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 Sunday, May 19th. 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 19

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NBA Best Bets Today – May 19

Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets – 8:00 pm ET

I had the Nuggets to go Over 101.5 points in Game 6 and they landed on 70. That was a tough beat that clearly could have gone either way. But all jokes aside, I still think 100.5 is too low of a number for Denver, even against a Minnesota defense that is historically great. From Games 3 through 5, the Nuggets averaged 114.7 points per game and had an offensive rating of 123.7. That second number would have been good for the highest offensive rating in basketball during the regular season. With that in mind, I’m good with flushing what we saw in Game 6 and banking on one of the most efficient offenses in the NBA to handle its business at home.

The reality is that the Timberwolves just came out with insane focus and desperation in Game 6 and the Nuggets weren’t ready to handle it. We have seen some flat performances from Denver throughout this postseason. But this is a win-or-go-home situation for the defending champions, so I’m expecting a really strong game plan from Mike Malone and more precision from the Nuggets in the execution department. I also just don’t see Denver shooting 7 for 36 from 3 again, especially at home.

This could very well turn into an absolute grindfest, and the total for this game definitely suggests it’ll go that way. But I’m taking the Over on this type of total nine times out of 10 with the Nuggets. We’re talking about an offense led by one of the greatest centers of all time in Nikola Jokic, and the supporting cast has proven to be championship-level.

Bet: Nuggets Team Total Over 100.5 (-115 – 1.5 units)

NBA Player Props Today – May 19

Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks – 3:30 pm ET

Going Over on Pascal Siakam’s point total has cashed in three of the last four games, and the only reason it didn’t hit in that fourth game is that the Pacers beat the Knicks to a pulp. But this has been as reliable of a bet as there has been in this crazy postseason, and the oddsmakers haven’t adjusted the number very much. So, I’m going right back to it in Game 7.

I have written the same thing pretty much four games in a row now, but the Knicks don’t have much of an answer for Siakam’s combination of size and speed. Of course, getting OG Anunoby back can solve that problem immediately, but how healthy will he be in this one? Adrian Wojnarowski said earlier in the week that Anunoby was very likely to miss a potential Game 7. If he’s being rushed back, will he be as good as usual defensively? And will he play a normal amount of minutes? All in all, his presence isn’t enough to scare me off this bet — if he’s even out there.

The overall nerves in this Game 7 could also do wonders for Siakam’s role here. If Tyrese Haliburton is once again afraid of the moment, that could mean a bigger usage rate for Siakam. Of course, there’s a good chance the atmosphere shakes Siakam’s confidence as a shooter. But he is doing enough damage off the bounce to cash this without his jumper.

Bet: Siakam Over 21.5 Points (-112)

NOTE: I’m also going to take the Knicks ML at -149 to win 1.5 units. I have a half-unit on the Pacers to win this series at +235 and a full unit on the Pacers at +280 (from when they were down 0-2). I gave out those picks in my pre-series writeup, plus my Game 3 best bets column. So, if you followed along on both, I’d strongly suggest making this move. I still like Indiana’s chances here, but it’s a little tougher with Anunoby back in the fold. And it’s not like the Pacers looked all that inspiring in Madison Square Garden in Game 5. So, why not remove all risk and get a free shot at +1.74 units?

2023-24 Record: 373-401-3 (+15.33 units)