NBA Playoffs Best Bets (May 7): Target Mitchell, Tatum In Cavaliers-Celtics Series Opener

Boston Celtics SF Jayson Tatum and Cleveland Cavaliers SG Donovan Mitchell shakes hands after the game. The Celtics beat the Cavaliers, 116-107.

As the second round of the NBA Playoffs continues, Tuesday’s slate features the commencement of two eagerly anticipated series openers. The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to visit Boston to take on the Celtics, while the Dallas Mavericks are travelling to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder.

Here are five NBA wagers you should consider Tuesday:

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics – 7:00 p.m. ET

The Cavaliers and Celtics are set to face off in what promises to be an exciting Eastern Conference showdown. The Cavaliers are coming off a hard-fought Game 7 victory over the Orlando Magic, where Donovan Mitchell played a crucial role in overcoming an early deficit to lead his team with 39 points, nine rebounds, and five assists. His 24-point performance in the second half was instrumental in turning the game around and securing the series for the Cavaliers.

On the other side, the Celtics are entering the series well-rested, having closed out their series against the Miami Heat in five games. Derrick White’s standout performance of 25 points in just 28 minutes in the clinching game highlighted the Celtics’ talent. The five days of rest could be a significant advantage for the Celtics, giving them fresh legs and more time for strategic planning as they prepare to host the Cavaliers at TD Garden.

Donovan Mitchell over 27.5 points: -115 (bet365)

Mitchell’s performance has been remarkable, especially when the stakes are high, as evidenced by his scoring outbursts in the latter part of the first-round series when he had games of 28, 50, and 39 points. This increase in points coincided with an increase in his field goal attempts, indicating his willingness to take charge in critical moments. Mitchell’s track record against the Celtics during the regular season also supports expectations for high scoring, having notched 29 and 31 points in their two meetings. Additionally, his consistent scoring prowess dating back to 2021, when he surpassed 27.5 points in nearly every game against the Celtics, underlines his capability to perform against this particular opponent.

Given this history and his current form, it’s reasonable to anticipate that playoff Mitchell will indeed make a significant impact as the Cavaliers face the Celtics. His ability to elevate his game during the playoffs suggests that he is likely to score over 27.5 points in Game 1.

Donovan Mitchell over 27.5 points


Jayson Tatum to record a double-double: -105 (Bet99)

Tatum’s consistency in achieving double-doubles against the Cavaliers is evident from his performances both during the regular season and in previous matchups. His ability to score effectively and collect rebounds has been a crucial component of his play against the Cavaliers, with double-doubles recorded in each game this season and extending back over his past five encounters with them. Additionally, Tatum’s recent playoff performance against the Heat, when he secured double-doubles in four out of five games, further demonstrates his ability to contribute in multiple stat categories.

Given these established patterns and his crucial role in the Celtics’ lineup, it’s quite reasonable to expect Tatum to continue this trend and secure another double-double in Game 1 against the Cavaliers.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder – 9:30 p.m. ET

The Mavericks capped their series against the Los Angeles Clippers with a compelling performance at home, thanks to a remarkable second-half display by Kyrie Irving, who scored 28 of his total 30 points in that half. His overall contribution included six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks. Luka Doncic also played a crucial role, providing 28 points, seven rebounds, and 13 assists to help secure the series victory.

On another front, the Thunder displayed dominance by sweeping the New Orleans Pelicans in four games. Jalen Williams and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander were instrumental, each scoring 24 points in the clinching game. The Thunder’s sweep means they have had a significant rest period and have not played a game in May, giving them extra time to prepare and recuperate before their next playoff challenge.

Kyrie Irving under 5.5 points in the first quarter: -120 (bet365)

Irving’s scoring pattern in the first round of the playoffs against the Clippers clearly indicates a trend of slow starts in the first quarter, with his scores being notably low: zero, four, zero, two, zero, and four points. This consistent underperformance in the first quarter aligns with a strategic approach where Irving ramps up his offensive output in the second half, when he significantly increased his scoring, averaging 20 points in that series.

Given this established pattern of first-quarter performances, it seems reasonable to project that Kyrie Irving will continue this trend and score under 5.5 points in the first quarter of Game 1.

Jalen Williams over 25.5 points + rebounds: -111 (FanDuel)

Williams has indeed shown a consistent ability to deliver strong combined totals of points and rebounds, as highlighted by his performance throughout the first round of the playoffs, when he achieved totals of 26, 26, 30, and 32 in points + rebounds across four games. Additionally, his performance against the Mavericks during the regular season further supports this trend, with combined points and rebounds totals of 28 and 31 when playing over 30 minutes.

His significant minutes on the court, combined with his proven ability to contribute effectively in scoring and rebounding, make it highly probable that he will exceed the 25.5 points and rebounds threshold.

Jalen Williams over 25.5 points + rebounds


Mavericks over 107.5 points: -110 (Betano)

The Mavericks have demonstrated a strong offensive capability against the Thunder throughout the regular season, surpassing 107.5 points in three of their four matchups. Their high-scoring performances in those games — 126, 146, and 119 points — illustrate their ability to effectively execute on offence when their starting lineup is active. The one instance they fell below this mark coincided with the resting of key players like Doncic and Irving, which significantly impacted their scoring potential. Further reinforcing their offensive consistency, the Mavericks continued to exceed this scoring threshold in their recent playoff series against the Clippers, when they posted scores of 111, 123, and 114 points in the last three games.

Given this pattern of high scoring, especially when their star players are active, it is highly probable that the Mavericks will continue this trend and score over 107.5 points in Game 1 against the Thunder.