NBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 4/27/24

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
NBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Saturday 4/27/24

It's time for the NBA Playoffs. Pressure-packed seven-game series await some of the game's brightest stars. There are seemingly endless markets to choose from on each game.

However, various advanced statistics can help narrow the choices. numberFire's NBA power rankings and daily projections paired with advanced stats from the NBA can help give the inside track to winning big.

Our favorite picks are to come, but don't forget to check out FanDuel's Parlay Hub for other trending bets for all sports -- including basketball.

Without further delay, which NBA odds from FanDuel Sportsbook look like the best bets today?

Please note lines are subject to change throughout the day after this article is published. All injury news comes from the NBA's official injury report.

NBA Best Bets

Cleveland Cavaliers at Orlando Magic

Max Strus Over 8.5 Points (+100)

For Saturday's earliest game (1 p.m. ET), the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic will square off from Kia Center for Game 4. So far, no road team has logged a victory in this series, as the Magic look to protect their house for the second straight contest.

Aspects here have looked a little different since shifting to Central Florida. After dominant showings in Cleveland, the Cavs looked weathered in Game 3 after shooting 23.5% from long distance; their regular-season clip from three-point land is much higher at 36.7%.

Most specifically, I am looking at Cleveland forward Max Strus to get it rolling this weekend. A 12.2 PPG scorer in 2024, he appears in line for a bounce-back effort. Being that FanDuel Sportsbook has set his point total for only 8.5 right now, I am willing to go over that mark at even-money odds.

Throughout five full seasons in the NBA, Strus has earned a career three-point conversion rate of 36.5% (on 1,633 attempts). In the past three games versus Orlando, that clip shows 14.3% from behind the arc. Simply, in Game 4, I think water starts to find its level for Strus.

Against the Magic, the majority (66.7%) of Strus' field goals have come from deep. Of course, if Strus sinks a couple threes, we can encroach upon this total of 8.5 points relatively quickly. Shooters are gonna shoot, right?

Oklahoma City Thunder at New Orleans Pelicans

Over 208.5 (-110)

Tipping off at 3:30 p.m. ET, the Oklahoma City Thunder will visit the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center for Game 3 of their opening-round series. Notably, OKC is currently operating with a 2-0 lead, having won the previous two contests in drastically varying styles.

The Thunder -- powered by youth and rampant scoring -- produced 120.1 PPG in 2023-24, which was the Western Conference's best clip. As a dynamic tandem, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren have been quite tough to contain.

New Orleans is back in the postseason for just the second time since 2018. They have thrived as a team this season, compiling 49 regular season wins to tie the franchise's all-time record. Still, the Pelicans have been without Zion Williamson (hamstring) in the current series. Perhaps we see him at some point again this year?

As this matchup shifts to the Big Easy, I am most confident in a play on the total. It remains to be seen how this young OKC team will respond in a road playoff environment, so I'm not sure on which side will prevail victorious. Still, I see over 208.5 points (-110 odds) as a favorable opportunity. Even with Zion out, fellow NOLA players Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum can get their own shot.

The first two games in this matchup gave us 186 and 216 points, respectively. Saturday's total (208.5) is placed between those two figures. When looking at the previous three regular-season meetings, this average total is loftier at 212.33 PPG.

The game projections at numberFire support my over 208.5 play. Per their model, the Pels are estimated to protect home court by a score of 112.17-110.99. That approximates 223.16 total points for this contest, translating to a 76.71% winning likelihood here.

Boston Celtics at Miami Heat

Heat +9.5 (-112)

As possibly the most contentious series of the opening round, the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat are set to square off from South Beach at one game apiece.

Let us remember that these franchises have now met in four of the past five postseasons. That has resulted in 22 head-to-head playoff games between these sides over that stretch where Miami holds a 12-10 advantage. At this point, the intensity here is dialed all the way up.

Naturally, this series has plenty of star power. Boston is still powered by their duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown while the Heat trust in "Playoff" Jimmy Butler and a Tyler Herro. Of course, Butler is temporarily sidelined with an MCL injury. Still, Boston laying 9.5 in Miami feels a little inflated for this rivalry. I'll attempt to play it safe here and take the points with the home team.

"El Heat" won Game 2 at TD Garden by a statement score of 111-101. Herro converted on 6 of 11 three-point attempts. From there, Bam Adebayo shelled out 21 points with 10 boards. Miami forwards Caleb Martin and rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. have done well to fill Butler's void, combining for 35 points on Wednesday.

For Saturday at Kaseya Center, I will be on Heat +9.5 (-112 odds). Back at numberFire, the NBA game projections concur with this wager. The model has the C's winning outright by an estimated score of 105.20-104.05. However, that is considerably short of a double-digit win for Boston. With a 74.05% likelihood to either win or lose by less than 10 points, I love Miami at home.

Denver Nuggets at Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers 1st Half Winner (+102)

The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves in a familiar place, down 3-0 to the defending-champion Denver Nuggets. Of course, Denver swept LAL out of the playoffs less than a year ago and seem to be trending toward an identical result.

As frustrating as this current series has been for LeBron James, Anthony Davis and all of Los Angeles really, the Lakers have actually led at halftime in all three contests. Sure, the Purple and Gold has not defeated Denver outright in 11 head-to-head tries, but they are doing something right through the first two quarters lately.

With a plus-money listing (+102 odds) at FanDuel Sportsbook, I am willing to wager on the Lake Show leading at halftime for the fourth straight game. So far in this series, LAL has produced 172 1H points while the Nuggets are down at 150 1H points. On a per game basis, that translates to 57.33 PPG for the Lakers and only 50.0 PPG for Denver here.

Notably, the action has shifted back downtown Los Angeles' Arena. There seems to be an outside belief that Saturday has the potential to be James' final outing as a Laker, so there could be a special energy in the venue. What if this does wind up being LeBron's last dance for Hollywood?

Since the season is on the line, I expect Los Angeles to put its best foot forward on Saturday evening. With all respect to the dominant trio of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon, I like the Lake Show to continue their 1H success.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.