NBA Playoffs: Best Bets, Player Prop Values & Top Trends For Sunday, May 15

Everything you need to make the most informed Game 7 bets possible for Bucks-Celtics and Mavericks-Suns


Both of these teams have shown glimpses of brilliance in this series and now it’s a win-or-go-home scenario in Boston on Sunday afternoon. The dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will be heavily leaned on by the home team Celtics. Tatum is averaging 28.3 points on 42.3% shooting along with 6.3 rebounds and 5.0 assists over 41.6 minutes with a 30.8% usage rate in this series while Brown has put up 22.5 points on 47.3% shooting along with 7.2 boards and 4.2 dimes over 37.3 minutes with a 25.5% usage rate. 

After dropping 44 points, 20 rebounds and six assists in 41 minutes in Milwaukee’s Game 6 loss, Giannis Antetokounmpo is now averaging 35.3 points on 46.8% shooting with 13.8 rebounds and 6.8 assists over 39.4 minutes per contest with a sky-high 41.1% usage rate in this series. This Bucks team fully operates through him offensively and that should be expected once again in this one. Jrue Holiday has chipped in with 21.0 points per game with 6.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists over 40.4 minutes, but has shot just 35.3% from the floor while recording a hefty 26.8% usage rate. In other words, he’s been an inefficient, yet necessary, secondary option for this Bucks team without Khris Middleton able to play due to an injury.


So far in the series, the Celtics have the better Defensive Rating (103.1 compared to 108.6), have shot better from the field (43.7% to 42.2%), shot better from three (37.1% to 31%), averaged more assists (24.0 to 18.8), and have blocked an amazing 7.2 shots per game. However, the Bucks have had a huge edge on the glass, as they’ve pulled down 48.3 rebounds per contest compared to 41.8 by Boston. 

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After simulating this game 10,000 times, BetQL is projecting the Bucks to shoot 43.3% from the field and the Celtics to shoot 42.9%, the Celtics to have 47.9 rebounds compared to 46.6 by the Bucks and Milwaukee to turn the ball over 14.3 time compared to 13.9 by Boston. The model also projects the Bucks to make 13.9 three-pointers on 32.7% shooting from three while the Celtics make 15 threes on 34.6% shooting from deep.

If you’re backing the Bucks ATS, you’ll be happy to know that under Mike Budenholzer, Milwaukee has gone 52-33 ATS coming off an upset loss as a favorite. Meanwhile, if you’re backing the Celtics ATS, you’ll be pleased to know that in the second half of the season, the Celtics have gone 27-10 ATS versus teams that average 23 or more assists per game.

A couple player props that the model’s backing include Holiday over 6.5 assists (-130, DraftKings) since BetQL projects eight and Marcus Smart under 2.5 made threes (-115, DraftKings) since the model projects just one. All-in-all, this is going to be a physical, hard-fought battle between two of the best teams in the entire NBA.


Celtics -5. The Celtics are the better overall team and I expect the home court advantage to certainly come into play. Even if Giannis goes off (which he probably will), Milwaukee’s lack of depth will end up biting them and sending them home in the end.


Like Giannis, Luka Doncic has been asked to do it all for his team. The Mavericks superstar has a 40.8% usage rate in this series and has put up a ridiculous 32.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists over 37.0 minutes per contest. Meanwhile, Jalen Brunson has stepped up by averaging 17.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 33.7 minutes to take a little of the burden off of Doncic. However, it’s clear that this team relies almost solely on Doncic’s production and will put all their faith in him in this win-or-go-home situation.

The big story in Phoenix is the sudden decline of Chris Paul. He’s averaging 14.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists in this series, but has uncharacteristically turned the ball over 3.7 times per game and has been conservative as a scorer since turning 37 years old a few games ago. He will look to turn back the clock a bit in this one. Devin Booker leads his team in usage (29.5%) and has averaged 25.5 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 38.5 minutes and Deandre Ayton has delivered at times, but been complacent at others en route to his 17.5-point and 8.8-rebound averages.


Dallas has been lighting it up from three in this series, as evidenced by the fact that they’ve made 15.0 on average per game (compared to 10.7 made threes by Phoenix). Both teams have shot efficiently from beyond the arc, as the Suns have converted an impressive 41% of their deep balls, while the Mavs have made 38.5% as a team. As mentioned above, CP3 has struggled to take care of the ball and Phoenix has committed a surprising 15.8 turnovers per game, a product of Dallas’ defensive scheme but also some general sloppiness. As a whole, though, the Suns have advantages in Offensive Rating (114.7 to 111.3), rebounding (44.8 to 35.2 per game), assists (25.2 to 18.2 per contest), field goal percentage (49.2% to 44.4%) and free throw percentage (85.3% to 75%). 

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After simulating this game 10,000 times, BetQL is projecting Dallas to actually shoot better than Phoenix (45% to 43.9%). The Suns are expected to control the glass 46.3 to 43.3 and also commit fewer turnovers than the Mavs (16.1 to 11.8). However, the Mavs are projected to make 15.2 threes on 35.1% shooting while Phoenix is projected to make 14.2 threes on 35.7% shooting. 

If you’re betting on Luka and the Mavs to pull off the outright upset, know that under Jason Kidd, Dallas has gone 14-3 SU after allowing 95 points or less. If you’re going to back the Suns to win and cover, know that Phoenix is 17-4 ATS revenging a loss versus an opponent this season and under Monty Williams, the Suns have gone 37-13 ATS revenging a loss by 10+ points and 33-12 ATS as a home favorite of six points or less. Those are all very powerful trends to be aware of. 

A couple player props the model is backing include Reggie Bullock over 14.5 points, rebounds and assists (-125, FanDuel) since BetQL projects 18 and Paul under 17.5 points (-106, FanDuel) since BetQL projects 12.


Under 205. Four consecutive unders have won in this series and at the slow pace the Mavericks tend to play at offensively and Phoenix’s team-first offensive mindset that prides itself on moving the ball until they find the highest-percentage shot, I am comfortable betting this despite the fact that it’s all the way down at 205 at the time of this writing.


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