2023 NBA Playoffs: Daily best bets, odds and predictions for Wednesday, April 19th

By Jonathan Von Tobel  (Senior NBA Analyst) 

April 19, 2023 07:49 AM


Welcome to your source of daily analysis of the NBA Playoffs! Here we will break down each game, discuss betting angles, give predictions and more. For more discussion make sure to check out our daily NBA betting podcast: Hardwood Handicappers.

Also make sure to use each one of our betting tools at the disposal of VSiN Pro subscribers!

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Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies (-1.5, 228)

Game 2: Lakers lead series 1-0

The market has been slowly creeping toward Los Angeles because of the questionable status of Ja Morant, but with his status still up in the air this number is far from settled. The betting market pounced on Memphis in Game 1 in the hours before tip-off, and that game eventually closed Grizzlies -5 consensus. Should Morant play this number should swing right back to Memphis, but to what degree is the question, and if he is ruled out Los Angeles could close as high as 2.5-point favorites.

Morant’s status aside, it is hard to envision the Lakers putting together a similar performance tonight as it did on Sunday. Los Angeles averaged 1.306 points per possession in non-garbage time, and went 16-of-37 (43.2%) from beyond the arc. Rui Hachimura tied a franchise record for most points off the bench in a playoff game with an 11-of-14 performance as well. Those are all figures which are unlikely to be replicated, so if the Lakers are going to win they must lean on the strengths they can rely on consistently in this series.

Los Angeles’ size was a problem for Memphis. The Lakers outrebounded the Grizzlies 45-34 and grabbed 10 offensive rebounds while limiting them to just 10-of-15 at the rim. Anthony Davis imposed his will on the court as well with 12 rebounds and 7 blocks, and while the actual numbers are not going to be sustainable, he will continue to be an issue for Memphis.

Obviously, the trick for this game will be waiting for an update on Morant and then acting accordingly. It is unlikely that the market swings back to Memphis by a full six points, putting it back to where this game closed on Sunday. If that is the case, the bettors must assess whether Morant’s injury, but active status, is worth downgrading the Grizzlies by whatever amount the market has.

Bet: None

Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks (-7, 222)

Game 2: Heat lead series 1-0

Unfortunately bettors have yet another injury game to play tonight; this one being to Giannis Antetokounmpo who is dealing with a back contusion. Milwaukee’s first submitted injury report had him listed as doubtful, and there have been many times in the regular season a ‘doubtful’ tag actually led to Antetokounmpo playing, so this is going to be worth monitoring throughout the day.

Milwaukee is not the only team dealing with an injury in this series though. Miami lost Tyler Herro to a broken hand for 4-to-6 weeks, and that is a massive blow for a team that is not exactly rife with offensive talent, although you could not tell on Sunday.

There was not an area of the floor in which the Heat struggled to shoot in the first game of this series. For the game Miami shot 59.0% from the floor and 15-of-25 from 3-point range. It is nearly impossible to repeat that shooting performance, and that hot shooting made all the difference in that victory.

Milwaukee still shot 49.5% in the loss, with its shooting causing its downfall. The Bucks shot 11-of-43 from deep (25.6%) and despite generating 17 uncontested looks they hit only six of those (35.3%). Should we just get shooting regression for both teams that could make the difference, and that does not factor in Antetokounmpo’s impact, should he play.

Bet: None

Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets (-8.5, 223.5)

Game 2: Nuggets lead series 1-0

In the preview for this series my main point of contention was that nothing Minnesota did could really bother Denver, and in the first game of this series that rang true.

The Timberwolves did nothing to exploit the Nuggets’ abysmal transition defense. They began just 10.6% of their possessions with a transition play, and averaged only 0.667 points per play in transition on offense. They were abused in transition on the other end, and allowed the Nuggets to average 1.533 points per play themselves. Minnesota did protect the rim well and limited Denver to just 15-of-25 shooting within four feet, but the Nuggets spread them out and went 15-of-36 from distance.

This matchup does not have much sizzle, and from a betting standpoint there is not much intrigue. Both the side and total have not really budged since the open, and there should not be much movement throughout the day. The line is right where I made it, so unless an in-game opportunity presents itself then I will be sitting this one out.

Bet: None

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