Top 3 NBA Betting Picks for Monday, June 14th (2021)

The Phoenix Suns took care of business against the Denver Nuggets last night, and they’ve punched their ticket to the Western Conference Finals. It’s still up in the air as to whether they’ll play the Clippers or Jazz for the conference title, but it’ll be hard for the Clippers to dig out of another three-game hole if they can’t take down the Jazz tonight.

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1. 76ers First Quarter -0.5 | -120 at FD Sportsbook

Aside from a chaotic Game 1, the first quarters in this series have been quite predictable — we can usually trust the Sixers to get out to an early multi-point lead. The first-quarter margins thus far have been +15 (Game 1), -13 (Game 2), and -8 (Game 3).

I believe that there’s value in this line because of the full-season trends. The Sixers ranked ninth in points scored per first quarter (29.6) and second in points allowed (26.2). In contrast, the Hawks ranked 14th in points scored (28.6) and 12th in points allowed (28.1) — both figures that suggest the Sixers should escape the first quarter with a lead.

Of course, the Sixers’ injury issues are cause for some concern. Per Doc Rivers, Joel Embiid will probably be day-to-day for the rest of the playoffs, and Danny Green won’t be around the rest of this series. That said, it doesn’t sound like Embiid will miss time, and players like Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton will help the Sixers cover for Green.

As long as Embiid plays, Philadelphia has enough depth that they should escape tonight’s first quarter with another healthy lead.

2. Clint Capela Under 11.5 Points | -108 at FD Sportsbook

This prop is entirely conditional on Embiid continuing to play through his injury. Clint Capela has struggled against him all year, as he has surpassed this total just once in six games against the Sixers — and Embiid played just 23 minutes in that matchup!

Through three playoff games, Capela has recorded point totals of 11 (Game 1), 10 (Game 2), and 8 (Game 3). He has gone 54.2% from the field, a touch below his season average of 59.4%. In the regular season, Capela’s numbers weren’t much different — he finished with 12 (Jan. 11), 9 (Apr. 28), and 11 (Apr. 30) points while shooting 36.1% from the field.

I expect Capela to keep struggling against Embiid’s tough defense, and he should stay under this prop for the fourth time this series.

3. Nicolas Batum Over 1.5 Made Threes | +100 at FD Sportsbook

Batum has cashed this over in every game this series, yet the juice still sits in the plus money. Apparently, nailing four three-point shots in Game 3 wasn’t enough for FanDuel to up this total, so I’ll keep featuring it until they do.

It’s pretty clear how the Clippers plan to beat the Jazz — they’re trusting a small-ball lineup with Batum at the five to simply outscore the Jazz. This season’s Defensive Player of the Year, Rudy Gobert, can shut down the paint, so the Clippers know that offensive production will have to come from deep.

The Clippers also know that Batum’s primary competition for minutes, Ivica Zubac, can’t do much to limit Gobert, and he can’t hit long-range shots. As a result, his minutes have fallen from 21 in Game 1 to 13 in Games 2 and 3; in contrast, Batum’s minutes have risen from 20 in Game 1 to 28 in Game 2 and 35 in Game 3.

Those trends create the perfect opportunity for Batum to continue nailing plenty of shots from deep — take the money and run.

Today’s Plus-Money Prop: Nicolas Batum Over 2.5 Made Threes | +360 at FD Sportsbook

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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

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