NBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Sunday 5/19/24

Austin Swaim
Austin SwaimASwaim3
NBA Betting Picks and Player Props to Target: Sunday 5/19/24

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

Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks

Pacers +3.5 (-110)
Aaron Nesmith Over 16.5 Points, Rebounds, and Assists (-115)

A bit like Tyson Fury and Oleksander Usyk's battle on Saturday, the Indiana Pacers might have relied on their depth to have more gas in the tank than the New York Knicks entering this championship round.

New York's injury report shows Josh Hart (abdomen) and OG Anunoby (hamstring) as playing, but neither will be at full effectiveness and are expected to shoulder Tom Thibodeau's heavy minutes. I hate the sound of that.

As it stands, Indiana has been unable to quite win on the Knicks' home floor -- yet. It took a late illegal screen in Game 1 to keep it that way. Most models believe that is coming based on the performance in this series. The Pacers' net rating (+1.5), true-shooting percentage (61.5%), and eFG% (58.0) are all superior in this matchup, but the Knicks have used timely offensive rebounds (31.2%) to their advantage. Hart's effectiveness will absolutely be felt there.

DRatings (2.7 points) and Massey Ratings (1.6 points) believe this spread should be tighter than 3.5 points, and Indiana is 4-2 against the spread (ATS) in the series. I'll take the basket margin but expect the Pacers to win Game 7.

In doing so, I'm expecting a bounce-back effort from Jalen Brunson's primary defender, Aaron Nesmith. Nesmith wasn't needed in earnest in Game 6 but still totaled 18 combined points, assists, and rebounds (PRA). He's posted at least 17 PRA in all three of the Pacers' wins this series and logged a hefty amount of minutes in this series' last competitive affair (38).

Our NBA projections have Nesmith pegged for 12.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists on Sunday, which totals 19.5 PRA. This number seems undervalued due to recent blowouts.

Minnesota Timberwolves at Denver Nuggets

Nuggets ML (-196)
Nikola Jokic Over 21.5 Rebounds and Assists (-106)
Jamal Murray Over 2.5 Threes (+114)

With Scott Foster in Denver for tonight's marquee Game 7, you won't catch me fading the Denver Nuggets.

Though not at all implying foul play, Foster has objectively ceded a .660 win rate (or better) in the last two seasons to home teams, including an additional 1.2 free-throw attempts per game to home squads this regular season. He's a friendly ref for home teams, and it's a factor to consider in this series that's come down to the wire.

The Minnesota Timberwolves were outspoken they didn't change their defensive coverage to "better" results in Game 6, but they didn't really get them. On 22 wide-open three-point attempts, Denver cashed just 4 of them (18.2%). Shooting 37.2% on those shots at home overall in the postseason, Minnesota is a dead team walking should they allow that many open triples once again.

DRatings is showing a 62.1% win rate for the Nuggets in this game, and ultimately, the best player in the world losing Game 7 on his home floor would be pretty stunning, right? I've laid a hefty moneyline here expecting the champions to move on one way or another.

With that the case, Nikola Jokic is a player whose effort I want to buy low on from Game 6. Jokic's nine boards were his fourth-lowest total of the playoffs, and he had just two assists amidst the aforementioned Nuggets' shooting woes. Projected for 13.7 rebounds and 9.4 assists by FanDuel Research in Game 7, I'm expecting "The Joker" to encroach a triple-double.

There are a myriad of shooters you could pair with him, but I'll take ol' reliable as his partner in crime. Jamal Murray's 4-for-18 effort (and 2-for-7 from deep) single-handedly sunk the Nuggets in Game 6, but with the volume present, I expect him to make more of them -- as do our projections. He's pegged for 2.6 expected makes on Sunday.

Jokic, Murray, and the Nuggets faced minimal adversity a year ago. Against a bewildered Timberwolves D still giving up open shots in bunches, it would be a gigantic disappointment should they not advance.

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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.