The 2023-24 NBA regular season is over and we’re turning 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 Tuesday, April 23rd. 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 April 23

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NBA Best Bets Today – April 23

Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks – 7:00 pm ET

The Pacers were unable to get the job done against a Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks team in Game 1. However, Indiana showed a lot of fight in the second half of that game. The Pacers could have rolled over when the Bucks built a 30-point lead, but they cut the lead to 12 by the end of the third quarter. And Indiana should be ready for what Milwaukee will do in Game 2. After all, this is a Rick Carlisle-coached team going up against a Doc Rivers-coached team. That advantage goes to Carlisle when it comes to playoff adjustments.

It’s also just hard to envision Tyrese Haliburton losing the head-to-head matchup to Damian Lillard by as much as he did in Game 1. Haliburton finished with just nine points in the game, and he only took seven shots. Meanwhile, Lillard poured in 35 points in the victory. Sure, Lillard is a threat to score 30 again here. But I’m expecting Haliburton to bounce back in a big way. Indiana is also due for some positive regression in the 3-point category. The Pacers were just 8 for 38 from 3 in Game 1, while the Bucks were 14 for 37 from deep. Look for things to even out a little bit there, cracking the door open for Indiana to steal a road win.

Also, don’t be surprised if the Pacers are a little more relentless in attacking bad matchups. They need to go at Lillard and Khris Middleton as often as possible here. It seemed like they got that message in the second half of Game 1.

Bet: Pacers ML (-102 – 2 units)

Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves – 7:30 pm ET

There’s no getting around the fact that Game 1 was ugly for the Suns. Phoenix was out-rebounded 52-28 in the game, and the team was absolutely lit up by Anthony Edwards and Nickeil Alexander-Walker. Edwards had 33 points and was unstoppable in the third quarter. Phoenix can probably live with that, as Edwards is one of the best players in the league. But Alexander-Walker had 18 points in 29 minutes and he’s mostly on the court for his defense. So, it’s hard to see that holding steady moving forward.

In Game 2, look for the Suns to do a better job on the glass. Phoenix has the ability to at least come close to holding its own there. Jusuf Nurkic can definitely be better, too. He had only four rebounds in Game 1, but he averaged 11.0 rebounds per game during the regular season. Also, you can expect the Suns to shoot a lot more 3s in Game 2 than they did in Game 1. Phoenix was just 9 for 28 from deep in Game 1. That volume simply isn’t going to cut it. The Suns were at their best this season when they got a lot of 3s up, which isn’t surprising considering the shooting ability they have throughout the rotation.

Phoenix is also going to get a lot more out of Devin Booker eventually. He was miserable in Game 1, shooting 5 for 16 and finishing with 18 points in 38 minutes. Booker had some trouble shaking free from Jaden McDaniels, who is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. But the Suns can run some actions to get Booker moving a bit more, and they can also put the ball in his hands immediately. Phoenix destroyed Minnesota during the regular season and a lot of that had to do with Booker being the on-ball creator.

The Suns are also going to need to be wiser about attacking Mike Conley and Karl-Anthony Towns here. They did it successfully during the regular season, but they got away from it in Game 1. Now, Phoenix will have to adjust and find what works. And the Suns can be trusted to do that.

It’s also worth keeping an eye on the status of Grayson Allen here. The guard went out with a sprained ankle in the third quarter of Game 1. That’s when Edwards started to get himself going. Allen might be known as a deadeye 3-point shooter, but he was the primary defender on Edwards during the regular season. So, if Phoenix can get him back, the team will be a lot better off both offensively and defensively.

Bet: Suns +3 (-110 – 2 units)

Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers – 10:00 pm ET

I’m not going to get too carried away with explaining this one. I lost a two-unit play on the Mavericks to win Game 1 at -145 odds, and nothing about that result will scare me off taking this at a much better number. I’m still a big believer in the elite defense that Dallas played down the stretch, so I see the Mavericks turning it on here. And the Clippers likely won’t shoot 50.0% from deep again, especially with James Harden scoring 33 points on 8 for 17 shooting from the floor and 6 for 11 shooting from 3. Harden’s playoff woes are probably a bit overblown, but playing that well twice in a row will be tough for him. It’s also hard to envision a scenario in which Ivica Zubac scores 20 points again. Dallas should be able to keep both players in check, at least a little bit.

I also think the Mavericks supporting cast is better than it showed in Game 1. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving combined to score 64 points in that game, and nobody else did much of anything. But P.J. Washington and Tim Hardaway Jr. can both be a lot better, and Dante Exum should also be more trustworthy the rest of the series. With all of that in mind, I’m keeping it simple and going back to the Mavericks in Game 2, and I still like them to win this series.

Bet: Mavericks ML (-112 – 2 units)

NBA Player Props Today – April 23

Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves – 7:30 pm ET

I mentioned earlier that Allen isn’t a guarantee to play tonight. He’s currently listed as questionable and his ankle injury did prevent him from coming back in the game on Saturday. But Allen has the ability to swing things in Phoenix’s direction if he plays. And I like the idea of playing him to make at least three 3s at plus-money odds. Allen made at least three 3s in all three of the regular-season games he played against the Timberwolves. And he got some good looks in Game 1. With that in mind, there’s no reason to believe that Allen, who shot 46.1% from 3 during the regular season, can’t take advantage of his looks moving forward.

Bet: Allen Over 2.5 Made 3s (+124)

2023-24 Record: 334-348-3 (-9.11 units)