NBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Sunday 5/12/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Sunday 5/12/24

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

New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers

Knicks Team Total Over 106.5 (-118)
Jalen Brunson Over 39.5 Points and Assists (-128)

Of all the ways that OG Anunoby's hamstring injury impacts the New York Knicks, I'm not sure this discount on the team total is appropriate.

The Indiana Pacers' defense is still porous (119.9 rating in the postseason), and the young squad has still sped up the Knicks quite a bit for a 94.2 combined pace thus far. For reference, New York was at 91.1 in their last series with the average-paced Philadelphia 76ers. The Knicks averaged 125.5 points in the first two games of the series and dipped to 106 in Game 3, but I still think they've got much better ahead.

There are two ways to look at the last game. Their 51.9% rate from deep isn't sustainable, but the Knicks also shot a putrid 24-for-53 (45.3%) from inside the circle. Jalen Brunson, specifically, posted his second-worst FG% of the playoffs (38.5%).

Between numberFire, DRatings, and Massey Ratings, the three top analytical models expect an average of 112.4 points for the Knicks on Sunday. I don't know how their D holds up without OG to cover the spread or keep the Pacers in check, but this mark seems too low.

As for Brunson, buying low into the poor shooting appears to be the move. Brunson's usage rate with Anunoby off the floor in the playoffs (40.3%) is still the best on the Knicks by a mile. He's also posted 11.7 potential assists per game in the series.

FanDuel Research's NBA projections expect 33.6 points and 7.7 assists from New York's star guard in Game 4. I'm also betting on a bounce-back performance.

Denver Nuggets at Minnesota Timberwolves

Timberwolves -2.5 (-116)
Anthony Edwards Over 28.5 Points (-115)
Anthony Edwards Over 2.5 Threes (-130)

In my time covering UFC, I've learned that even the best power-punchers can get rocked. In the slugfest that ensues, you typically want the better fighter with more power.

That's the Minnesota Timberwolves here.

There's no doubt that Minnesota, before a Game 3 clunker in which it looked like they were celebrating a series win already, is the better team across the larger sample. Their playoff net rating (+9.2) still crushes the Denver Nuggets' (+1.4) despite a harder first-round opponent, and consider me a skeptic that Denver shoots 53.8% from the field and 48.3% from three against the league's best defense by rating (108.4) this year.

It's telling they're favored by 2.5 points after the champions "rebounded" in Game 3. Despite a hot night from the field for the Nuggets' extras, Minny still limited Nikola Jokic to below-average efficiency (for him) amidst 24 points, 14 boards, and 9 assists. They've still got that matchup under control.

numberFire, DRatings, and Massey combine to give Minnesota a 59.8% chance to win tonight's game, which alone would translate to a spread of about 3.3 points.

Anthony Edwards took the blame after the loss, and his 19 points were his second-lowest total in the postseason thus far -- a postseason that's seen him average 30.4 points per game. I'm into a return to the mean for "Ant-Man" if the T-Wolves are going to regain control of the series tonight.

Edwards' 30.3% usage rate is fifth-highest in the playoffs among qualifiers, and frankly, he's just behind other players cruising into the 40-minute range. When on the floor, Ant's role to score is as solid as they come. He's also taken 7.29 threes per game, cashing an efficient but sustainable 41.2% of those.

FDR is expecting 28.9 points and 2.9 triples from the budding superstar on Sunday. Anecdotally, I also believe Edwards returns to the 30-point realm, which makes Anthony Edwards 30+ Points (+110) an interesting wager to shave off some of this juice.

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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.