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NBA Player Props For Play-In Tournament | Apr. 17


Thomas Snodgrass

Updated: Apr 17, 2024

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The NBA Play-In Tournament continues tonight, with the No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers hosting the No. 8 Miami Heat and the No. 9 Chicago Bulls hosting the No. 10 Atlanta Hawks.

Each team that finished No. 1 through No. 6 in the conference standings are guaranteed a playoff spot, but for the clubs that settled at No. 7 through No. 10 must duke it out in a Play-In Tournament.

For those that are wondering how the Play-In Tournament works, it works like this:

  • In each conference, the No. 7 seed will host the No. 8 seed, with the winner of this contest receiving the official No. 7 spot in the playoff picture. The loser of this contest will have another shot to clinch a spot in the playoff picture.

(The Los Angeles Lakers clinched the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference with a win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.)

  • Then, the No. 9 seeds will host the No. 10 seeds, with the winner moving on to face the loser of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 matches. The losers are eliminated.

(The Sacramento Kings moved on in the Play-In after eliminating the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.)

  • Finally, the losers of the No. 7 vs. No. 8 matchups will host the winners of the No. 9 vs. No. 10 matchups. The winners of these final contests will clinch the official No. 8 seeds for their respective conference, while the loser is eliminated.

(The Kings will play the Pelicans for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.)

The 76ers are five-point favorites over the Heat tonight, and I would expect them to come out and play with their hair on fire, avoiding any chance of falling to the No. 8 seed and playing the No. 1 Boston Celtics in the first round.

The No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference is the New York Knicks, and the Knicks finished a distant 14 games back of the Celtics, which makes New York a much more beatable first-round opponent.

The best odds for Philly to cover the spread is -5 (-110) at bet365.

I’m expecting the 76ers’ individual players to put up some eye-popping numbers as a result.

Let’s take a look at some player props in these two NBA Play-In games, with the best odds as well.

Tyrese Maxey – PG, Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers should have superstar center Joel Embiid on the floor tonight, which would give a boost to Philadelphia’s offense.

But, in the event that Embiid is limited in any capacity, a heavy offensive workload will likely fall on point guard Tyrese Maxey’s shoulders.

Maxey has had some varying levels of success in four games against the Miami Heat this season.

Maxey vs. MIAPointsReboundsAssistsMinutes
Dec. 25th123544
Feb. 14th306739
Mar. 18th3081041
Apr. 4th3791141

Even with Maxey’s Christmas clunker in the mix, that’s still an average of 27.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 8.3 assists in 41.3 minutes on the floor against the Heat.

The large points and assist totals over his last three outings against Miami has me leaning towards Maxey’s points+assists combo.

Maxey recorded 25.9 points and 6.2 assists per game this season, which is 32.1 points and assists combined per game, and considering the strong defensive nature of the Heat, it appears that the sportsbooks are expecting a slight regression for Maxey tonight.

Based on 75% of games that Maxey has played against Miami, and the fact that this is not a meaningless game in February, I don’t see that regression coming.

Pick: Maxey – OVER 30.5 Points+Assists

Best Odds: (-110) BetMGM

Bam Adebayo – C, Miami Heat

If Embiid is indeed limited in any way in this contest, that could open up the scoring lane for Miami’s center Bam Adebayo more frequently.

As we now know, the Heat and Sixers faced off four times in the regular season, and this is how Adebayo fared in those contests.

Adebayo vs. PhillyPointsField Goal Shooting
Dec. 25th269-of-15 (60%)
Feb. 14th239-of-14 (64.3%)
Mar. 18th208-of-10 (80%)
Apr. 4th146-of-15 (40%)

Embiid played 32 minutes in the April 4th contest, and Adebayo’s numbers seemed to take a dip as a result.

In the other three contests, Adebayo battled opposing centers such as Mo Bamba and Paul Reed, and those two seemed to have little effect on Adebayo, defensively.

Once again, I believe the sportsbooks may have overcorrected another line.

Adebayo averaged 19.3 points per game this season, and he has averaged 20.8 points against Philadelphia, even with most success coming with Embiid off the floor.

In this game where Miami has the potential to lock up the No. 7 seed in the East, I would expect Adebayo to turn up the aggression in the offensive paint.

Pick: Adebayo – OVER 17.5 Points

Best Odds: (+102) DraftKings

DeMar DeRozan – SF, Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls’ forward DeMar DeRozan ended the regular season on a heater, scoring 30+ points in each of his final four starts.

Tonight, against Atlanta, I would expect more of the same.

The Hawks have allowed an average of 22.6 points to small forwards, the third-most in the NBA, and DeRozan is no stranger to past success against Atlanta.

In three contests against the Hawks in 2023-24, here is how DeRozan has scored:

DeRozan vs. ATLPointsField Goal Shooting
Dec. 26th258-of-17 (47.1%)
Feb. 12th2910-of-17 (58.8%)
Apr. 1st3110-of-23 (43.5%)

DeRozan recorded 28.3 points per game in his three outings against Atlanta with a 49.1 field goal percentage, both numbers being higher than his season averages of 24 points and a 48% field goal percentage.

Atlanta will be without starting small forward Jalen Johnson tonight, and fellow small forward Saddiq Bey is already out, so DeRozan may continue to be the offensive focus for Billy Donovan’s crew.

With a large volume of shots expected for DeRozan, he should be flirting with 30+ points again, and with near even money value, I like those odds.

Pick: DeRozan – OVER 29.5 Points

Best Odds: (-102) DraftKings

Trae Young – PG, Atlanta Hawks

The Atlanta Hawks only had point guard Trae Young in 54 of 82 games this season, and with Young recently making his return to the lineup, playing the final three games of the regular season, I would expect the exciting guard to make his presence to be felt early in tonight’s Play-In game.

Young connected on the first basket in only two of his 54 games this season, but he makes for an intriguing first basket bet on Wednesday night.

When it comes to the opening tip, Hawks’ center Clint Capela got the better of Bulls’ center Nikola Vucevic in their lone head-to-head jump.

As we can see from the opening tip data from BestOdds EDGE, Capela has won his tips at a higher rate than Vucevic, winning the tip on 11% more occasions.

And with a higher winning tip percentage, Capela has assisted Atlanta to collect a higher first team to score percentage.

BestOdds EDGE provides defensive first basket statistics that tells me that Chicago has allowed the largest amount of first baskets to players in the opposing backcourt (21% of first baskets to shooting guards, 28% to point guards.)

If the Bulls are allowing most first basket to point guards, that points me in the direction of Trae Young.

Not too many early shots of late for Young, but he has slowly been ramping up his time on the court, playing 21 minutes, 27 minutes, then 32 minutes over his last three games.

He hasn’t taken too many early shots, but BestOdds EDGE tells me that Young took the first shot for his club in 19% of his starts this season, and 26% of first field goal attempts in 2022-23.

Young’s track record indicates that he will be firing early shots at some point, regardless of his recent data.

Atlanta could certainly come away with the first possession on the tip, and against the Bulls’ weaker defensive backcourt, Young could fire and make the first shot.

Pick: Young – To Score the First Basket

Best Odds: (+800) DraftKings


About the author

A fan of both the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, which is rare! Thomas provides sports betting content with the intent to educate and enter...

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