The 2022 NBA playoffs are in full swing after every participating team made their postseason debuts over the weekend.
Donovan Mitchell’s 30 second-half points helped the Utah Jazz comeback against the Dallas Mavericks, while a Jayson Tatum game-winning buzzer-beater spoiled Kyrie Irving’s show-stopping afternoon in TD Garden.
Here are the best games to bet in the NBA playoffs on Monday, April 18.
Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers -7.5
Thaddeus Young, Scottie Barnes, and Gary Trent Jr. are all doubtful for Game 2 after suffering injuries in Game 1. Even at full strength, the favored Phili squad won by 20, as Toronto had no answer for Joel Embiid. Tyrese Maxey’s ascension also makes the city of brotherly love even scarier, especially after dropping a playoff career-high 38 points in Game 1.
It is hard to imagine a path to victory for Toronto, assuming Phili’s star players stay healthy. The Sixers shouldn’t have problems covering the spread against a depleted opponent that had trouble containing them at full health.
Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks +6
Game one ended 99-93 in favor of the Jazz over the Luka Doncic-less Mavericks; Dallas’ Slovenian superstar is unlikely to play Monday night as he continued to rehab a strained calf. Even without him, the Mavs presented a huge problem for Utah. Jalen Brunson and Spencer Dinwiddie scored 24 and 22 points, respectively. So if they make more than 28% of their threes in Game 2— and unlike Game 1— they have a strong chance of covering the spread, if not winning.
Something is intangibly wrong in Utah and has been for most of the season. Donovan Mitchell went nuclear in the second half and carried them to a win. However, Rudy Gobert only had five points and one field goal attempt in the entire game. If Brunson and or Dinwiddie can continue thriving with the ball in their hands for a majority of the game, Dallas has the defenders to continue to hold Utah under 100 points.
Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors -7.5
The Golden State Warriors won their first game of the series against the Denver Nuggets 123-107, with a comfortable margin for most of the affair. The scariest part of the win was that Steph Curry only scored 16 points on 13 shots as he continues to rehab a foot injury, and only one player— Jordan Poole— scored more than 19 points (30). Golden State looked like it did in the mid-2010s in the sense that they were simply moving and shooting the ball too quickly for Denver to show any real resistance.
Reigning MVP Nikola Jokic posted decent numbers in the box score. Still, without Jamal Murry and Michael Porter Jr. flanking him, the Nuggets are unlikely to trouble the Warriors at all in this series, especially if they keep playing at the frantic pace they currently are.