NBA Saturday Picks April 27, 2024

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by OddsCrowd Analysts

The NBA playoffs have reached a midpoint in its sea of best-of-seven series for Round 1. With the New Orleans Pelicans searching for a win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics battling for a series lead and the Los Angeles Lakers on the brink of elimination, today’s action promises to deliver on all fronts for basketball fans everywhere. To heighten the stakes, we dish our best NBA picks for Saturday, April 27.

NBA Saturday predictions:

  • Oklahoma City Thunder -1 (-112) vs New Orleans Pelicans
  • Jrue Holiday Over 13.5 PTS + AST (-115)
  • Denver Nuggets -3 (-110) vs Los Angeles Lakers

Oklahoma City Thunder vs New Orleans Pelicans best bet: Thunder -1 (-112)

After narrowly escaping Game 1, 94-92, in a shaky offensive debut last Sunday, the Thunder settled in nicely during Game 2 on Wednesday, delivering a 124-92 thrashing. Led by star Shai Gilgeous Alexander’s 33 points, all five starters posted 13+ points while keeping the Pelicans’ offense at bay yet again. 

The Thunder lived up to their #4-ranked defensive rating in the first two games, and we expect that to continue against an offense that is average without Williamson’s contributions. Game 2 saw nine Thunder players record an assist, and with any number of players able to step into a playmaking role, the Thunder can barrage their opposition with fresh sets and looks. 

If Game 2 was a sign of things to come for the Thunder’s #3-ranked offensive, this series should end in New Orleans come Game 4. 

Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat player prop pick: Jrue Holiday Over 13.5 PTS + AST (-115)

Despite Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combining for 61 points in Game 2 on Wednesday, Boston suffered a home loss, in part due to Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday combining for 15 points on 5-of-21 shooting. While Porzingis is an obvious pick to right the ship in Game 3, we love the value in Jrue Holiday Over 13.5 PTS + AST (-115).

We are talking about a player who averaged 17.3 PTS + AST per game during the regular season. Holiday only logged 15 points and five assists between the first two games, but we expect the Celtics to adjust their game plan and entrust their veteran guard to make more plays on offense. 

Holiday will score in double digits at some point in this series, and we expect him to facilitate more with higher usage. In two trips to Miami during the regular season, Holiday posted 15 points and six assists and 17 points and five assists, so we expect more of that type of production today. 

Denver Nuggets vs Los Angeles Lakers best bet: Nuggets -3 (-110)

It’s been three straight games of the same story: The Lakers come out of the gate hot, own a halftime lead, run out of gas in the second half, blow a lead and the Nuggets dominate the 4Q and win. The Nuggets have now defeated the Lakers in 11 straight, including seven straight in the playoffs. The bottom line: The Lakers can’t win if their role players don’t hit shots. 

LeBron James and Anthony Davis continue to dominate the stat sheet and play smart basketball, but the Nuggets have proven inevitable with Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. leading a balanced attack. The Nuggets make the necessary in-game adjustments each outing, and the Lakers don’t have enough depth to keep up late. The Nuggets cover and sweep the series in LA tonight. 

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