Top NBA Playoffs Parlay Picks for May 18

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Sportsbooks have released their odds for tonight’s NBA action. One game will be played tonight and it is worth investing in heavily: Dallas vs. Golden State. For reasons that I will explain, you should play both spread and total for this game.

Feel free to parlay both bets at a top-rated sportsbook in order to maximize your profit.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Golden State Warriors

Wednesday, May 18, 2022 – 09:00 PM EDT at Chase Center

What Will Decide This Series?

When breaking down a game, one common tactic for bettors is to focus on the star players. This is an easy tactic to think of because star players are the ones who get all of the attention from the media. It is easy to think that they will be the ones who are deciding games.

If they are the primary influencers of the results of games, then establishing how they will perform individually should go a long way to figuring out how games will unfold. I think, however, that the stars, especially Luka Doncic and Steph Curry, are exactly the wrong people to focus on.


My reasoning is that both defenses are coached by guys who seem both committed and able to stop either player. During one of Golden State's losses to Dallas in the regular season, Curry did not attempt a single shot in the fourth quarter because the Mavericks repeatedly employed traps to get the ball out of his hands.

We've seen other playoff teams with lesser defenses decide with success to meet Curry with multiple defenders basically as soon as he enters the other team's side of the court. As for Golden State, its perimeter defense will be much tighter on Doncic than other teams' perimeter defense.

Utah, for example, likes to employ drop coverage in order to cater to rim protector Rudy Gobert's proclivity to hang around the basket.

Jordan Poole 

When Golden State lost 122-113 to Mavericks, in the game where Curry failed to attempt a shot in the fourth quarter, Jordan Poole came off the bench. Poole had still not really established himself. This game, the 122-113 loss to Dallas, took place at the beginning of March, very soon after a February in which Poole averaged a meager 14.1 points per game.

By the glorious end of March, Poole will have averaged 25.4 points in that month. Poole is a must-play guy in the starting lineup alongside Curry. Since it is obvious that Dallas will try its best to limit Curry, employing Poole in the starting lineup would easily do the most to punish the Mavericks for this strategy.

He has many virtues on offense. He is, among other things, a high-volume, efficient three-point shooter.

Can Poole Defend Well?

However, one thing that people worry about Poole is his defense. The common concern is that playing Poole more is supposed to mean having a weaker defender on the floor for a longer time. However, Poole has made amazing leaps on defense.

During this year's regular season, his defensive rating was 105.5, which represents an improvement from last year and a very solid improvement from two years ago. In terms of measurements, Poole should have greater potential than Curry as a defender because Poole has, at 6-4, more length to go along with a desirable wingspan and his well-established athleticism. 

Poole, on top of Curry's underrated defense, Andrew Wiggins likewise superbly improved defending and especially his solid perimeter defending, and Draymond Green's famously elite defense is part of a top-level defensive unit.

It's not like Poole is an elite defender, though. His ability to play defense will support a higher-scoring contest because he will be played for longer periods of time, which will help the Warrior offense in a huge way.

Can Golden State Stop Luka?

Golden State's exact defensive plan is probably less predictable because its switch-heavy approach failed to deter Luka from going off when they played during the regular season. Switching heavily is not the right move against Luka because it is easy for the Maverick offense to work the shot clock and hunt for the right matchup for Luka.

The Mavs will try to screen away Luka's top defenders. While Curry and Poole are respectable defensively, they are not guys you want guarding Luka in an iso situation. Given Luka's patience in his matchup-hunting endeavors, he does not mind attempting shots late in the shot clock. He is already a patient player.

Patience, however, is what Golden State's switch-heavy defense wants to test. The Warriors like to force opponents to attempt shots late in the shot clock. They won't succeed in bothering Luka, though.

How Will Luka's Teammates Perform?

They will try to switch selectively and employ their best defenders on Luka, but this selectivity entails that Luka's teammates will have an easier time scoring. For Dallas, Spencer Dinwiddie is coming off a 30-point effort in Game 7 against Phoenix.
Jalen Brunson has also stepped up as an additional playmaker.

The Mavs love to shoot threes and, including in those instances where Golden State will employ a zone defense, boast plenty of guys who like to punish opposing defenses from behind the arc. Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock, for example, are both averaging over 38 percent from deep this postseason.

Total Verdict 

Both teams will help this game go over the posted total because they will thrive with guys who aren't offensive stars. But the situation favors specifically Golden State because the Mavs are coming off a Game 7. As we saw from Boston in its Game 1 loss to Miami, it is hard to start a new series after a Game 7.

For the above reasons, parlay the Warriors with the "over" for your best bets. Be sure to use our trusty parlay calculator for your parlay betting needs.

Parlay Picks

  • Warriors -5 (-110)
  • Over 214.5 (-110)

NBA Pick: Two-Legged Parlay (+264) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Two-Legged Parlay (+264)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.