Betting NBA playoffs, player prop bets to watch w/ Ariel Epstein

Eight teams remain, and only one will win the last game of the season.

In order to get to that point, we are breaking down all of the remaining teams and series, including player prop bets to monitor with Yahoo Sports’ Sports Betting Analyst and “Prop Queen” ariel epstein. I sat down for an interview with her on Wednesday, prior to Game 2 for the 76ers vs. Heat and Mavericks vs. Suns.

She’s very sharp, constantly on the ball with her numbers and what she is willing to bet. However, it is important to note that she doesn’t consider herself a professional sports bettor by any means.

As she referred to it, “I am a combination of a serious and recreational bettor. Taking shots and having fun but also strict about what numbers I bet.”

Furthermore, sometimes Epstein will look to take a few bets at longshot odds to win big, she has a few of those to consider here too.

It is important to bet responsibly no matter what the numbers say and how much-perceived edge we have. This is why I always say to follow the advice given by Furio from the Sopranos, “Bet with your head, not over it.”

NBA Western Conference breakdown

Warriors vs. grizzlies

After two extremely competitive games to start the season, the Warriors head home to San Francisco to take a stranglehold on the series.

On the series, Epstein said, “It’s becoming more and more difficult to fade the Grizzlies, as much as I want to. They are an extremely young roster but have consistently shown to be up to the challenge.”

She is backing the Warriors to get through this series; which is obviously not much of a hot take considering BetMGM has the series moneyline at -275 for the Warriors and +210 for the Grizzlies.

The series spread of -1.5 for the Warriors is not a great bet either, according to Epstein, even if the Warriors are home for a Game 6.

This is one to stay away from, from a betting perspective.

Devin Booker hits the floor after hitting a game-winning shot against the Clippers in 2020.
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Mavericks vs. Sun’s

The Suns are up 2-0 in the series after a dominant Game 2 win at home. On Wednesday, they used an incredible 70.6% two-point field goal percentage to propel them to victory.

Even prior to this game, Epstein was not even remotely entertaining the fact that the Mavericks could win this series.

“The Suns were 3-0 with three covers in the regular season against the Mavericks,” she said.

That trend has continued in the playoffs, the Suns are now 5-0 with five covers. With the Suns clearly in the driver’s seat, we have some future bets to discuss.

Epstein has been riding the Suns all season long and that will not stop here. She is targeting some “Exact Outcome” bets for the NBA Finals on BetMGM.

She said, “I wouldn’t put my whole bankroll on it, this is a more fun bet.” However, her belief in her in the Suns is so strong that she would take an exact outcome of the Suns beating the Heat (+550) or the Suns beating the Celtics (+800).

With no betting edge left on the Suns to win the West, Epstein said, “The best way to go from here is to bet on your team to win the championship and then hedge from there.”

NBA Eastern Conference breakdown

76ers vs. Heat

Since January, Epstein’s favorite team to bet on has been the Miami Heat. She said, “At different times this season, the Heat have missed a key piece of their roster and still took the top seed in the East. [Bam] adebayo, [Kyle] Lowry [Jimmy] Butler all missed significant time but their roster is loaded with talent.”

NBA playoffs futures and player prop bets to watch
james harden
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Moreover, without Joel Embiid the 76ers are pretty much done. the Action Network’s Raheem Palmer uses a hilarious term called “Larry Holmes Status” to refer to players when they are past their prime and a shell of their former selves.

This unfortunate title was given to James Harden by Palmer just a few days ago. When I asked Epstein if she was sticking a fork in him, she agreed that he has not looked like the same player.

However, she did give credit to the Heat defense: “The Heat are a really good team that plays excellent defense, especially with Adebayo as the center.”

Even if Embiid plays in Game 3, the 76ers look like they’ll be in Cancun with LeBron, Durant, and Kyrie before long.

There is no betting value on the series nor to win the East at just +130.

Celtics vs. bucks

“The Celtics are the best team. Better defense. better coach”

Ariel Epstein—Yahoo! Sports

Shots fired! Sorry, Mike Budenholzer. The rookie coach Ime Udoka has you beat already. The Boston Celtics made excellent adjustments in Game 2 en route to a 109-86 victory.

With conviction, Epstein is backing the Celtics. Currently, -125 to win the series on BetMGM the Celtics should be able to retake control in this series.

Per NBA.com, the Celtics have the third-best record on the road at 15-4, and the best since the start of February.

Get your popcorn ready if the Miami Heat face off against the Boston Celtics next round.

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Player prop bets to watch for the remainder of the NBA playoffs

As stated in the opener, Ariel Epstein is well known for her player prop bets. She is targeting a few player prop bets for the next several games.

The first one is Chris Paul’s assist prop which usually comes in around 9.5. She looks back at Paul’s numbers during the regular season saying, “Paul’s assists numbers were 14, 14, and 11 against the Mavs earlier in the year. Booker has been injured so he is looking to pass more than shoot right now. As he gets healthier, he should get more aggressive.”

The second player prop trend to look out for is Ja Morant’s rebounds + assists prop. This is usually found on DraftKings, BetMGM, and FanDuel. Currently, Morant is averaging 8.6 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game. Sportsbooks set the line at 16.5 during his last two games and this could be a spot to target going forward.

Lastly, Epstein will be targeting Bam Adebayo’s assist prop anytime Kyle Lowry is out. She said, “Bam has gone over 3.5 assists in 12-18 games without Kyle Lowry. He’s a difference-maker.”

Best NBA finals MVP bets

Epstein is targeting two bets for Finals MVP. Not surprisingly, they are centered around her two favorite teams remaining in the playoffs.

Devin Booker at +450 is a solid value when you see that the Suns are +200. “Booker is not 100% yet, but he will get healthier and should only improve.”

As for the Chris Paul fears that the narrative could go in his direction if the Suns win she said, “Voters historically want offensive production and Paul is not close to the scorer that Booker is.”

The second value spot would be Bam Adebayo who comes in at 22:1 on BetMGM. Had he been healthy, Adebayo easily could’ve won Defensive Player of the Year.

She said, “[He is] healthy and has to be a difference-maker for them to win the Finals. He’s the “X-Factor for Miami and a better rebounder than Ayton if that were the matchup”

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