NBA Playoffs Daily Best Bets (April 25): Look For Jamal Murray To Dish Early Vs. Lakers

With all of the Game 2s now complete in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the focus shifts to the Game 3s where the series dynamics change as the home-court advantage moves to the lower-seeded teams.

Let’s take a look at the betting odds on the five best bets you can play Thursday night.

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Orlando Magic – 7 p.m. ET

The Cavaliers took a commanding 2-0 series lead with a 96-86 win over the Magic in Game 2. Donovan Mitchell led the victory by scoring a game-high 23 points. Jarrett Allen contributed significantly, notching a double-double with 16 points and 20 rebounds, and adding two steals and three blocks to his impressive performance. On the Magic’s side, Paolo Banchero led his team with 21 points and supplemented his scoring with three rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block.

Cavaliers moneyline; Jarrett Allen over 12.5 rebounds: +250 (BetMGM)

The Cavaliers have taken a solid 2-0 lead in their series against the Magic, winning both games in Cleveland by double digits. As the series shifts to Orlando, the Cavaliers are poised to continue their dominance, reflecting a significant gap in talent and experience.

Allen has been a standout performer, especially on the boards. In the first game of the playoffs, he grabbed 18 rebounds from 31 opportunities, and in Game 2, he secured 20 rebounds from 30 chances. Given the high stakes of the playoffs, Allen is likely to continue playing extensive minutes — over 30 per game — and maintain his elite level of rebounding against the Magic in the upcoming games.

Jarrett Allen over 12.5 rebounds


1st quarter point spread: Cavaliers -2.5 points: +150 (bet365)

The Cavaliers have consistently demonstrated their ability to start games on a strong footing, having outscored the Magic by more than 2 1/2 points in the first quarter in five of the six games they’ve clashed this season, including the playoffs. They took a commanding seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter in Game 1 and extended their lead to 12 points by the first quarter’s close in Game 2. Similar trends were observed during the regular season, with the Cavaliers establishing significant leads of 19, seven, and 17 points in the first quarters of other matchups. This consistent pattern underscores their ability to dominate early in games against the Magic. Given this history, it’s a sound bet to expect the Cavaliers to outpace the Magic in the first quarter once again in Game 3.

New York Knicks @ Philadelphia 76ers- 7:30 p.m. ET

In a nail-biting finish, the Knicks edged out the 76ers, 104-101, in Game 2, thanks to late-game heroics from Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo. Brunson led the charge for the Knicks, recording 24 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. On the other side, Tyrese Maxey came one rebound shy of a triple-double, scoring 35 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists. With this victory, the Knicks have taken a big 2-0 lead in their series against the Sixers.

Jalen Brunson under 28.5 points: +105 (DraftKings)

Brunson has struggled significantly with his shooting against the Sixers throughout the 2023-24 season, including the playoffs, only scoring over 28 points in one out of six games. Over his last five games, he has posted scores of 21, 19, 20, 22, and 24 points. However, his shooting efficiency has been notably poor in the playoff series. In Game 1, Brunson shot just 30.8% from the field (8-of-26) and 16.7% from three-point range (1-of-6), while also committing five turnovers. His difficulties continued in Game 2, where he shot 27.6% overall (8-of-29) and replicated his three-point percentage from Game 1 (16.7%). Moreover, when breaking down his performance by defender, Brunson went 2-for-11 when guarded by Maxey, 4-for-14 against Joel Embiid, and 0-for-7 when Tobias Harris was defending him. These stats highlight the challenges Brunson has faced in finding his shooting rhythm against the Sixers’ defence.

Jalen Brunson under 28.5 points


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

The Nuggets staged a dramatic second-half comeback to clinch a narrow 101-99 victory in Game 2 over the Lakers, overturning a 20-point deficit. Jamal Murray delivered a stunning game-winning buzzer-beater, much to the shock of Lakers fans. Nikola Jokic was instrumental in the win, securing a triple-double with 27 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists. Anthony Davis was a standout for the Lakers, leading his team with 32 points and 11 rebounds. With this win, the Nuggets have taken a dominant 2-0 lead in their series against the Lakers.

Michael Porter Jr. over 7.5 rebounds: -104 (FanDuel)

Michael Porter Jr. has reliably exceeded the 7.5-rebound threshold in eight of his last 10 games against the Lakers, averaging 9.1 rebounds per game since 2022. In Game 1 of their current series, he secured eight rebounds from 11 rebounding opportunities, and he continued this performance in Game 2 with nine rebounds from 11 chances. Given this consistent pattern, Porter Jr. is expected to once again surpass the 7.5-rebound mark in Game 3.

Jamal Murray over 1.5 assists in the 1st quarter: -115 (bet365)

Murray has shown a consistent ability to distribute the ball effectively against the Lakers this season, surpassing 1.5 assists in the first quarter in each of their five matchups, including the playoffs. He started strong in the series, delivering four assists in the first quarter of Game 1, followed by three assists in the first quarter of Game 2. His performance during the regular season was similarly impressive, with first-quarter assist totals of three, three, and two in their three meetings. This consistent pattern suggests that Murray is well-positioned to continue this trend and likely exceed 1.5 assists in the first quarter of Game 3.