NBA Best Bets (4/26/23): Expert Predictions for Cavs vs Knicks, Heat vs Bucks, Lakers vs Grizzlies, & Warriors vs Kings
The April 26th NBA slate features 4 marquee matchups with 3 of the 4 being elimination games. The night starts off with Cavs vs Knicks at 7 PM EST and then continues with Lakers vs Grizzlies at 7:30, Heat vs Bucks at 9:30, and Warriors vs Kings capping the night off at 10:00. On a night where stakes could not be higher for teams such as the Cavs, Grizzlies, and Bucks, the NBA experts at Lineups have people covered with best bets for this April 26th slate. Enjoy.
NBA Best Bets Today
Find best bets for Cavs vs Knicks, Grizzlies vs Lakers, Heat vs Bucks, and Kings vs Warriors below.
Patrick’s Best Bet: Cavs -5.5
Though the Cavs struggled mightily to get their half court offense rolling in games 3 and 4 — notching a league worst 79-point performance in Game 3 — this team has been plagued by the road all-season. With the youngest roster in the playoffs, the Cavs are one of just three teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs to enter round 1 with a losing record on the road.
While this doesn’t bode well for the Cavs when it comes to the series at large, the flipside to this narrative is that Cleveland has been an incredible home team. Over the course of the season, the Cavs averaged 2 more points at home than they did on the road.
Isolated to this series, the Cavs are averaging 16 more points at home. Expect some positive shooting regression from Darius Garland, and for the Cavs to find new ways to get Josh Hart switched off Donovan Mitchell. Those two things are what hurt them the most in games 3 and 4 and if the Cavs can get their backcourt rolling on offense then we could very well see a result similar to what we saw in Game 2.
Author: Patrick Monnin
Kody’s Best Bet: Warriors -1.5
While I am fully aware of the stigma involving the “road Warriors,” this matchup sets up perfectly for the Dubs to get the critical game five win. De’Aaron Fox is dealing with an injury to his shooting hand that was sustained at some point in game four, opting in for injections to his broken finger to play in this one.
Should Fox be slowed down, then that throws a wrench into the flow of their offense as it lives and dies through his slashing ability. Fox has taken major strides as an elite playmaker, being able to generate his own shot as well as hit his open shooters in stride. This has given the Warriors defense fits as they have struggled to defend the middle, but now get the ability to sag back and dare Fox to shoot over the top with soreness in his shooting hand.
It also helps that the Kings defense mightily struggles when at home, ranking second to last in the NBA in Defensive Efficiency per TeamRankings. With Draymond’s facilitation back in the lineup, the Warriors should have no issue running their motion sets in the halfcourt to create separation for an open perimeter look.
Author: Kody Malstrom
Jacob’s Best Bet: Bucks -11.5 and Giannis Antetokounmpo over 29.5 points
This is an ideal spot to back the Bucks today as they’re in a do-or-die position down 3-1 against the Heat. Milwaukee held a 14-point fourth quarter lead over Miami in Game 4 before Jimmy Butler took over, leading his team to a stunning comeback win and putting the Bucks on the brink of elimination.
Butler’s 56-point outburst is likely not repeatable, however, and the Heat are rather limited in terms of their offensive options. Miami ranked 25th in offensive rating in the regular season, the worst of any playoff team. They also lost Tyler Herro, their third-leading scorer and best three-point shooter, to a broken hand earlier in this series.
With Giannis Antetokounmpo healthy, the Bucks are arguably the best defensive team in the NBA. Giannis also obviously bolsters the offense in a huge way, and he’s averaged 26.5 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game in his career in the postseason. He’s even better at home, where he has averaged 34.5 points and 14.1 rebounds per game in 16 games since 2020.
Miami has benefitted from Giannis missing most of this series, but now healthy and at home, he should be in for a peak performance in a must-win game. Given the likelihood of Butler’s regression and the overall lack of consistent scorers for Miami, I’m also comfortable laying the points with the Bucks who are the much better team at full strength.
Author: Jacob Wayne
Noah’s Best Bet: Harrison Barnes over 1.5 threes (+102 at FanDuel)
The biggest wildcard in Game 5 between the Kings and Warriors is the status of De’Aaron Fox, who broke a finger on his shooting hand in the last game. With Fox’s scoring likely to be affected by the injury, he should be looking to play more of a facilitator role in this game. That means some of the Kings’ supporting cast will need to step and carry more of the offensive load tonight.
Harrison Barnes is a prime candidate to benefit from that. His numbers are down so far in the playoffs, and he is shooting just 25% from three after posting a 37.4% mark in the regular season. Despite the poor shooting, he is still making over one three per game in the series, and his volume is likely to increase tonight. If that added volume also comes with some positive regression on his efficiency, he is a near lock to hit at least two threes in the game.
Add in the fact that you’re getting plus odds on a very attainable number, and this makes for a great prop bet for tonight’s action.
Author: Noah Rosenstein
Drew’s Best Bet: LeBron James o27.5 Points (+100)
LeBron has not been needed nearly as much as usual in the scoring category during this series, having eclipsed this line only one time; however, this game should be different. The Grizzlies have their backs against the wall and should come out with fire and intensity on the defensive end, forcing Los Angeles to take tough shots at the end of the shot clock. Don’t expect Austin Reaves or Rui Hachimura to go for 20-30 points again; this will be LeBron’s show.
This is not his first rodeo. He knows how important it is to put a team out of its misery before it garners any semblance of hope. As a matter of fact, LeBron has hit the over on this line in eight of his past ten Game 5s. Despite struggling with his three-point shooting in this series, LeBron should still be aggressive, especially after such a confidence boost in sending Game 4 into overtime where the Lakers eventually won.
Author: Andrew Norton
Jake’s Best Bet: Sacramento Kings-Golden State Warriors o234.5 total points
This has been the best first round series so far because of how evenly matched each team has been across the board. With the serries coming back to Sacramento, expect it to be as thrilling as all the other games have been. De’Aaron Fox is playing in this game despite getting injured and he should still be energized at home. Fox and Sabonis are the two biggest keys for the Kings, while the Warriors are going to rely on Steph Curry and Klay Thompson once again. This total is high, but it should go over because of these two offenses. The Kings are first in scoring offense this season at 121 PPG, while Golden State is second in scoring at 119 PPG. Also, the Kings are first in offensive rating at 118.6, while the Warriors are 10th at 115.1. This game has offensive explosion written across the board. These two offenses can really score, so expect a high-scoring thriller in Sacramento tonight, cementing this series even more as the best in the playoffs.
Author: Jake Faigus