NBA playoffs betting: Four bets for Cavaliers-Celtics, Mavericks-Thunder

P.J. Washington has been on a scoring flurry against the Thunder. Joshua Gateley/Getty Images

Our Wednesday double-header gives us the first potential closeout game of the conference semifinals, with the Boston Celtics hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers already up three games to one.

Out West, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks will break their 2-2 tie with the winner in the driver's seat to make it to the Western Conference Finals.

Let's dig more into each matchup to identify some angles of interest for players and/or teams to outproduce expectation.

Cavaliers-Celtics over 205.5 total points (-105): The Celtics and Cavaliers have played seven times this season, including three regular-season matchups and four playoffs games. In those games, the teams have only combined for less than 205.5 points once... in Game 3, when they combined for only 199. They averaged a combined 221.7 PPG in the regular season and, outside of Game 3, have averaged 212.7 combined PPG in the playoffs. They combined for 211 points in Game 4 despite Donovan Mitchell not playing, and even if the game ends up a blowout (Boston is favored by 15.5 points), it's likely the Celtics could still put a big enough scoring total on the board to get to the over. The BPI projected point total for this game is 210.3 points.

Evan Mobley over 15.5 points (-120). The Cavaliers have been without Jarrett Allen (GTD, ribs) all series, were without Mitchell (GTD, calf) in Game 4 and have added sixth man Caris LeVert (GTD, knee) to the injury report with a knee issue. This puts more pressure on Mobley to join Darius Garland as the primary scoring options for the Cavaliers. Mobley has been quietly consistent as a scorer in this series, averaging 18.5 PPG with between 17 and 21 points scored in each game. This includes both the competitive games and the blowouts; Mobley has scored in every game. I look for Game 5 to be more of the same and for Mobley to go over 15.5 points for the fifth straight game against the Celtics.

Mavericks-Thunder under 212.5 total points (-115). Three of the four games in this series have been under 212.5 total points scored, with the one exception the 229 combined in Game 2. That game was an outlier for these two teams, who both typically play lower-scoring games in the playoffs. With Luka Doncic physically ailing and Luguentz Dort's defense, the Mavericks' leading point generator has been slowed and the entire team offense has suffered. On the other side of the ball, the Mavericks have played elite defense since trading for two starting big men at the trade deadline, and that defense has ratcheted up in the playoffs. Games 3 and 4 of this series averaged 201 combined points scored, and I look for another low-scoring game tonight.

P.J. Washington over 15.5 points (-130). This line has been slow to move up from game to game despite the evidence that Washington is one of the primary scorers for the Mavericks in this series. The Thunder are loading up their defense to slow Doncic and Kyrie Irving, and Washington has been the main beneficiary of the open 3-pointers and rim-running dives that are generated. Washington has scored at least 21 points in three straight games, averaging 25.7 PPG in those games. The Thunder seem content with this arrangement, because Washington can't generate enough shots to put a huge scoring number on the board the way Luka or Kyrie could if they got hot. Thus, I don't see why either the strategy or Washington's execution would be any different in Game 5 than it has been in the last three games.

Projections and Injury Reports

Basketball Power Index by ESPN Analytics. Injury aggregation by Rotowire.com. Odds by ESPN BET

Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics
East Semifinals - Game 5
7 p.m. TD Garden, Boston

Records (Against the Spread)
Cavaliers: 48-34 (37-44-1)
Celtics: 64-18 (43-35-4)

Line: Celtics (-14.5) Total: 205.5
Money Line: Cavaliers (+800), Celtics (-1500)
BPI Projection: Celtics by 5.7, straight up 68%, 210.4 total points.

Injury Report:
Cavaliers: Caris LeVert, (GTD - Knee); Craig Porter, (GTD - Ankle); Donovan Mitchell, (GTD - Calf); Jarrett Allen, (GTD - Ribs); Ty Jerome, (OUT - Ankle)
Celtics: Kristaps Porzingis, (OUT - Calf)

Dallas Mavericks at Oklahoma City Thunder
West Semifinals - Game 5
9:30 p.m. Paycom Center, Oklahoma City

Records (Against the Spread)
Mavericks: 50-32 (49-33-0)
Thunder: 57-25 (46-35-1)

Line: Thunder (-4.5) Total: 212.5
Money Line: Mavericks (+150), Thunder (-175)
BPI Projection: Thunder by 2.4, straight up 58%, 215.1 total points.

Injury Report:
Mavericks: Luka Doncic, (GTD - Ankle); Olivier-Maxence Prosper, (OUT - Ankle); Maxi Kleber, (OUT - Shoulder); Greg Brown III, (OUT - Personal)
Thunder: Olivier Sarr, (OUT - Achilles)