The 2023-24 NBA regular season is over and we have turned the page to the NBA Playoffs. Throughout the postseason, Jonathan Von Tobel will continue to provide you with his exceptional coverage of the greatest league in the world. Just click here for all of his content. However, all of my picks will be featured in this daily column, which will combine my NBA best bets and NBA player props. So, keep reading to find out how I’m playing the playoff games on Friday, May 17th. Also, check out our NBA Playoffs Betting Hub for all of our series previews and additional postseason content.

We also put together an NBA Playoffs Betting Primer with in-depth analysis for everything you’ll see the next couple of weeks.


MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for everything our experts have on May 17

NBA Best Bets Today – May 17

New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers – 8:30 pm ET

I’m not personally going to play Indiana to cover tonight, as I already have the Pacers to win three games in this series. So, I’m already pretty invested in this specific game, and I also have two plays on Indiana to win the series. But if you’re looking to just get in on the action here, I do like the Pacers to cover the spread. It’s never easy laying points against the Knicks, as they don’t quit until the final buzzer. That might be a corny thing to say about most teams, but it’s absolutely true of New York. The team is relentless. However, the Pacers should be ready for what the Knicks will throw at them in Game 6.

Tom Thibodeau’s decision to move Deuce McBride into the starting lineup in Game 5 ended up being a good one. The Pacers looked shell shocked out there, and they were struggling to even get the ball up the court. But Rick Carlisle is one of the brightest minds in basketball. So, now that he has seen how the Knicks will look, he should be able to prepare for it. Also, Tyrese Haliburton is just a completely different player at home. The star guard undoubtedly shrunk in a tough road setting, scoring only 13 points in Game 5. But Haliburton averaged 27.5 points and 6.0 assists per game in Games 3 and 4. He should be excited to get back to this building, and he and Pascal Siakam should be able to terrorize New York. You can also count on a much better performance from Indiana’s bench, which was quiet in Game 5. This is where the Pacers’ edge in rest and energy should give them a leg up on the Knicks.

It also just feels like Jalen Brunson is due for another tough game. Brunson went wild in Game 5, scoring 44 points in 43 minutes. But he struggled in Indiana in Games 3 and 4. And overall, Indiana is doing a good job of making him take tough shots. That should catch up to him eventually.

On top of all of that, the Pacers are 14-5 against the spread when coming off a loss of 10 or more points this season. They’re also 14-5 ATS in home games when revenging a loss in which their opponent scored at least 110 points. And they have won those games by an average of 11.8 points per game. So, I think you can trust this group to make the necessary adjustments and come out with some fire.

Lean: Pacers -5 (-105 – 2 units)

NBA Player Props Today – May 17

New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers – 8:30 pm ET

I have been going to Pascal Siakam’s point total pretty regularly in this series, and I’m just not ready to go away from it here. Siakam cashed with a 22-point performance in Game 5, and he also hit the Over in a 26-point performance in Game 3. And the only reason he didn’t go Over in Game 4 was because Indiana beat the brakes off New York. But Siakam still scored 14 points on 7 for 9 shooting from the floor in that one. And overall, the Knicks just have no answer for him with OG Anunoby sidelined. With that in mind, I’m keeping it very simple and playing Siakam to score 22 tonight. I think we’ll see a lot from him as a driver, and it also seems like he’s slowly regaining his shooting touch. That should help out a lot when he gets sent to the free throw line, and a 3 or two wouldn’t hurt.

Bet: Siakam Over 21.5 Points (-115)

2023-24 Record: 369-400-3 (+11.25 units)