Top NBA Betting Picks for Thursday, April 22

He’s ba-ack! Anthony Davis will return to the court for the Lakers this evening, his first on-court action since Valentine’s Day. With LeBron James now sidelined for Los Angeles, Davis will provide some much-needed star power in tonight’s game against the Mavericks.

Here are the top NBA betting plays for Thursday, April 22, provided by BettingPros experts Raju Byfield, Isaiah Sirois, and Dan Titus (Main game odds courtesy BettingPros Consensus; lock and prop odds sites may vary):

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Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>

Betting Lock of the Day

Sirois: Suns -1.5 (-110 at DK Sportsbook)
The Phoenix Suns just sunk the banged-up 76ers last night, and they should do the same to a depleted Celtics squad tonight, too. Boston won’t have Robert Williams or Evan Fournier, and Jaylen Brown is also doubtful. Sure, the C’s have been pretty good at home this year, as they’ve gone 15-13-1 ATS in The Garden. However, the Suns have gone an impressive 16-9-1 ATS on the road, are they are an NBA-best 7-3 ATS when playing with a rest disadvantage. The Celtics are also on the front end of a back-to-back set, so they may opt to play conservatively if the Suns get out to a big lead early.

Titus: Suns -1.5 (-110 at DK Sportsbook)
The Celtics face a Phoenix Suns team that plays extremely well on back-to-back sets. The Suns are 9-4 ATS with zero days rest this season, and after pulling off a big win in Philly, I think they’ll keep it rolling against Boston. The Suns are 10-8-1 ATS as road favorites. However, Boston is banged up, with several notable players on the injury report, including Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, and Marcus Smart. They’ve all been upgraded to probable except for Jaylen Brown — who will miss tonight’s contest with a shoulder injury. Brown’s absence plays a pivotal role here, as the Celtics are worse defensively with Jaylen Brown off the floor. Boston’s defensive efficiency rating rises to 115.9 from 111.6 when he is active. I expect the Phoenix to rise above the competition tonight and cover 3.5 points to secure the road win.

Top Game Prop of the Day

Sirois: Hornets Over 105.5 (-105 at FD Sportsbook)
How do the Hornets not score at least 106 points against the Bulls tonight? Sure, Gordon Hayward, Malik Monk, and LaMelo Ball all remain out. That hasn’t stopped Charlotte from exploiting vulnerable defenses before — they put up 109 against the Trail Blazers and 115 against the Nets last week. Devonte’ Graham’s return to the lineup should give them a much-needed shot in the arm offensively, as he ranks third on the team in offensive RAPTOR rating. For some perspective, the Bulls rank 20th in defensive efficiency and play at a league-average pace. Also, 58.1% of Charlotte’s road games have hit the over, so look for the Hornets to put enough points on the board to surpass this total.

Titus: Mavericks First Quarter Under 27.5 (-106 at FD Sportsbook)
Dallas is playing the second game of a back-to-back set and will go toe-to-toe with one of the league’s best defensive teams, the LA Lakers. Anthony Davis is back in the lineup and will return to play after missing his last 35 games with an Achilles injury. Though he’ll be on a minutes restriction, his presence alone impacts the game. The Mavs tend to start slow, averaging 27.6 first-quarter points this season (20th in the NBA), but that number has fallen to 26 through their last three contests. Dallas remains one of the slowest-paced teams, and, in a matchup where the Lakers get back their best defensive player, I’m taking the under for the Mavs’ first-quarter output.

Top Player Prop of the Day 

Sirois: Coby White Over 2.5 Made Threes (+104 at FD Sportsbook)
The Hornets surrender the most made threes per game (14.9) and the most to shooting guards (4.23), where White has spent 9% of his minutes. Recently, Chicago has opted to use White at point and Garrett Temple at shooting guard, so it may be smart to take the over on Temple’s point total (set at 7.5 — -124 at FD Sportsbook) as well or instead of this play. Still, I suspect that Chicago will find ways to scheme White, their best three-point shooting guard, open to exploit Charlotte’s defensive vulnerabilities. White has averaged exactly 2.5 made threes per game since LaVine went down, so he just needs a slightly above-average showing against the NBA’s worst perimeter defense.  

Titus: Brandon Ingram Over 33.5 PRA (-113 at FD Sportsbook)
Brandon Ingram is filling up the box score lately, and that trend should continue against the Orlando Magic. His current points, rebounds, and assists market sits at 33.5, and I’m buying. According to Fansure, he’s exceeded 33.5 points, rebounds, and assists in five of his last six games — averaging 38.8 per game over that span. Ingram also tends to ball out against inferior opponents, averaging 25.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 5.2 assists across 24 games this season versus teams with losing records. With the highest game total of the slate between the Pelicans and Magic, Ingram should have plenty of opportunities to accumulate stats and hit the over.

Check out our NBA Prop Bet Cheat Sheet for the top bets of the day >>

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