NBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Sunday 4/21/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Sunday 4/21/24

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

Miami Heat at Boston Celtics

Heat +14 (-110)
Jayson Tatum Under 33.5 Points and Rebounds (-106)

There's minimal doubt the Boston Celtics, who sit at -1100 on the moneyline, are going to snatch Game 1 at home against an undermanned Miami Heat squad. The question is if this spread is too high.

It might be. Boston's +11.4 net rating in games where all five normal starters played seems from a video game, but Miami has posted a respectable +6.3 net rating -- including Friday's dominant win -- in games where Jimmy Butler sat while Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo played.

Key models across the board have this spread closer, including numberFire (7.7 points), DRatings (10.0), and Massey Ratings (+8.7). My own model in beta also has this spread at 8.0 points. I think there are just a few too many being laid with a Boston squad that might come out a touch rusty from extensive rest.

If that's the case, it logically comes from a place of keep Jayson Tatum from fully exploding, and the Heat seem well-equipped to do so. They've allowed the fourth-fewest points and fifth-fewest rebounds to power forwards all year.

J.T. is projected for just 23.3 points and 8.4 rebounds by our projections today. That's a great night, but the 31.7 total PR implied at a median fall well short of this projected prop.

Dallas Mavericks at Los Angeles Clippers

Clippers ML (+126)

The Dallas Mavericks' hot stretch since the deadline has caught the attention of the NBA media.

Somehow, it hasn't been enough to give Luka Doncic the MVP he deserves, but it's enough to make them a favorite over the Los Angeles Clippers on the road in Game 1. Even with Kawhi Leonard (knee) sitting for the Clips, I'm inclined to take the better team all year.

Dallas closed with 16 of their final 20 games facing non-playoff teams, so a +11.2 net rating during the stretch, while impressive, is probably an overvaluation of how good they truly are. Juxtapose that with L.A.'s schedule, which featured 10 playoff teams in the last 20.

Top models aren't overreacting here. This Clippers squad stole Game 1 in Phoenix last year without Paul George, and they still have George and James Harden in front of a deep roster to pilot them with home court advantage.

All of numberFire (62.5% win probability), DRatings (54.4%), and Massey (52.0%) favor the Clippers to win today, and they know Kawhi isn't playing.

Indiana Pacers at Milwaukee Bucks

Bucks ML (-102)
Patrick Beverley Over 8.5 Points (+102)
Pascal Siakam 1+ Made Three (-155)

Here's another potential overreaction.

In a small sample of just 481 possessions, some may look at the Milwaukee Bucks' -5.5 net rating and call them toast without Giannis Antetokounmpo (calf). However, this is the NBA Playoffs. Damian Lillard and Khris Middleton lead a significantly more experienced Bucks squad in this realm into Game 1 as an underdog to the totally inexperienced Indiana Pacers.

Typically, offensive squads like Indiana falter in a setting with more physicality and a slower pace, and I see the Pacers' 117.6 defensive rating (seventh-worst in the NBA) as a huge red flag. The Bucks haven't been perfect since Doc Rivers' arrival, but their 113.3 rating since he was introduced is significantly better.

Once again, numberFire (66.6% win probability), DRatings (51.9%), and Massey (52.0%) favor Milwaukee here. I'm avoiding a total in the event the veteran cast rips Indiana's D to shreds.

However, the 231.5-point total here is the best spot for props, and this one for Patrick Beverley seems almost too good to be true. Beverley entered the starting five in the last regular season contest and logged 26 minutes in a blowout, so expect well over 30 minutes for him tonight.

Indiana surrenders the very most points per game to his new shooting guard spot (24.3), and this is kind of his time of year, no? Beverley posted 11.0 points per game in the playoffs last year compared to just 9.2 in the regular season. Our projections expect 0.28 points per minute, which would lead to 8.7 in just 31 of them.

On the other side, the Bucks allow the seventh-most threes per game to opposing power forwards (2.5), so I'm taking Pascal Siakam to flip the coin and can one. He's hit six triples in his last seven games while attempting 2.0 per contest, and in the playoffs, he'll be on the floor for approximately 40 minutes.

We've got Siakam projected for 1.2 made threes, which should otherwise imply -232 odds for at least one.

New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder

Pelicans +8 (-112)
Trey Murphy to Lead the Game in Threes (+240)

It's been a good postseason to fade the public so far, and we'll do it again here. 63% of the bets and 54% of the cash is supporting the Oklahoma City Thunder at FanDuel.

Public sentiment is not fact, so while I understand the public believing the New Orleans Pelicans are dead on arrival without Zion Williamson, it's just simply not true. New Orleans has a +16.3 net rating -- evidenced in Friday's blowout win -- in games where Zion sits so long as Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum played.

While I wouldn't say they'll defeat an OKC squad a +8.2 net rating (and 49-17 record) with all their key starters healthy, they can certainly hang tight, and our analytical friends expect them to do so. numberFire (5.4), DRatings (7.0), and Massey (6.0) all have this spread a bit shorter.

I found this dart in FanDuel's prop kiosks as an interesting second piece of action here. Trey Murphy III is a sniper, and he seemingly has one man to beat for the most triples in these showdowns given no OKC player routinely chucks from deep. It's his teammate, McCollum.

These 29.4% implied chances he can outshoot McCollum seem low. We've got him projected for more made threes (3.3) than C.J. (3.1) when the Thunder let up the most makes from deep per game to Murphy's assigned shooting guard spot (3.7).

McCollum's volume in April (10.8 attempts per game) was a bit higher than Murphy's (8.9), but everyone reading this knows who is in the gameplan to stop here in the playoffs. I'd rather take this head-to-head with his teammate than lay +150 odds on at least four makes.

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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.