Our free NBA picks are out for Monday, April 25th, 2022! Make sure you check our expert NBA picks before the action kicks off.
Look below to find our free NBA picks for the three Round 1 games on today’s schedule!
Boston Celtics @ Brooklyn Nets – 7pm ET
It’s Game 4 in the series between the Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night. The Celtics have their first chance in this game to wrap up the series, and they will be going for the clean sweep tonight. The Celtics won the first game 115-114, then the second 114-107 and the third game 190-103.
The Boston Celtics come into this Game 4 with a commanding 3-0 lead on the Brooklyn Nets. It’s a surprise to most people because of the big names of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on the Nets, but the Celtics have been one of the best teams in the league since February. This was not a good matchup for the Nets who don’t play any defense and just rely on their offense to outscore opponents because the Celtics are one of the most elite defenses in recent history. Along with that elite defense is a dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who can each go off for 35+ points any night.
Ben Simmons was supposed to be back for this Game 4 but he had a setback with his back injury and will once again be out. I can’t believe I’m going to do it, but I’m predicting the unthinkable to happen on Monday and that is for the Brooklyn Nets to go out in a sweep. We’ve seen the Denver Nuggets and Toronto Raptors fight off sweeps at home over the weekend but I just think this Celtics team is different. They always seem to get timely buckets and stops, and just match up really well with Brooklyn. The extra rest will be big if they can wrap this series up quickly and that motivation will be enough for them to get this win on Monday.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics (+100)
This series has been extremely disappointing if you’re a Brooklyn Nets fan, and I don’t really see it getting any better now. After losing on a buzzer-beater in Game 1, they then blew a 16-point lead in Game 2, and then got knocked off again in Game 3, this time at home in Brooklyn. Kevin Durant has been extremely underwhelming, and while Kyrie Irving played extremely well in Game 1, he’s also fallen off quite a bit over the last two. Then, to make matters worse, after originally being reported that Ben Simmons was set to make his team debut in Game 4, it was announced earlier today that he’s now been ruled out for this one after all. Against a better team, with your best two players struggling, having your other supposed star basically decide that he just doesn’t want to play, isn’t going to help with anything, and for that reason, this series is basically over.
Boston has been the better team for the entire series, and with them riding all the momentum, against a Nets team that already looks downtrodden and beaten, I don’t see a way they slip up in this one. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have been phenomenal in the series, and I think that duo goes ahead and finishes off the sweep here. They’ve done a masterful job of slowing down KD as they’re forcing him into horrible looks from the field, and unless something changes, this is the last time we see Brooklyn this year. Congratulations to the Boston Celtics for becoming the first team to advance to the second round in this year’s NBA playoffs.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Boston Celtics (+100)
The Boston Celtics are one game away from being the first team in the NBA playoffs to advance to the second round. They have completely dominated this series against two of the best scorers in the history of the National Basketball Association in Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. The Celtics will be looking to close out the Nets in this one on the road in Brooklyn. It was yet another incredible performance from Jayson Tatum in Game 3 as he dropped 39 points on the way to a 109-103 victory.
The Brooklyn Nets are absolutely going to have to find a way to win in Game 4 of this series. They once again failed to pick up the win in the third game of this series. Now they will find themselves sitting on the couch early if they don’t pull a win out at home on Monday night. Brooklyn was a stressful situation all season long, as what looked like it was set to be one of the best trios of all time didn’t quite pan out. As for the result of this one however, I still think the Nets get the win and stave off elimination for at least another game.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Brooklyn Nets (-118)
Toronto Raptors @ Philadelphia 76ers – 8pm ET
Well, the series is still alive for Game 5, as the Toronto Raptors managed to pull out a win in Game 4, but they are still 1-3 down in the series with the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers won the first three games before the Raptors got the win last time out, 110-102.
The Toronto Raptors got new life in Game 4 and came away with their first win of the series 110-102. Part of that was the fact that MVP candidate Joel Embiid isn’t 100% right now, and won’t be for the rest of the playoffs. Embiid has a torn ligament in his right thumb and it severely limited him on Saturday. He only made 7-16 shots and scored 21 points after having over 30 in the two games prior. The Raptors rode the hot hand of Pascal Siakam to victory, as he went off for 34 in the win, giving Toronto at least one more game.
Seeing how limited Embiid was and the fact that James Harden isn’t the same explosive scorer he was in his prime, I just can’t see this one being a blowout like the line indicates. When you let a team hang around in a series, they just get more and more confidence and that’s what we’re going to see from this Raptors team that will be playing with nothing to lose on Monday night. I think it’ll be another battle with them fighting to keep their season alive and this spread should not be a problem for them to cover with Embiid struggling with his hand.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors +7.5 (-110)
After keeping this series alive to at least get to a Game 5, the Toronto Raptors are now in a situation of having to figure out a way to get another win, this time on the road, just to get back north of the border for what would be Game 6. In Game 4, the Raptors managed to sneak away with a win, though to pretend like it was pretty in any way, or a convincing win at all, would just be a blatant lie. They got a huge day from Pascal Siakam to lead the way, and then managed to get a few Philadelphia 76ers in foul trouble to keep them on their heels. In order to get back in this series, they’re going to have to continue to do the same thing, and that’s going to be a tall task. For Philly, the question right now in this series, and potentially the rest of the postseason, is Joel Embiid.
It was announced that he tore a ligament in his thumb in Game 2, which could prove to be a huge problem moving forward, if he isn’t able to play at anywhere close to 100%. Him being limited also puts more pressure on James Harden, which brings up to separate issues, one being that Harden isn’t as young as he once was, so some of the explosiveness isn’t there anymore, and he’s always struggled late in postseason series, which is part of the stigma he’s trying to erase here. If Harden can step up and play well with Embiid being limited, the Sixers get the win, but if he struggles, we could suddenly find ourselves with a real series. I think the duo still plays well enough to get the win and end the series at home, but I do think Toronto manages to keep this one close all the way through.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors +7.5 (-110)
The Toronto Raptors got a must win victory in Game 3 to survive until another game. Now they will look to pull out a win in Game 5 to push this series back home to Toronto for Game 6. The Raptors looked great in Game 4 as they pulled out a 110-102 victory over the Sixers at home. Pascal Siakam dropped 34 points and Gary Trent added 24 more to help Toronto get the win. They will need the play of Fred VanVleet to improve in Game 5 as well.
The Philadelphia 76ers looked like they were going to cruise to a perfect 4-0 sweep of this first round series heading into Game 4. Now the celebration will have to wait until Monday evening at the earliest as the 76ers were disappointing in the last game and lost by eight points. Philadelphia will need James Harden and Joel Embiid to perform better and more like their first three performances. As for the result of this one, I have the Toronto Raptors getting the win to prolong the series for another game.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Toronto Raptors (+250)
Utah Jazz @ Dallas Mavericks – 9.30pm ET
It’s Game 5 in the series between the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks, and the series is all leveled up at 2-2. The Jazz won the first game, before the Mavericks won the next two games, and the Jazz got back on track in Game 4, winning in a thriller, 100-99.
The Dallas Mavericks saw their star Luka Doncic return in Game 4 and he quickly made everyone remember why he is regarded as one of the best players in all of basketball. He scored 30 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and hit a step-back 3 with 39 seconds left in the game to put the Mavs up 4. It should have been the dagger but they then gave up an and-one to Donovan Mitchell a few seconds later and then the game winning alley oop to Rudy Gobert with 11 seconds left. That allowed the Jazz to even the series up at 2-2.
Dallas will now head home for Game 5 in a very important game and try to defend home court and put all the pressure back on the Jazz. The Mavs have had the Jazz’s number slightly this year, going 4-3 against them including the playoffs. Two of those losses were by a combined seven points and I just feel like having Luka back in front of his fans will energize the whole arena and team, and this could just be an all-around incredible performance for Dallas. Luka will be even better in his second game back and it will be enough to get his team a 3-2 advantage over Utah.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks (-158)
At this point it’s virtually impossible to predict what happens in this series. The Utah Jazz choked away a great chance to take a controlling lead in the series, as even without Dallas having Luka Doncic, they still allowed the Mavs to win two of the first three to take the 2-1 lead. Then, with Luka returning in Game 4, and with it looking like Dallas was in great position to take a commanding 3-1 lead, the Jazz actually decided to play basketball and got the one-point win, despite Doncic going for 30 and 10. With the series now tied at 2, Dallas still has home-court advantage as we’re now looking at a best of 3 series.
The other strange part of this series has been the fact that Utah has managed to stay alive, despite Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell not playing well at all in Game 4. With a win despite Luka returning, and with neither of their two best players playing all that well, I think the Jazz actually have a ton of momentum in this series, despite hitting the road heading back to Dallas. I think it can be safely assumed that Luka is going to continue to have monstrous games, but I don’t think the Mavs can contain Gobert or Mitchell as well as they did in Game 4 again, so I’m actually taking the Jazz here, as I think they win another really tight basketball game that comes down to the wire.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Utah Jazz (+134)
The Utah Jazz are coming into this one looking to grab another win to take a 3-2 series lead against the Dallas Mavericks. Utah put up a strong performance in Game 4 to grab a 100-99 win to spoil Luka Doncic’s return. It was Rudy Gobert’s alley oop dunk that put the Jazz up for good with 11 seconds remaining in the game. Utah is a serious dark horse team to win the NBA championship this season as long as they can remain healthy throughout.
The Dallas Mavericks will now look for a way to bounce back after they were up 2-1 heading into Game 4. They will look to grab a 3-2 advantage at home in Dallas as both teams split the first two home games 1-1. Now that they have Luka Doncic back, they are fully capable of winning these next two games and ending this series in six games. This has been the best series of the first round so far and it may live up to its full potential and go seven games. As for the result of this one, I am going with the Mavericks to win Game 5.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Dallas Mavericks (-158)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.