Our free NBA picks are out for Tuesday, April 26th, 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!
Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat – 7pm ET
The series between the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat moves back to FTX Arena in Miami for Game 5. The Heat have their first chance of taking out the series in this one, as they currently have a lead of 3-1 after winning Game 4, 110-86.
The Atlanta Hawks had a great opportunity to even up the series in Game 4 but couldn’t live up to the moment. They had just got an emotional win in Game 3 and were back at home, with Miami missing Kyle Lowry and you’d think they’d jump at the opportunity. Instead they laid an egg and are now one game away from their season being over. The heat won the game 110-86 and have actually had each of their victories in this series be by double digits. Jimmy Butler once again led the way with 36 points and added 10 rebounds while Trae Young’s struggles continued. Trae only shot 3-11 from the field and had 9 points and 5 assists.
It’s the second single-digit scoring output this series from Young who led the NBA in points scored during the regular season. The Hawks showed no fight in Game 4 in front of their fans and there’s no reason for me to believe that will now change all of a sudden on the road in Game 5. The Heat are battling injuries and will love to get days off for their guys to get some extra rest in between series so I know they want to wrap this game up and not even have to go back to Atlanta. The depth Miami has is lethal and they will ride those pieces in this one and get this win at home to wrap up the series.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat -7 (-114)
This one’s wrapped. The Miami Heat responded in a major way to a loss in Game 3, as they absolutely destroyed the Atlanta Hawks in Game 4 of this series, on the road in Atlanta, and now they’re headed back home to try to wrap the series up. If Atlanta had been able to even things up, we’d be looking at a different series right now, but with the loss, and the way that Trae Young looked atrocious for virtually the entire game, I just don’t see a way that they manage to get back on track on the road. They’ve been too reliant on Young all year long, and that hasn’t changed in this series, which has proven to be the biggest problem for them against this extremely balanced Heat squad.
The Miami Heat have been the best team in the East all year long (which is probably why they’re the one-seed) and they’ve shown that for much of the series. Even in the Game 3 loss, they didn’t actually play that badly, and in the three wins they have, they’ve just looked far superior. They’ve been one of the most balanced teams in the league all year long, and with Jimmy Butler leading the way so far in the postseason, along with some help from Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, they’ve solidified that, and that doesn’t change in Game 5 at home. Give me the Heat to get the win, and while I don’t think it ends up being a blowout, I do like Miami in this one by 8-10.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Miami Heat -7 (-114)
The Atlanta Hawks will have their backs against the wall in this one as they are facing a win or go home situation in South Beach on Tuesday. They looked horrible in Game 4 as they were blown out by the Miami Heat and Trae Young didn’t have much impact on the game either. Both of those things will have to change if the Atlanta Hawks want to play at least one more game at home this season.
The Miami Heat are absolutely rolling right now as they are one game away from advancing into the second round of the NBA playoffs. Jimmy Butler has led the way over the course of this series as he has put up some impressive scoring numbers over the first four games. If he can repeat performances like that throughout the playoffs then the Miami Heat can very well end up winning the Finals. As for the result of this game, I am going with the Atlanta Hawks to extend the series.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Atlanta Hawks (+245)
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Memphis Grizzlies – 7.30pm ET
It’s Game 5 in the series between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night in the NBA. We are all squared up at 2-2 in this series, as the Timberwolves won the first game, before the Grizzlies won the next two, and last time out the Timberwolves got the win in Game 4, 119-118.
In my opinion this is the best series of the opening round of the playoffs and it’s not even close. You get two young but very talented and inexperienced teams, put them in a playoff series and this is what you get. A lot of highlights, trash-talk, blown leads and just unpredictability. You would have thought the Wolves would have just folded after blowing multiple 20+ point leads in Game 3 but they took it on the chin and bounced back for a crucial win to even the series at 2-2 in Game 4. Karl-Anthony Towns led the way with 38 points after combining for just 23 in Games 2 and 3.
Now with the series shifting back to Memphis evened at 2-2, there’s no telling what we will see next but I can guarantee it will be entertaining. This series has all the makings of one that will be going the distance. With that being said I think it’s the home teams that will get Games 5 and 6 so I’m giving this one to the Grizzlies. Their home fans know how well their team reacts to adversity and I don’t think they’ll allow them to fall behind 2-3 in this series. Ja Morant I’m sure is seeing all the tweets after he had another down performance in Game 4 so I’m looking for a big night from him. With that big night will come a big win.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (-240)
This is the best series of the first round, and apart from potentially Phoenix/New Orleans (more on that later) it hasn’t been close. These two teams are built similarly from a roster standpoint, and they also play similar basketball from a schematic standpoint as well, which explains why it’s been a series that has been absolutely wild from the jump. Both teams have won a game on the other’s home floor, and now with it headed back to Memphis for Game 5, it’ll be interesting to see if the Grizz can rebound from a tough Game 4 loss and get things back on track. Ja Morant, despite getting crushed by many people for his performance in that loss, didn’t play terribly, but did struggle from a scoring standpoint, which is where a lot of the criticism has come from. The other problem for Memphis in this series is the fact that Jaren Jackson has been virtually nonexistent.
Those two guys are going to have to score, and play better if the Grizz want to win, despite the fact that they’ve been getting massive outings from Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks. For Minnesota, the biggest question is Anthony Edwards. Edwards led the way in their Game 1 win, and then after struggling for the next two, he played well in Game 4. I know many look at Karl-Anthony Towns as being the leader of this team, and he was in Game 4, but I actually think Ant is the more important player in this series. I don’t think Minnesota has quite the depth that Memphis does, which could be the difference maker, and if either KAT or Ant struggle, I think the Grizz roll. Look for Memphis to slow down one of those two, and take advantage of being back at home. The Grizzlies get a win, though I think it comes in yet another extremely tight game.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (-240)
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies are in the middle of arguably the best first round series of the year so far. They come into this fifth game tied at two apiece after Minnesota got a huge win in Game 4 four after blowing a massive lead in Game 3. Now that the series returns to Memphis, the Grizzlies will look to bounce back and grab a 3-2 lead going into Game 6 in Minnesota. The Timberwolves will need to keep counting on some big games from Karl Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards.
The Memphis Grizzlies are a great team when Ja Morant is on the court. They may just be an even better team with Ja Morant isn’t on the court if that makes any sense. They will need to grab this win in Game 5 to avoid being put on the brink of elimination. They grabbed a huge comeback win in Game 3 but picked up a tough one point loss in Game 4 of this series. As for the result of this one, I have Ja Morant and the Grizzlies grabbing the win.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (-240)
New Orleans Pelicans @ Phoenix Suns – 10pm ET
The final game tonight in the NBA will see the New Orleans Pelicans face off against the Phoenix Suns in Game 5. This is probably one of the Round 1 series that nobody thought would be tied at this stage, but it is in fact 2-2. Can the Suns get a 3-2 lead now they are playing on their home court again?
In this series we have another young team that is just going through this first round series riding on pure emotion and not a lot of experience. The Pelicans were able to get the win at home in Game 4 and avoid falling down 1-3 to the 1 seeded Phoenix Suns. They limited Chris Paul to just 4 points after he had 28 the game before, while Brandon Ingram of the Pels had his third straight 30+ point game. The good news is the Suns are returning home for this pivotal game but the bad news is still that they will be without Devin Booker.
Chris Paul’s legacy may be on the line in this series so I can’t wait to see what type of performance he puts out. When you get a young team at home and they start to get behind the fans, it seems at times they can look unbeatable. That was the case for New Orleans in Game 3, but now in this hostile environment I’m expecting a letdown spot for them. I think they will come out flat and give the Suns a chance to get off to an early lead and that’s all a great team needs at home to ride that out to the victory.
Jeffery’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (-255)
Watching what transpired in Game 4, I actually think the Phoenix Suns may be in a bit of trouble. The good news is that they get to head back home for Game 5, but without Devin Booker in the lineup, and with how New Orleans has gained momentum throughout the series, things could get tight here in this one. Brandon Ingram looks to be transforming into a legitimate star right before our eyes, and with Jonas Valanciunas, CJ McCollum, and a few rookies stepping up in a major way, the Pels took care of business with ease in Game 4 at home. The one concern is if those guys can all continue that play throughout the rest of this what is now a best-of-3 series. If any of them fall off just a bit, I think Phoenix takes advantage and rolls.
For Phoenix, they have to be extremely disappointed in their play from Sunday night, as they simply got destroyed, but a lot of that was due to the fact that Chris Paul played poorly, and without Devin Booker in the lineup, they just can’t afford to have that happen. I trust CP3’s experience to show in this game, which honestly feels like a must win for Phoenix, even though it looks as if they’re going to continue to be without Book. DeAndre Ayton is going to have to step up in a big way, and they’re going to need a lot more from their bench in order to get the win, but the good news is that they didn’t end up with the league’s best record for the year by folding and just rolling over. I think this series has tightened up much more than people expected, and is still wide open, but the experience is the difference maker to me, so I’m leaning Suns by a nose here, though I think it comes in extremely tight fashion. Take Phoenix by 4-6 at home in this one, as they take a 3-2 series lead.
Noah’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (-255)
Somehow this has become a series, when not many people expected it too. As the number one team in the National Basketball Association now looks like they could be in danger against the New Orleans Pelicans. The Phoenix Suns will need to get Devin Booker back as soon as possible if they want to make it out of the first round and avoid the dreaded 8 vs 1 upset. They will need Chris Paul and DeAndre Ayton to step up and help them get the win at home in this one.
The New Orleans Pelicans are coming into this one with a huge opportunity to grab a lead over the number one team in the league in this one. Ever since they made the trade to get CJ McCollum from Portland in the middle of the season, their entire team transformed and now they have a shot to get into the second round. They are only two wins away from pulling off one of the best upsets in the history of the NBA playoffs. As for the result of this however, I am going with the Phoenix Suns to get the win.
Tony’s NBA Pick: Phoenix Suns (-255)
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.