2023 NBA playoffs: Odds, picks, betting tips for Tuesday’s Game 5s

ESPN’s fantasy basketball and basketball betting tips cheat sheet is your pregame destination for basketball betting predictions and our best intel and data, featuring ESPN’s proprietary Basketball Power Index (BPI) to help you make smart fantasy and wagering decisions. NBA game odds for Tuesday are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

What you need to know for Tuesday

If Monday was defined by the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat capturing commanding leads, Tuesday’s NBA narrative appears to be about two truly competitive matchups. The Phoenix Suns held down home court over the weekend to tie their series with the Denver Nuggets, while the Philadelphia 76ers are enjoying some vintage James Harden performances in order to even things with the rival Boston Celtics. Both Denver and Boston are healthy favorites this evening, while our experts below aim to help you find which sides to play.

Looking into the player pool for these games, Jamal Murray stands out as the top value in my DFS model thanks to reasonable pricing on DraftKings ($8,100) and a robust shot diet that includes at least 24 attempts from the floor in three of the four games in this series thus far. Teammate Michael Porter Jr. proves appealing given consecutive double-double performances and the potential to ascend as a scoring force given his affinity for lofting from deep. “MPJ’s” shooting props even appear interesting given he’s taken 19 shots from beyond the arc in the past two games.

In what is a pivotal matchup in Boston, Joel Embiid has the second-highest blend of floor and ceiling of the slate, behind only fellow MVP talent Nikola Jokic. In a value sense, Embiid is priced significantly lower and thus is a savvy building block in lineups. Celtics superstar Jayson Tatum has a viable path to a third straight double-double, opening some parlay paths.

— Jim McCormick

Breaking down Tuesday’s slate

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
Game 5: 7:30 p.m. ET, Series tied 2-2

Records (Against the Spread)
76ers: 54-28 (46-35-1)
Celtics: 57-25 (45-36-1)

Line: Celtics (-7.5) Total: 213
BPI Projection: Celtics by 3.3
Money Line: 76ers (+250), Celtics (-320)

Injury Report:
76ers: Joel Embiid, (GTD – Knee)
Celtics: Danilo Gallinari, (OUT – Knee)
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Best bet: 76ers (+7.5) James Harden has rediscovered his vintage form at just the right time for 76ers. He single-handedly led them to a Game 1 victory in Boston and hit the game-winning bucket in Game 4. I’m not sure he’s going to score 40 points in Game 5, but I do think the 76ers can and will keep this game much tighter than the spread suggests. Philadelphia will not be afraid of the environment. They had the second-best road record in the NBA during the regular season. I think this is a lower-scoring, tightly contested Game 5 environment and laying seven points with Boston is too rich in that scenario. — Tyler Fulghum

Phoenix Suns at Denver Nuggets
Game 5: 10 p.m. ET, Series tied 2-2

Records (Against the Spread)
Suns: 45-37 (42-38-2)
Nuggets: 53-29 (44-37-1)

Line: Nuggets (-5.5) Total: 227.5
BPI Projection: Nuggets by 6.6
Money Line: Suns (+185), Nuggets (-225)

Injury Report:
Suns: Chris Paul, (OUT – Groin)
Nuggets: None reported
Note: BPI numbers factor players who are ruled out but assumes GTD players will play

Why Joe Fortenbaugh is taking the Suns over the Nuggets in Game 5

Joe Fortenbaugh says the Suns’ bench will be the deciding factor to pull off a Game 5 victory over the Nuggets.

Best bet: Nuggets (-5.5) ,Over 228. Denver played valiantly in Game 4, but ultimately Devin Booker and Kevin Durant were just too much. I know they are unquestionably the best scoring duo in the game today, but the Suns are asking a lot of them in every game. If they have a somewhat off night, there’s just not enough depth around them to pick up the slack. Back in Denver, I expect the Suns’ role players to regress to the mean and for Denver’s to play better around Nikola Jokic. Denver has been a dominant home team all season long, playoffs included. I think we get another higher-scoring offensive environment, but ultimately the Nuggets pull away and take a 3-2 series lead. — Fulghum

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