The NBA regular season finally comes to an end on Monday with a huge 15-game slate, meaning all 30 teams will be in action. As always, we bring you our best bets from the key games, which you can find below. Good luck to everyone following!
NBA Betting Tips: Monday, 17th of May
Miami Heat at Detroit Pistons
Little Caesars Arena, 10am AEST
Miami Heat have stormed home in the regular season to ensure they’ll avoid the play-in tournament on the back of a top six finish. They were unable to match it with the Bucks on the road in their most recent outing, but they’ve still won seven of their past nine games coming into Monday.
Detroit Pistons have gone through the first of what you would think will be many years of a rebuild. They’ve been in full tank mode for a couple of months now and it’s certainly shown up in their results. The Pistons have lost 11 of their past 13 games and look destined to finish on the bottom of the East.
While this is effectively a dead rubber game, we still expect the Heat to put out a strong line-up so that they can finish off the regular season the right way. Regardless, their second unit could probably take care of the Pistons on current form, so back them into cover the spread here.
Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans
Smoothie Kings Center, 11am AEST
Los Angeles Lakers look to be finding some of their better form in a while with wins in each of their last four games. They may have left it a little too late however, as they now require a win against the Pelicans and a Blazers loss against the Nuggets in order to automatically qualify for the playoffs.
New Orleans Pelicans have had a disappointing season where they were never really able to build any sort of meaningful momentum. They’ve certainly had their fair share of injuries at key stages of the season and that rings true to this day with Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, and Steven Adams all out for their clash on Monday.
As we mentioned above, this is a must-win game for the Lakers and as a result, we expect LeBron James and Anthony Davis to be suited up and ready to go. If that indeed is the case, then this should be very easy pickings against a Pelicans team without their four best players.
Los Angeles Lakers -10
Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers
Moda Center, 11am AEST
Denver Nuggets have had another fine season where they’ll finish in the top four in the West. Their upcoming playoff run does feel a bit different this time around however, as they won’t have Jamal Murray available to torch opposition defences on a nightly basis; instead, they’ll be relying heavily on Nikola Jokic and Michael Porter Jnr.
Portland Trail Blazers have finished the season off strongly and have put themselves in the box seat to clinch a top six spot over the Lakers coming into the final day of action. All they need to do to ensure they finish in the final six and automatically qualify for the playoffs is win this game against the Nuggets. In saying that, the Blazers are 0-2 against them this season.
This is a huge clash for the Blazers but can also have implications for the Nuggets and whether they’ll finish in third or fourth spot. The motivation levels of the home side with definitely be the higher of the two however, and we expect them to prove too much to handle as a result.
If there’s one guy that you can count on to step up in a big game, it’s Damian Lillard. Dame has been on an absolute tear over the past couple of weeks in terms of scoring the ball, having scored at least 30 points in each of his last seven games, including a 40-piece against the Suns last time out. Back him into continue his streak of 30+ on Monday.
Prop: Lillard 30+ Points ($1.91)
Portland Trail Blazers -8.5