NBA Playoffs Daily Best Bets (April 22): Fade Brunson’s Points, Back The Cavaliers In 1st Quarter

The opening matchups of these eagerly awaited NBA playoffs series are now in the books, setting the stage for a trio of Game 2s to be played and wagered on Monday night.

Here are five NBA wagers you should consider on Monday:

Orlando Magic vs. Cleveland Cavaliers – 7:00 p.m. ET

Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers secured a 97-83 victory over the Orlando Magic in the first game of their series. Mitchell led the way with a game-high 30 points. Meanwhile, Paolo Banchero made a notable playoff debut, contributing 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists for the Magic.

Heading into Game 2, the best bet you can play is: Cavaliers moneyline; Jarrett Allen to record a double-double: +120 (bet365)

Parlay – Cavs moneyline; Jarrett Allen double-double


The Cavaliers, boasting significantly more playoff experience, hold a clear advantage over a Magic team whose core is inexperienced when it comes to playing in the playoffs. Apart from Franz Wagner, Banchero found little support from his teammates and committed nine turnovers. With the seasoned core of Mitchell, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Darius Garland, the Cavaliers are well-positioned to secure another home victory and take a commanding 2-0 series lead.

During the 2023-24 regular season, Allen consistently demonstrated his dominance against the Magic, recording a double-double in every game where he played more than 20 minutes. In Game 1, Allen continued this trend by scoring 16 points and securing 18 rebounds. Remarkably, he had 31 rebounding opportunities, despite Mobley also grabbing 11 rebounds. Additionally, in his last 10 home games, Allen achieved double-doubles in eight of those contests against formidable opponents such as the Boston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Miami Heat. Given that the Magic lack a big capable of containing him, Allen is set to exploit numerous scoring and rebounding opportunities, positioning him to likely achieve another double-double in Game 2.

1st quarter point spread: Cavaliers -1.5 points: -115 (NorthStar Bets)

The Cavaliers have demonstrated a strong ability to start games effectively, having outscored the Magic by more than 3 1/2 points in the first quarter in four out of five games this season. The only instance in which they did not lead after the first quarter was when Mitchell was absent. In Game 1 of the series, they established a seven-point lead by the end of the first quarter. During the regular season, their margins of victory in the first quarters were even more impressive, with leads of 19, seven, and 17 points in the other matchups. This trend highlights the Cavaliers’ ability to dominate against the Magic in the first quarter.

Cavs 1st quarter spread: -1.5


Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks – 7:30 p.m. ET

In a tightly contested match, the Philadelphia 76ers fell 111-104 to the New York Knicks in the series opener. The game took a pivotal turn when Joel Embiid sustained an injury midway through. Despite continuing to play, his performance was notably hampered; he struggled in the fourth quarter, going 0-for-5 on his shot attempts. This setback significantly influenced the outcome of the game, as Embiid’s usual impact was sorely missed in the critical closing moments.

Heading into Game 2, the best bet you can play is: Jalen Brunson under 30.5 points, Miles McBride over 8.5 points: +240 (bet365)

Brunson has failed to hit the over on this points props in all five games against the Sixers this season, including in the series opener. In his last four games, he scored 21, 19, 20, and 22 points, respectively. In Game 1, his shooting was off, with a 30.8% success rate from the field (8-of-26) and only 16.7% from three-point range (1-of-6), alongside committing five turnovers. As the primary offensive option for his team, Brunson faces strategic double teams orchestrated by coach Nick Nurse, which will continue to significantly challenge his scoring ability.

McBride has consistently scored over 8.5 points in his last 10 home games when playing over 19 minutes, including Game 1. In the opening game, he tallied 21 points, shooting an efficient 7-of-12 (58.3%) from the field and an impressive 5-of-7 (71.4%) from beyond the arc. Given that Brunson is attracting double teams, McBride is likely to receive more scoring opportunities. This positioning makes him a strong candidate to go over the 8.5-point mark again in Game 2.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets – 10:00 p.m. ET

The Los Angeles Lakers fell 114-103 to the Denver Nuggets in Game 1, extending their losing streak against the Nuggets to nine games since December 2022. Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray played pivotal roles, combining for 18 of the Nuggets’ 25 points in the fourth quarter, which was crucial in securing the win.

Heading into Game 2, the best bet you can play is: Nuggets moneyline; Michael Porter Jr. over 6.5 rebounds: +120 (bet365)

Given the Nuggets’ sweep of the Lakers in last season’s Western Conference Finals and their current nine-game winning streak, it seems unlikely that the streak will be broken at home, especially with Jokic, Murray, and Porter Jr. all performing strongly.

Porter Jr. has consistently surpassed the 6.5 rebound mark in his last 10 encounters with the Lakers, with an average of 9.1 rebounds per game since 2022. In Game 1, he secured eight rebounds, and his regular season average stands at seven per game. Given this trend, he is well-poised to exceed 6.5 rebounds once again in Game 2.

Jamal Murray over 1.5 assists in the 1st quarter: -125 (bet365)

In the four matchups this season, including Game 1, Murray has consistently delivered more than 1.5 assists in each contest. In the opening game of the series, he recorded four assists in just the first quarter. During the three regular-season games against the Lakers, he recorded assist totals of three, three, and two, respectively. Given this pattern, Murray is trending towards repeating his performance of dishing out over 1.5 assists in the first quarter of Game 2.

Jamal Murray over 1.5 assists in 1st quarter