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Streaking Hot! Expert NBA Parlay Picks Feature Jayson Tatum, Celtics

Our NBA picks have been scorching hot in the second half of the season, and this winning streak has seamlessly transitioned into the playoffs. Thursday’s NBA schedule is another chance to strike gold, despite only two games scheduled to tip.

I’m going to build our parlay bet using a combination of NBA ATS picks and NBA player props. The first game tips in Boston, with a 7:00 p.m. ET start, when the Celtics look to take a commanding 2-0 series lead against the Cavaliers. The second game of our ESPN doubleheader will see the Dallas Mavericks battle the OKC Thunder in what I expect to be a tremendously entertaining series.

Streaking Hot! Expert Parlay Picks Feature Jayson Tatum, Celtics
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics | Megan Briggs/Getty Images/AFP

Our strategy involves a three-leg parlay. While you could certainly do a ton of your own research, the beauty is that I’ve already done that legwork for you. Let’s delve into the top NBA picks for tonight.


Cavaliers Celtics (-13½)vs. Cavs: Fade or Follow in Game 2?

I’m not a fan of laying double-digits with any team in the playoffs, but I’m confidently rolling with the Boston Celtics again tonight at home in Game 2 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. We cashed on the Celtics in one of my favorite spots to fade a team in the playoffs, with the Cavs coming off a Game 7.

The Cavaliers had just played Game 7 on Sunday and had to expend a ton of energy to mount a comeback in the second half against the Orlando Magic. Meanwhile, the Celtics wrapped up their first-round series on Wednesday. Boston has been back at its house for a week, while the Cavs had just one day of rest in Game 1. The line was at 12½, and the sportsbook has only moved it one point in favor of Boston. The Celtics cruised to victory in Game 1 and were up 10 points at halftime. They covered the spread, winning by 25 points.

The Cavs were just 19-24-1 ATS on the road this season, which is good for the seventh-worst in the NBA. Boston was the fifth-best ATS team at home at 24-18-2. Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff is 0-6 in road playoff games!

There are plenty of interesting nuggets to consider for this series. If a team won 52 games or less (Cavaliers 48 wins) and is playing a team that won 53 or more (Boston 64 wins) during the regular season, they have gone just 2-16 in the second round of the playoffs since 2014. In this same span, teams that played two or fewer games in the first round have gone 8-5 in the second round.

The Celtics were a juggernaut at home this season, losing just once to an Eastern Conference opponent at the TD Garden. In the last 28 occurrences, road teams have gone 7-21 ATS when coming off a loss. In the previous three years, we have also seen teams in the second round that lose by 15 or more points go 7-14 ATS. I expect the Celtics to continue their dominance in Game 2!


Thunder (-195) Look to Extend Dominance vs Mavs

The Dallas Mavericks-Thunder matchup could be my favorite series of the NBA playoffs this season. I expect each game to be a toss-up and for the series to go six or seven games. While plenty of trends exist for the Celtics-Cavs series, the only trends that add up are those in which the Mavericks find themselves. In the last 28 occurrences, road teams have gone 6-22 straight up when coming off a loss. We have also seen teams in the second round that lose by 15 or more points go 8-13 straight up over the last three years. I rolled with the Thunder on the moneyline in Game 1, and I’m doing the same here tonight in Game 2.

The Thunder were the second-best team at home during the regular season, behind only the Celtics at 35-8. These teams met four times in the regular season, with OKC taking three of four. The Mavs sat all their starters in the final matchup, so that doesn’t hold as much merit, but I expect OKC to protect their home floor when the series turns to Dallas in Game 3; that’s when we will pounce on the Mavericks.

Dallas has not won a game in the Paycom Center since January 2022! The Mavs have gone 6-14 as a road dog this season. I expect each team to win at home in this series, and the team that advances will be the team that can win on the road as we get to Games 6-7. Roll with the Thunder again in Game 2.


Prop Pick: Celtics SF Jayson Tatum to Record a Double-Double

Our third and final leg will be Jayson Tatum, to finish with a double-double in Game 2. We trusted Tatum in Game 1, and he came through for us with an 18-point and team-high 11-rebound performance. Tatum has stepped up his rebounding this season and finished with double-digit rebounds in four of five games against the Miami Heat in Round 1. Tatum recorded five consecutive double-doubles against the Cavaliers in the regular season. He has a double-double in six of his last 13 games without Kristaps Porzingis. The Cavs are a top-10 rebounding team with Jarrett Allen on the floor, but he is listed as questionable again, and reports suggest he won’t be available again. The Cavs did allow the fourth-most rebounds per game to opposing small forwards. Trust Tatum to continue to lead his team.



Questions Of The Day

Which playoff team is the most profitable to bet on in the NBA against the spread?

The most profitable remaining playoff team to bet on in the NBA is the Dallas Mavericks, who have gone 52-37-0 ATS.

What is the best NBA bet for Thursday, May 9?

Take the Oklahoma City Thunder to defeat the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2.

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