This article is part of our NBA Picks series.
Tyler Herro under 17.5 points (-110) vs. Hawks -- FanDuel, 1:02 PM CT
I really don't know where this number is coming from. Herro has had one good performance in this series -- Game 3, 24 points on 22 shots -- but in the remainder of the games, he's combined for 24 points on 30 shots. The whole picture is 12.0 PPG on 13.0 FGA. Even in Kyle Lowry's absence, Herro took just eight attempts in Game 4, with Victor Oladipo featured more prominently (10 shots, four assists). Maybe this just isn't the series for him.
Miami Heat -6.5 vs. Atlanta Hawks – DraftKings Sportsbook, 11:15 AM CT
This line feels at least a couple points too low, even with Kyle Lowry set to remain out for Game 5. The Hawks have only been able to keep one game close thus far, and with Lowry sitting Sunday night, Miami was able to cruise to a 24-point victory. As he did after a poor Game 1 performance, Trae Young should bounce back from Sunday's nine-point, five-turnover effort, but Miami is the far superior team. No Lowry simply means more opportunities for Max Strus, Gabe Vincent, Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo – very few teams boast that level of backcourt depth.
New Orleans Pelicans +6.5 at Phoenix Suns – DraftKings Sportsbook, 11:15 AM CT
I should probably issue a disclaimer that this pick is almost 100 percent rooted in what I want to happen. I have no ill will against the Suns, but I cannot explain how much we – the collective we – need a Game 6 back in New Orleans with the Pelicans having a chance to close out the series. As the line indicates, there's a good chance the Suns refocus and come out with a much better effort at home, but there's no denying that Phoenix has looked a bit lost since losing its leading scorer.
Ken "K-Train" Crites
I'm taking the OVER on Max Strus scoring 13.5 points (+100, BetMGM as of 12:30pm ET)
Strus is averaging 13.0 points per game over his last 10 games, all starts. That includes nine, 14, 20 and 12 points in Games 1 through 4 versus Atlanta. Obviously, the Hawks are more concerned with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. That creates plenty of catch-and-shoot threes for Strus, who has far surpassed Duncan Robinson on the depth chart. I question Atlanta's perimeter D. During the regular season, Atlanta ranked 21st in three-pointers allowed per game (12.8).
Ja Morant UNDER 26.5 points (-114) and OVER 8.5 assists (-138) -- FanDuel Sportsbook 12:30 PM
After exploding for 32 points in Game 1, Morant has averaged just 16.7 points per game over the last three contests. During that three-game stretch, he's also dished out at least 10 assists in each contest, including a season-high 15 during the Game 4 loss. The Timberwolves are clearly having success during this series so far, so I doubt they adjust their game plan too much, which should mean another low-scoring, high-assist night for the Grizzlies' phenom point guard.