All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
What you need to know for Tuesday’s playoff games
Stuck in a Funk: It is no secret that Trae Young is struggling massively. He has gone under his point total in every game this series (16.5 PPG) and is shooting just 32.1% from the field and 20.8% from 3. The Heat seem to be focused on preventing Young from penetrating, as 10 of his 11 shots on Sunday were from 3 and he attempted just one free throw. Given the Heat’s 3-1 series lead, it’s difficult to see the game plan changing at all. Making Young perimeter-oriented leads to plenty of success for Miami, but based on Young’s regular season, what we saw in Game 4 should be viewed as an outlier. The Hawks have gone 14-7 when at least half of Young’s shots came from distance. Young’s success from 3 could be the difference in this win-or-go-home Game 5. That makes Young’s 3-point prop worth considering for parlays.
Kyle Avoids Towns: Karl-Anthony Towns was amazing in the Timberwolves’ Game 4 win but has a significant downside Tuesday. He is averaging 31 points and 13.5 rebounds when he stays out of foul trouble, compared to 11.5 PPG and 8 RPG in the two games in which he committed five fouls. Those are pretty drastic splits, so it’s worth noting Towns has averaged 10.3% more fouls per game on the road than at home this season. Towns also averaged 4.3 fouls per game over Minnesota’s past six losses, something the spread suggests is the likely outcome tonight. While another big game from Towns is possible, I’m not sure it is as likely as his prop markets project.
Exploiting A Mismatch: The Suns view their interior scoring as a strength and without Devin Booker, Phoenix is even more focused on taking advantage against the Pelicans. Deandre Ayton and JaVale McGee have combined to go 38-of-49 from the field (77.6%) for 80 points. With Chris Paul running this offense and a lack of perimeter consistency, this game plan figures to stick until the Pelicans prove they can stop it, making both Ayton and McGee interesting DFS options. Ayton is a pricy play, but with strong double-double equity and the ability to maintain elite efficiency, he is more than capable of paying off. McGee’s price is less prohibitive given his role, but it’s clear Phoenix is sticking to the plan when he’s in the game, making him a cheaper version of Ayton.
— Jim McCormick & Kyle Soppe
Game of the night
Line: Heat (-7.0)
Money line: Heat (-320), Hawks (+250)
Total: 217.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 214.5 points
BPI Win%: Heat (73.2%)
Notable: Under tickets have cashed in all four games this series (by an average of 10.3 points) and in six straight Atlanta games dating back to the regular season.
Best bet: Heat -7.0. Atlanta put up a fight, but it’s time for it to bow out. Miami took a commanding 3-1 series lead Sunday with a 110-86 beatdown. That loss seemed to break Atlanta’s will, and I doubt the Hawks have the fortitude to keep this Game 5 close and rally back for three straight wins. Trae Young was held to just nine points on 3-of-11 shooting in Game 4, and I don’t see a way for Young to overcome Miami’s swarming defense Tuesday night. For what it’s worth, the Hawks are 0-42 ATS (0-23 ATS as an underdog) in games they’ve lost this season. So in essence, their losses are typically one-sided defeats.
Best bet: Heat -7.0 This series is completely in the Heat’s hands. Jimmy Butler has averaged 29 PPG, 7.0 RPG, and 5.7 APG while getting plenty of statistical contributions from his teammates. Defensively, the Heat are dominating the Hawks, holding Atlanta to 102.3 PPG while shooting a dismal 46% from the field. The Hawks are 6-20 against the spread as a road underdog this season. — Eric Moody
Best bet: Jimmy Butler over 39.5 points + assists + rebounds. With the Hawks on the ropes entering Game 5, Butler will help deliver the knockout blow to end the series. He has 122 points, 31 rebounds, 21 assists and 11 steals over the first four games of the series. The last player with at least 120 points, 30 rebounds, 20 assists, and 10 steals over four playoff games was Butler in 2020. — Moody
Breaking down the rest of the slate
Line: Grizzlies (-6.0)
Money line: Grizzlies (-260), Timberwolves (+210)
Total: 232.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 228 points
BPI Win%: Grizzlies (79.3%)
Key players ruled out: none
Notable: After covering five of six road games, the Timberwolves have failed to cover five of their most recent seven games away from home.
Best bet: Ja Morant over 43.5 points + assists + rebounds. Morant has averaged only 16.6 PPG, 11.7 APG and 9.0 RPG over the past three games. But he must have an outstanding performance if the Grizzlies want to win Game 5 — Moody
Best Bet: Desmond Bane over 3.5 3-pointers made. Bane has made 15 triples over the past two playoff games, tied for the second most in NBA playoffs history. His success from beyond the arc should continue Tuesday night. — Moody
Line: Suns (-6.5)
Money line: Suns (-270), Pelicans (+220)
Total: 215.5 points
BPI Projected Total: 216 points
BPI Win%: Suns (78.4%)
Key players ruled out: Devin Booker
Notable: The Suns went over in Game 4 on Sunday, but that has been the exception. Before Sunday, eight of Phoenix’s past 10 games went under the total, including Game 1, which was under by 15 points.
Best bet: CJ McCollum over 2.5 3-pointers made. McCollum has played well so far in this series as the Pelicans’ primary scorer and long-range threat. He has averaged 9.5 3-pointers per game and in Game 2 hit six of them. New Orleans will look to play aggressive basketball early as it faces elimination, and that makes McCollum a strong candidate to go over this prop. — Moody
Best bet: Jonas Valanciunas over 31.5 points + assists + rebounds. Valanciunas has been impressive on both sides of the floor during this series. He has averaged 15 PPG, 3.0 APG and 16 RPG over the past four games. Valanciunas has outdueled Ayton so far, something not many expected — Moody