Underdog NBA Picks: 3 ESPN Friday Night Playoff Predictions Include Anthony Edwards

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Written By Josh Lander | Last Updated
Underdog NBA picks

There are two pivotal Game 3 affairs in the NBA playoffs on Friday night. The Denver Nuggets and Indiana Pacers will both look to avoid going down 3-0 in their respective series. Only 7.3% of teams facing a 2-0 deficit have won their series in NBA history, and no one has ever recovered from a 3-0 deficit. I have three Underdog NBA picks, all from the Timberwolves and Nuggets matchup. Let’s keep the good times rolling after last week’s sweep of the board! Find out how I’m betting on young superstar Anthony Edwards, Jamal Murray, and Aaron Gordon.

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NBA Player Prop Pick: anthony edwards over points + Assists (1 unit)

Underdog NBA Picks: Higher or Lower Than 33.5 Points and Assists

Playoff Ant has been activated once again this postseason. Including this year’s six games, Edwards now owns an impressive career playoff stat line of 29.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 4.6 APG in 39 minutes per game. Trim that to his most recent 10 games, six of which came against the Nuggets, and his numbers inflate to 33.4/6.4/5.6 in 40.8 minutes. In short, he’s only getting more powerful.

During last season’s tilt with Denver in the playoffs, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope seemed to have a fighting chance at limiting Edwards with the right amount of help defense. This year, however, even Michael Malone’s scripted double teams don’t appear to be a match for the fourth-year superstar. Ant has seen multiple defenders on nearly 40% of his offensive possessions in the first two games of this series. The results have amounted to a combined 40 points and assists.

KCP is also at a slight disadvantage compared to last season. Denver’s best wing defender is still fighting off a nagging leg injury as he chases the faster and stronger Edwards around consistently violent screens from Gobert and Towns. Caldwell-Pope has been the primary defender on Minnesota’s top weapon for about 50% of his possessions. In that amount of time, Edwards has dropped 28 points and 3 assists.

For those who play this bet on Underdog Fantasy, you can also use Friday’s special to get Ant’s points prop down to 0.5 points for the bet of your choice.

Use our player props search tool to find the best odds for NBA props on your favorite players. If you’re interested in betting spreads, discuss betting angles with other NBA bettors in our free Discord.

NBA Player Prop Pick: jamal murray under points + assists (1 unit)

Underdog NBA Picks: Higher or Lower Than 27.5 Points + Assists

It’s been a brutal series for Jamal Murray. In the first two games of this series, Murray has gone cleanly under Friday’s points and assists prop, averaging just 15.5 PA combined. His notable lowlights include a 3:2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio and one heating pad tossed onto the court during game action.

We’re all still unsure how his tantrum avoided a heftier punishment, but let’s stay focused on his poor play.

In all fairness, he does have two mitigating factors. For starters, he’s clearly not 100% healthy while nursing a nagging calf injury. The injury plagued him throughout the Lakers series in round one as well. He averaged 26 points and assists combined on 37.5% shooting from the field with Austin Reaves as his primary defender. It doesn’t sound that bad until you consider his numbers against L.A. prior to this year’s series: 28 points per game alongside 8 assists per game.

Returning to his matchup with the Timberwolves, however, it’s tough to see Murray overcoming Jaden McDaniels’ ferocious defense. While he’s had some success against Minnesota in the past, that hasn’t been the case if McDaniels is on the floor. In the last six games against the Nuggets’ in-division rivals where McDaniels was available, Murray has gone under 26.5 PA in five of them. If you look at the in-game matchups from the first two games of this series, JMD hasn’t allowed a single point to the Nuggets guard.

NBA Player Prop Pick: Aaron Gordon under points + REBounds + Assists (1 unit)

Underdog NBA Picks: Higher or Lower Than 22.5 Points, Rebounds, and Assists

After welcoming his newborn baby into the world earlier this week, Rudy Gobert returns to the lineup for Minnesota on Friday. That is not great news for those looking to play the over on Aaron Gordon’s numbers. The Stifle Tower held Gordon to just six field goal attempts in Game 2, yielding a measly 9 points. Gordon did manage 6 assists in that one but still finished with 18 PRA, going comfortably under his prop line for that game.

His explosion in Game 2 came while Gobert was in a hospital with his wife and child. With Gobert back, it’s likely we see head coach Chris Finch go right back to the matchups he utilized in Game 1, which includes Karl-Anthony Towns on Nikola Jokic. If Gordon refuses to shoot and make threes, as was the case last weekend, it’s difficult to see him even getting the proper number of shots off to aid in going over his prop totals.

Rebounds will be more than difficult to accrue with the combination of Gobert’s presence and the Timberwolves’ impressive shooting. Minnesota has connected on 48% of its shots so far, affording Gordon 6.5 rebound chances and 3.5 actual boards. As for the assists, while he did record six of them in Game 1, that performance should be considered more of an outlier than anything else. He picked up six dimes on just seven potential assists, not a feat we should bank on as repeatable.

Timberwolves vs. Nuggets Player Props

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