We were so close to Meat Loaf in yesterday’s NBA predictions article. Michael Porter Jr. missed a three-point attempt midway through the fourth quarter that was so close to going in but rattled out of the rim. A few millimeters were the difference in a profitable night.




The Same Game Parlay did hit, and returned 1.7 units, which kept the damage to a minimum. Nikola Jokic easily surpassed the teased down 25-point line on the night he received his MVP trophy. The Indiana Pacers could not gain the upper hand as Jalen Brunson once again carried the New York Knicks to victory with 44 points. 

NBA Picks & Predictions: Wednesday, 5/15

Fantasy Alarm NBA Best Bets has won eight of its last 12 bets and will look to win three today. There are two great showdowns today, the first is the Cleveland Cavaliers vs. the Boston Celtics. The fans of TD Garden look to celebrate their second series clinching victory of the 2024 playoffs. 

The Dallas Mavericks play the Oklahoma City Thunder as both teams look to take control of the series. There are two wagers in this match, including the Bet of the Night.




Mavericks vs. Thunder Prediction: Luka Doncic 30+ Points (+120 on Bet365) *2 UNITS

We start off today’s NBA picks in OKC. The Oklahoma City Thunder were frustrating Luka Doncic in Game 4, and it was likely their game plan to do so. The Dallas Mavericks let a game get away from them at the American Airlines Center and now have to win a game at the loud and rowdy Paycom Center in order to advance to the Conference Finals.

Doncic only made 6-20 field goal attempts, including 2-9 from behind the arc. It seems as though everyone was focusing on his missed free throw to tie the game, but truthfully, that is the worst field goal line I’ve seen from Doncic. Credit the Oklahoma City Thunder defense, which Fantasy Alarm has mentioned throughout the playoffs. They held the Mavericks collectively to 96 points, so it wasn’t as though it was just Doncic having a bad scoring night.

This column bet on the under of Doncic’s point line just two games ago in a parlay with Daniel Gafford. The SGP was successful, and the trend indicates Doncic will have another low scoring game. Even the sportsbooks have moved his point line down to 27.5 with decent odds on the over. So, why is Fantasy Alarm teasing his points up?

There are two thoughts that come to mind to justify this. One is a scientific law: The Law of Averages. More specifically, The Law of Large Numbers, which ‘according to the law, the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected value, and will tend to become closer as more trials are performed’. That is a way of stating that at some point, Luka Donic, the leading scorer of the 2023-24 season, will score his season average of 33.9 points. 

Some might think, “he hasn’t scored 30 this entire series and he’s banged up!” Great rationale, but it supports The Law of Large Numbers even more. The second thought is an expression: ‘You can’t hold a good man (person) down.’ The expression is a metaphor for the fact that hard work and consistency to a craft will pay off. 

Doncic has been working through contact, double teams, and injuries to score; he will not have another bad scoring performance in Game 5. Tonight, our patience on Luka’s over will be rewarded. The sportsbooks have allowed recent play blind them from the fact this is the best scorer in the league. Take the alternate line, place two units on it, and watch Luka Magic tonight. 




NBA Props & Best Bets Today, 5/15

As mentioned in the previous bet, we cashed on Gafford’s under 11.5 points two games ago. Now, for today’s NBA predictions, we root for his rebounds in a crucial Game 5. 

Plus, Jayson Tatum posted almost identical stats in Game 3 and 4. Two minutes difference, two rebounds difference, and one assists difference. His points, field goal attempts, his threes made, and threes attempted were identical. That is rare in the world of NBA statistics, and we look to take advantage of his recent play.




Mavericks vs. Thunder Prediction: Daniel Gafford O6.5 Rebounds (-120 on DraftKings)

Gafford has not played over 28 minutes in any of the games of this series, yet he has 7 or more rebounds in three of the four games. This column has praised the Dallas Mavericks front office for their midseason acquisitions, and Daniel Gafford has been bet on several times since becoming a Maverick. 

The Thunder have good rebounders in Chet Holmgren and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Gafford will have to out rebound both of them as a starter. He has shown he’s capable of doing it, and asking for his series average is not far fetched.

He had 11 rebounds in Game 1, which was at the Paycom Center. He can play well on the road and head coach Jason Kidd has stated that Gafford plays better in night games. The latter has statistically shown to be true, and it’s something coach Kidd is aware of. Gafford could see more minutes tonight, which could lead to more rebounds.

The Mavericks will also keep up their tough defense, which should allow Gafford to get more defensive rebounds. Gafford is the biggest player when he is on the court and if he keeps utilizing his size, he will get offensive rebounds too. 

The only real threat to Gafford is Luka Doncic, who has a higher projected rebounding line. Chet Holmgren is a great rebounder and will get his too, but Gafford has demonstrated the ability to box him out and keep him off the glass. Put a unit on the big man to grab 7 or more rebounds tonight in the second of today’s NBA best bets.




Cavaliers vs. Celtics Prediction: Jayson Tatum U29.5 Points (-115 on Bet365)

This is one of our more popular NBA picks that we cannot stay away from in this series. Jayson Tatum has two games with over 30 points and two games under 30 points in this series. Although Tatum thrives when he senses he can take down an opposing team, tonight is a strange game. The spread is currently 14.5 points in favor of the Celtics. 

They can easily cover such a high spread, but what will head coach Joe Mazzulla do with his star players? Will he keep them in over 30 minutes as he has been? Will he give them longer breaks but play them similar to their normal minutes? Will he let his bench get valuable playoff experience? There are several possible scenarios if a blow out should happen, but most indicate a game with under 30 points for Jayson Tatum.

If the game is close, it likely will not be because of a great offensive performance by the Cavaliers. Instead, it would have to be an off night of scoring for the Celtics, or a great defensive effort from Cleveland; another scenario that would keep Tatum from scoring 30 points. 

With so many great scoring teammates, Tatum does not have to score 33 points in every game. It could be a night someone besides him has 30+ to help deliver a win. With this possibly being the last game on this series, let’s cash on Tatum one more time.




Thank you for checking out my expert NBA predictions today! Make sure to visit Fantasy Alarm’s sports section for betting, DFS, and best ball tips.

Bet Smart, Be Lucky - Iggy

*All odds accurate at time of writing and NBA bets to be placed at 1 unit unless specified otherwise