After a quiet sports schedule on Monday, we have the NBA Play-In Tournament tipping off on Tuesday night. The Cleveland Cavs head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets in the early game. The Minnesota Timberwolves host the Los Angeles Clippers in the late-night portion of the TNT double dip.
The winner of each game gets the No. 7 seed in the playoffs so all four teams will be focused and motivated. Need help finding some winners with only two games on the card? Here are our NBA Play-In Tournament best bets for Tuesday, April 12.
On Any NBA Playoffs Game
These two teams met just four days ago, with the Nets pulling off a 118-107 victory as 8.5-point favorites. That's probably why this point spread opened with Brooklyn being 8-point favorites. Almost all the early action has been on the Nets, which is why they are now 9.5-point favorites at most online sportsbooks.
Interestingly enough, both teams come into this game with 44-38 records. The Cavs will be without their top rebounder Jarrett Allen, who has been dealing with a finger injury. Nets shooting guard Seth Curry has been dealing with an ankle injury but all reports say he should play tonight.
Though Brooklyn finished six games above .500 for the season, they were just 32-47-3 against the spread. Cleveland had the same overall record, but they were much kinder to their backers with a 43-36-3 record against the number. Here are some other trends to consider for this game:
Live Odds for Cavs at Nets - 4/12/2022
We know that Kyrie Irving is one of the most dominant guards in the league and that the Nets are a totally different team with him in the lineup. However, this number has gotten too far out of hand by our estimates. Our power ratings say that Brooklyn should only be a 6.5-point favorite in this matchup.
The Cavs aren't as formidable without Allen at the center position, but Darius Garland (21.7 points per game) and Kevin Love (13.6 points per game) are still viable scoring threats. The Cavs also play pretty stingily on the defensive end, as they rank 7th in defensive efficiency while the Nets only rank 17th.
The oddsmakers know that the majority of the betting public prefers to bet on teams that have star players. That's why they are charging a premium on the Nets tonight. Durant and Irving will do their fair share of scoring, but we think the Cavs keep this one close.
These two teams last met in early January, when Minnesota notched a 122-104 road victory. In the other two meetings in early November, the Clippers cruised to easy blowout wins. Minnesota has only won 3 out of their last 7 games while Los Angeles comes into this game with 5 straight victories.
Even with the Clippers' hot streak, oddsmakers still opened the T'Wolves as 2.5-point favorites for this game. Although over 60% of the bets have come in on Los Angeles, the line has moved from MIN -2.5 to MIN -3 at most shops. Is this reverse line movement simply noise, or is it the result of sharp action on the Timberwolves?
The Clippers finished the regular season with a 42-40 record and they were 40-41-1 against the spread. The T'Wolves were 46-36 overall and 43-38-1 against the number. Here are some other trends to keep in mind for this matchup:
Live Odds for Clippers at Timberwolves - 4/12/2022
We hate fading a team that has won 5 straight games like the Clippers. But with that being said, most of the offensive metrics heavily favor the Timberwolves. Minnesota leads the league in points per game (115.9) while Los Angeles ranks a lackluster 23rd (108.4).
The T'Wolves also rank 9th in offensive efficiency while the Clippers clock in at 23rd. We see Karl Anthony-Towns (24.6 PPG, 9.8 RPG) putting up some huge numbers in this game. The Clippers simply won't have an answer for his dominance down low.
The Clippers have struggled on the road for the majority of the season and there's no reason to think that'll change tonight against a hostile Minnesota crowd. Lay the small number and look for the T'Wolves to win by 8 to 10 points in this one. Best of luck with all your Tuesday NBA action!