NBA betting: Picks against the spread for Sunday’s playoff games

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There’s a full day of NBA playoff action Sunday with four games throughout the day. Yahoo Sports’ Minty Bets has the picks you need for all the action.

As always, odds are provided by BetMGM.

New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks (-4.5), Total: 209.5

The Hawks are looking to take a 3-1 series lead and force the Knicks to go back to Madison Square Garden on the brink of elimination.

This game has the lowest under of the weekend. That’s probably in part because seven of the last eight Knicks games have hit the under and the last six Hawks games have also hit the under. Should you ride the under train again or buck the trend and go with the over?

Minty Bets isn’t going with a bet against the total. Her recommendation is to play the points spread.

“The Knicks have been covering machines in the regular season, but playoff basketball is a different beast and home-court advantage is real. I’ll go with the Hawks -4.5,” Minty Bets said.

Phoenix Suns at Los Angeles Lakers (-7), Total: 210.5

The Lakers are also looking to take a 3-1 lead and force the No. 2 seed Suns to go back home with a two-game deficit in the series.

The Suns failed to cover in Game 3 when Los Angeles took a 3-1 lead. That was against recent trends as Phoenix is 7-3 against the spread in its last 10 games as a road underdog and the Lakers are 2-6 against the spread as a home favorite.

The number here is the biggest of the day because of the questions surrounding Chris Paul’s shoulder. Paul didn’t look quite right in Game 3. Will some more rest and rehab help Paul look more like his normal self in Game 4?

Minty Bets likes the Lakers to cover again because of Paul’s injury and the Suns’ Staples Center struggles against the Lakers.

BOSTON, MA - MAY 28:  Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics drives to the basket while guarded by James Harden #13 and Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets during Game Three of the Eastern Conference first round series at TD Garden on May 28, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Jayson Tatum exploded for 50 points against the Nets on Friday. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Brooklyn Nets (-6.5) at Boston Celtics, Total: 229.5

Here’s another under trend to keep in mind.

The under has hit in six of the last eight Nets games and five of Boston’s last six games. It didn’t hit on Friday night, however, in Boston’s 125-119 win. The total for the game was 227, and it was easily surpassed in the fourth quarter.

Jayson Tatum had 50 points in that win, and Boston is trying to even the series at 2-2 on Sunday. If the Celtics do, the pressure will be on Brooklyn as the Nets have all three of their stars available and Boston is missing Jaylen Brown.

Brooklyn will want to get a contribution from a player not named Durant, Harden or Irving in Game 4. They were the only three players in double figures for the Nets in Game 3. Can they power the Nets to a win again?

“I’m looking for the Nets to bounce back as that Brooklyn trio is too talented,” Minty Bets said.

Los Angeles Clippers (-2.5) at Dallas Mavericks, Total: 221.5

The Clippers made their first step toward salvaging the series on Friday when they won in Dallas after losing the first two games of the series at home.

Neither team is doing well against the spread recently. Los Angeles is 3-6 against the spread in its last nine road games, while Dallas is 5-9 against the spread in its last 14 home games.

Luka Doncic has been unstoppable for the Mavs, while the Clippers won by 10 on Friday night despite not having Serge Ibaka because of the back issues that plagued him at the end of the regular season. Ibaka is questionable for Game 4.

“I’m looking for the home team to cover. Dallas has done excellent as underdogs and Luka is on a roll,” Minty Bets said.

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