The 2022 NBA Playoffs are in full swing as teams look to push eliminations and others lock eyes on potential game sevens.
The Brooklyn Nets, the preseason championship favorite, are down 3-0 to the Boston Celtics and will not have Ben Simmons back for tonight’s elimination game, while the New Orleans Pelicans won the weekend by tying their series with the Phoenix Suns 2-2.
Here are the best bets for Monday night’s NBA playoff action.
Boston Celtics +1.5 (-110) vs. Brooklyn Nets
Get the brooms out, everybody! The Brooklyn Nets are going to get swept by the Boston Celtics, flaming out in dramatic fashion against a team their fans were chanting they wanted just a few weeks ago.
The Celtics have completely shut down Kevin Durant and mostly rendered Kyrie Irving useless, aside from his game one performance, and they do not look intent on slowing down any time soon.
To make things worse for Brooklyn bettors, Durant and Irving shared that they did not really know how to address the problem and looked totally out of answers at their last postgame press conferences.
On the other end, Jayson Tatum has a legitimate chance to launch into superstardom and cement his place as a top-10 player in the league if he can conjure another great performance and put the Nets out of the playoffs.
Spot Brooklyn the point and a half in case it ends close, but get ready for the Celtics to become the first team to advance into the second round.
Toronto Raptors +7.5 (-110) vs Philadelphia 76ers
Toronto avoided being swept a couple of days ago by bringing the series to 3-1 heading back to Philadelphia; they still do not have a real answer to slowing down Joel Embiid and often leave themselves vulnerable to swing passes when double-teaming him, but they have shown a ton of spirit in the series thus far.
James Harden has also not been himself for Phili, which makes them one man short of what they thought they had in clutch-time scenarios.
Phili coach Doc Rivers has also been horrible at closing series out in his career and especially in recent seasons, which gives credence to Toronto keeping the game close.
It would take a near miracle for the underdog to walk out with a win and force a game six North of the border, but they have outplayed the Sixers across the last two games and have earned the trust of the spread.
Utah Jazz vs. Dallas Mavericks ML
Utah, inconceivable, blew two of the three games where Dallas did not have Luka Doncic and would have lost game four if it were not for a couple of timely buckets down the stretch.
They are also very hard to trust in the playoffs, frequently allow opponents to go on runs, and have a three-time Defensive Player of the Year that is a defensive liability down the stretch.
Doncic had a decent box score but was not himself in his return from an injury last time out, but with a few more days of rest and a rust-buster under his belt, the Mavericks are in a great position to push the Jazz to the brink of elimination.