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Sean B’s Best NBA Playoff Bets Today: Mavericks vs. Warriors Picks & Predictions | Wednesday 5/18/22

Sean Blazek



The Miami Heat took advantage of the home crowd by securing a Game 1 victory over a short-handed Celtics squad on Tuesday. Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 41 points in the 118-107 win in Miami. Boston is in dire need of a healthy squad for Game 2 to avoid an 0-2 deficit before heading back to Boston for Game 3. Keep an eye on updates for both Marcus Smart and Al Horford for Game 2 as both players are listed as day-to-day. Wednesday offers up another exciting night in the NBA with Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals tipping off on TNT between the Mavericks and Warriors. Let’s dive into the best NBA bets today, picks and NBA betting tips for Wednesday, May 18.

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Best NBA Bets Today: Game Tips & Betting Predictions

Mavericks vs. Warriors Prediction

The Western Conference finals comes as a twist to what most expected, with the Mavericks upsetting the Suns despite being without one of their top wing scorers in Tim Hardaway Jr. Dallas heads on the road for a Game 1 showdown with the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday. The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies in Game 6 to advance to the conference finals, but it did not come without the team suffering injuries to Otto Porter Jr. and Gary Payton II throughout the series. Tonight, fans watch to see if the Mavericks can keep rolling on the road with a win inside Chase Center and steal home court advantage early in the series. The Mavericks lead the season series 3-1 over the Warriors. Tonight’s matchup tips off at 9:00 p.m. ET.

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Luka Doncic & Co. have been on a roll since the Mavericks traded away Kristaps Porzingis. Dallas went 20-7 to finish the regular season after the team acquired Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans in the trade with the Wizards. Dinwiddie came up big in Game 7 against Phoenix, putting up a 30-point performance on five-of-seven shooting from deep after averaging just 8.3 points in the series through the first six games. Doncic went off in Round 2, averaging a team-high 32.6 points per game. Dallas cannot win this series with just Doncic, so both Jalen Brunson and Dinwiddie will need to elevate their offensive production each night to have a shot at their first trip to the NBA Finals since 2011. The Mavs have to be ready to respond offensively, even with a top 10 defense. If the Mavericks can exploit the Warrior’s perimeter defense like they did to the Suns, this will be a fun series. Coach Jason Kidd has focused their defensive efforts on Stephen Curry in the past with aggressive double teams trying to take his playmaking ability out of the equation early on in the possessions. Dallas’ perimeter defense will give the Warriors a true test as it is holding opponents to 34% from 3-point territory, the third-best in the league.

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The Warriors need to buckle down and quit coughing up the ball. The team is averaging 15 turnovers per game this postseason, which is the same amount of turnovers the Rockets averaged during the regular season ranking last in the league. Golden State has been able to compensate for the mistakes with its ability to drain shots from beyond the arc. If the turnovers continue, expect the Mavericks to run the clock down and set up their offense rather than pushing the pace for a quick shot. The Warriors rank third in the league with 14.2 3-pointers made per game. Klay Thompson started to come together from deep finishing 50% or better from 3-point land in three of his last four games. The Warriors lead the playoffs with 114.2 points per game on offense. Andrew Wiggins and Thompson are terrific wing defenders, which should help Golden State slow down Doncic. Porter Jr. has been cleared to play in Game 1 after missing the final game in the series against the Suns. Golden State outrebounded the Grizzlies, who rank first in rebounds per game, so look for them to feast on a Mavericks squad that ranks 28th in total rebounds per game on the season.

The Warriors finished the semifinals with an average combined total of 221.3 points. The Mavericks finished the semifinals with a combined total of 211.8 points. The over has cashed in seven of their last 10 head-to-head matchups. Expect Golden State to be more consistent on the offensive end of the floor than the Suns were against the Mavericks in their previous series. These two teams surpassed 214 in two of four regular season matchups. Green, Thompson and Curry were not on the floor together in any of those four games. While Dallas will try to chew up the clock and slow down the pace on offense to limit the number of Golden State offensive possessions, both teams pose too much of a threat from deep to not give the over a shot in Game 1. These two teams rank top three in 3-pointers and 3-point attempts per game throughout the playoffs. This game’s total is projected to finish around 220 points. Ride the over in tonight’s Game 1 matchup.

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Best NBA Bet for Today’s Game: Total Over 214 Points

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Sean Blazek (aka SweatBets) has contributed to Awesemo since November 2021 and is currently an NBA Betting Content Creator. His articles can be found on Awesemo as well as OddsShopper under the NBA Betting Articles section. Sean has a knack for identifying value in spreads and totals using an analytical approach to find his Best Bets. Follow him on Twitter @SweatBets and get ready to cash.

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