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft was largely written off as a bust, but he exploded for 29 points on 11 of 14 shooting after making just 31.9% of his threes in the regular season. Additionally, Austin Reaves was second on the team with 23 points, and it’s likely we get 52 points from Hachimura and Reaves again.


Anthony Davis and LeBron James both had double-doubles, and Davis had seven blocks to boot. However, they have to play close to the basket since the Lakers don’t have much quality size, so LA needs others to hit their perimeter shots and help with the scoring.


I believe that Memphis will bounce back and even the series before it heads to the West Coast. Jackson was voted the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and can take some of the Lakers’ options on offense away from them, and it’s unlikely that we see both Bane and Dillon Brooks struggle to score once more given how underwhelming the Lakers have been on defense this season.


Denver Nuggets -8.5 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves


The Denver Nuggets were 8.5-point favorites over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 1 on Sunday night and easily covered the NBA betting line. Denver cruised to a 29-point win over Minnesota even though Nikola Jokic didn’t have one of his better games. Instead, Jamal Murray led the Nuggets with 24 points, and Michael Porter Jr. was the second leading scorer while posting a double-double.


Minnesota really struggled on offense. Karl-Anthony Towns had just 11 points as he shot 33.3% from the field and had four turnovers. Rudy Gobert showed why many analysts consider the Timberwolves’ trade for him to be one of the worst in recent memory with a plus/minus of -28, and no one in the backcourt was able to carry the load.


This should be a quick series. Denver is a bad matchup for Minnesota as Jokic is not a traditional big man with his passing and vision. He will break down the T-Wolves whenever they collapse on him, and we have seen Towns struggle to have an impact on offense with Gobert on the court at the same time.