NBA Play In Tournament – Expert Picks (5/18/2021)

Just like that, the regular season is over, and now it’s time for the NBA Playoffs! Just as the case was last season, there is a new twist to the playoffs with the Play-In Tournament kicking things off. Both games, the Charlotte Hornets at Indiana Pacers & Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics.

I finished up the NBA regular season at 123-93-2 ATS (57%), so it’s nice to see that we made a decent profit here in this space. Here are two more free NBA betting picks to get things going in the right direction for the playoffs.

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Charlotte Hornets at Indiana Pacers (-3) – Total: 226.5

Pacers will be missing Myles Turner and TJ Warren while Malcolm Brogdon will be a true last-second game-time decision. In addition, their best player (Caris LeVert) has been slowed down a bit by a migraine issue. On the other side, things haven’t been much better as the Hornets lost five straight games heading into tonight’s play-in matchup.

The total initially opened at 231 before falling off a cliff down to 226.5. Not to mention, there’s a history of unders in recent games between the teams, playing 0-3-1 to the over in the last four meetings. This will be an unfamiliar spot for a lot of these guys, and I would expect defense and missed shots to be the key themes tonight.

Betting Pick: Under 226.5 points

Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics (-2) – Total: 233

Even with the line movement in favor of the Celtics, I don’t believe that Russell Westbrook and the Wizards are done with their season just yet. After all, the team closed out the season going 17-7 SU/18-5-1 ATS over the final 24 games. Of those seven outright losses, six of them came by four points or fewer.

The Celtics took two of the three meetings with the Wizards this season, although they only covered the spread once. It was on the final day of February that these teams last met, with Boston edging out a one-point victory. That’s about as kind as I’ll get with the Celtics, considering they’ve lost six of their last eight games.

At the end of the day, I must see this thing through with the Wizards. I have never been much of a Westbrook fan (go Harden), but I am truly in awe of how he has single-handedly led Washington to this point.

It’s also worth mention that the last five Celtics-Wizards games have gone under the total.

Betting Pick: Wizards (+2)

Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer