NBA Playoffs Best Bets (May 9): Thunder To Keep Rolling Vs. Mavericks

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder rebounds the ball during the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Round 2 Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Playoffs on May 7, 2024 at Paycom Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

As the NBA playoffs progress, the intensity in the second round is escalating with crucial games on the schedule Thursday. The New York Knicks have already taken a commanding 2-0 series lead, setting the bar high for the remaining teams.

The Cleveland Cavaliers are set to face off against the Celtics in Boston. This matchup is critical for the Cavaliers to regain footing after a Game 1 loss, especially playing in the challenging environment of TD Garden. The Dallas Mavericks will take on the Thunder in Oklahoma City. This game is crucial for both teams, with the Mavericks looking to tie the series while the Thunder can take a 2-0 lead.

Both games are critical in determining the momentum and potential outcomes of their respective series. The Cavaliers and the Mavericks are under pressure to perform and secure a win to avoid falling into a difficult 0-2 series deficit.

Here are five NBA wagers you should consider Thursday:

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

The Celtics delivered a dominant performance to decisively defeat the Cavaliers, 120-95, taking a strong position in their series. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with an impressive 32 points and six rebounds. Derrick White also made significant contributions with 25 points and five assists, while Jayson Tatum rounded out the Celtics’ leading scorers with a comprehensive stat line that included 18 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks, underlining his all-around impact on the game.

On the Cavaliers’ side, Donovan Mitchell continued to stand out despite the tough loss, scoring 33 points along with six rebounds and five assists. Evan Mobley also had a notable performance, particularly on the boards, with 17 points and 13 rebounds

Donovan Mitchell over 29.5 points: -110 (BetMGM)

Mitchell has been a standout performer for the Cavaliers, particularly in high-stakes scenarios, demonstrating his ability to lead the team’s scoring efforts. His impressive scoring feats in recent games, including 33 points in the last game and remarkable tallies of 39 and 50 points in the preceding contests, underscore his role as the primary offensive driver for the Cavaliers.

Given his history against the Celtics, where he has exceeded 29.5 points in seven out of the past 10 matchups, Mitchell’s track record suggests he is well-equipped to handle the pressure. His ability to score efficiently under various defensive pressures, combined with his track record of bouncing back strongly after losses, positions him well to exceed the 29.5-point mark in Game 2. As the Cavaliers look to recover from a significant defeat in Game 1, Mitchell’s role will be crucial in catalyzing their offence and providing the scoring needed to challenge the Celtics.

Donovan Mitchell over 29.5 points


Jayson Tatum to record a double-double: -140 (DraftKings)

Tatum’s track record and current form suggest he’s in a strong position to continue his double-double streak, particularly against the Cavaliers. His ability to impact the game both by scoring and rebounding makes him a dual threat, which has been a consistent theme in his performances against the Cavaliers. With double-doubles in each matchup this season and a performance of 18 points and 11 rebounds in Game 1, Tatum has shown he is more than capable of scoring while grabbing rebounds.

As the Celtics gear up for Game 2, Tatum’s role will be crucial not only in maintaining offensive efficiency but also in controlling the boards. His presence on the court, especially in a postseason context, often translates into significant statistical contributions on the scoresheet and boards. Therefore, expect another double-double from him in Game 2, as he continues to be a significant figure for the Celtics.

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

The Thunder delivered a commanding performance in their Game 1 victory over the Mavericks, winning decisively with a score of 117-95. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was particularly outstanding, nearly achieving a triple-double with 29 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists. His leadership and all-around play were pivotal in guiding the Thunder to a win.

Chet Holmgren also made significant contributions, showcasing his defensive prowess and scoring ability with 19 points, seven rebounds, two steals, and three blocks. His presence on both ends of the floor was impactful, helping to contain the Mavericks while adding efficient scoring. Jalen Williams played a crucial role in sealing the game, especially with his 10 points in the fourth quarter, demonstrating his ability to perform under pressure and contribute crucial baskets during critical moments of the game.

Kyrie Irving led the Mavericks with 20 points while Luka Doncic had 19 points, six rebounds, and nine assists. Luka had a challenging night against the Thunder, shooting just 6-for-19 from the field.

Kyrie Irving under 5.5 points in the 1st quarter: -115 (bet365)

Irving’s trend of slow starts in the first quarters of games noticeable during these playoffs, as the point guard hasn’t exceeded 5.5 points in the opening frame in seven straight contests. With such consistent low scoring in the first quarters during the series against the Los Angeles Clippers and continuing into the playoffs against the Thunder, it becomes evident that Irving tends to reserve his more aggressive scoring efforts for the later stages of the game.

Given this distinct pattern and how he scored no points in the first quarter of Game 1 against the Thunder, it does seem highly likely that Irving might again record under 5.5 points in the first quarter of Game 2.

Kyrie Irving under 5.5 points in 1st quarter


Aaron Wiggins over 8.5 points + rebounds: -115 (bet365)

Wiggins has indeed shown a reliable ability to contribute both points and rebounds, especially when given sufficient playing time. His performances in these playoffs, where he has consistently met or exceeded a combined total of 8.5 points and rebounds in nearly every game, underscore his effectiveness. Specifically, his output of 16 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes during Game 1 against the Mavericks highlights his capability to be a productive player when on the floor.

Considering his regular-season performances, where he also reached or exceeded the line of 8.5 combined points + rebounds in games where he played more than 10 minutes, Wiggins appears to be a consistent contributor when given the opportunity. Given these trends and assuming he continues to receive a similar amount of playing time, it’s reasonable to expect Wiggins to surpass the 8.5 combined points and rebounds threshold in Game 2.

Oklahoma City Thunder over 111.5 points: -120 (Betano)

The Thunder have indeed demonstrated a strong offensive capability against the Mavericks, consistently scoring above 111.5 points in four out of their last five encounters, including a 117-point effort in Game 1 of the current playoff series. This trend suggests that the Thunder have been effective in exploiting the Mavericks’ defensive setups and have been able to maintain a high-scoring pace.

Considering their recent performance and historical success against Dallas, it’s reasonable to expect the Thunder to continue this scoring trend into Game 2.