2023 NBA playoffs: Odds, picks, betting tips for Heat-Knicks, Lakers-Warriors

2023 NBA playoffs: Odds, picks, betting tips for Heat-Knicks, Lakers-Warriors

May 2, 2023

ESPN’s fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data, featuring ESPN’s proprietary Basketball Power Index (BPI) to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for Tuesday are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

What you need to know for Tuesday’s games

In the wake of a vintage James Harden performance, it’s fitting that the marquee game on Tuesday features a classic matchup between LeBron James and Stephen Curry. The Los Angeles Lakers enter San Francisco as nearly five-point dogs to the reigning champion Golden State Warriors to open an anticipated series. In Manhattan, meanwhile, the New York Knicks are favored to even their series with the Miami Heat.

The Western game doesn’t have any notable injuries to track, while the game in New York includes mystery over Julius Randle’s availability due to an ankle injury that saw him miss Game 1. If Randle can’t go, forward Obi Toppin started and notably finished third on the team in shots taken and tied for third in rebounds in the opening loss. One interesting note for the late game is that my model rates Draymond Green as the top value play of the slate. After all, he averaged nearly 37 DraftKings points over his past four games in the first round.

There are also some questions as to how effective Jimmy Butler can be after suffering an ankle injury late in this past Sunday’s victory. Fading Butler in DFS play can clearly backfire, although it could make sense to build some lineups with Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo, and Gabe Vincent given what could be increased usage for this trio. Vincent, in particular, stands out as a fun target for shooting and scoring props on a Heat roster in need of complementary production tonight in the Garden.

Breaking down Tuesday’s slate

Miami Heat at New York Knicks
Game 2: 7:30 p.m. ET, Heat lead series 1-0

Records (Against the Spread)
Heat: 44-38 (30-49-3)
Knicks: 47-35 (45-35-2)

Line: Knicks (-6.5) Total: 206.5
BPI Projection: Knicks by 8.8
Money Line: Heat (+228), Knicks (-285)

Injury Report:
Heat: Haywood Highsmith, (GTD – Knee); Jimmy Butler, (GTD – Ankle); Tyler Herro, (OUT – Hand); Victor Oladipo, (OUT – Knee)
Knicks: Jalen Brunson, (GTD – Ankle); Julius Randle, (GTD – Ankle); Jericho Sims, (OUT – Shoulder)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: RJ Barrett over 21.5 points. Barrett is on a nice little run scoring more than 20 points in three consecutive playoff games. The last time he achieved this was in mid-March. Barrett has played 36 or more minutes in these recent games, which certainly helps, but he has also been more aggressive getting to the free throw line an average of nine times per game. No matter who is on the court Tuesday night, Barrett may be in position to score more than expected. — Karabell

Best bet: Heat +7. Many observers think the Knicks will bounce back at home with a far better effort than Game 1. While Julius Randle did not play, the Knicks aren’t a big 3-point shooting team anyway. They have averaged 8.2 3-pointers per game in the playoffs. Seven points feels like too much and if the spread doubles because Butler sits, I’d still take Miami to cover. — Karabell

Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors
Game 1: 10 p.m. ET

Records (Against the Spread)
Lakers: 43-39 (39-41-2)
Warriors: 44-38 (39-42-1)

Line: Warriors (-4.5) Total: 228
BPI Projection: Warriors by 0.5
Money Line: Lakers (+152), Warriors (-180)

Injury Report:
Lakers: Anthony Davis, (GTD – Foot); LeBron James, (GTD – Foot); Mo Bamba, (GTD – Ankle)
Warriors: Patrick Baldwin Jr., (GTD – Toe); Andre Iguodala, (OUT – Wrist); Ryan Rollins, (OUT – Foot)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: Lebron James over 9.5 rebounds. Stephen Curry and the Warriors are coming off an emotional Game 7 win over the Kings on Sunday. With just one day rest, the Warriors defense could be sloppy and Lebron can capitalize on that. Lebron averaged 12 rebounds in two meetings this season against the Warriors and averaged 11 rebounds per game in the first series. James has a big game on the glass. — Erin Dolan

Best bet: Anthony Davis over 13.5 rebounds. Kevon Looney is on quite a rebounding roll, reaching 20 boards in three of his past five games, but facing Davis and the Lakers is a lot different than the Sacramento Kings. Davis will be much tougher to deal with. He hauled in 33 rebounds over the final two games against the Grizzlies, and he seems to be handling his increased workload well over the past few weeks. — Karabell

Best bet: Andrew Wiggins over 17.5 points. Wiggins returned from a two-month absence and topped this number in four of the seven games versus the Kings, scoring 17 points in two other games in which he shot poorly. He should continue to improve. The shots and minutes are clearly there, and Wiggins was a much better scorer and shooter in home games this season. — Karabell

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