Tuesday’s NBA Predictions and Betting Tips (May 18, 2021)

| May 17, 2021 1:56 pm PDT

Welcome to the 2021 NBA playoffs. Well, in a way. The league tips off it’s postseason play on Tuesday, with the play-in tournament.

LeBron James thinks whoever came up with this idea “should be fired”, but hey, it created some excitement on the last day of the season.

And now prior to the first round, we get some more tense games with a couple extra teams per conference vying for an official spot in the 2021 NBA playoffs.

It all starts on Tuesday, and I’m here to help you decide how to bet. Let’s dive right in with my NBA betting picks and predictions for Tuesday, May 18th, 2021.

NBA Predictions for Tuesday, May 18th

  • Hornets to beat Pacers
  • Wizards to beat Celtics

I am not totally trusting the hot hands here. Charlotte rode an awful five-game skid into this play-in game, but they still feel like the more cohesive team.

Indiana should be better than what they’ve shown, but these teams both hovered around the same record (34-38 and 33-39), and both dealt with injuries.

The Pacers earned a home game in this clash by winning on Sunday, and they got quite the effort out of Oshae Brissett, who went off for 31 points and 10 rebounds.

Neither of these teams are at full strength, but Myles Turner probably won’t be on hand, while Malcolm Brogdon and Damontas Sabonis won’t be at 100% even if they both suit up.

Charlotte isn’t any healthier, but LaMelo Ball is exciting, and the Hornets have enough versatile big bodies to attack Indy (dead last in points allowed in paint per game). The Pacers are also dreadful at rebounding outside of Sabonis, while Charlotte has a 2-1 edge in the season series.

Oh, and there have been whispers that the Pacers are already getting ready to can their head coach.

I love Charlotte here, and I also have eyes for Washington, but I’ll get to them in a second.

NBA Upset Picks for Tuesday

  • Hornets (+132)
  • Wizards (+100)

That’s right, my predictions and picks are exactly the same on this slate. I already broke down why I like the Hornets, though, so I’ll get into why I’m high on the Wizards.

First, I do note that Boston is supposed to be the way better team, that they have vastly superior coaching, and that they’re more experienced.

But the Wizards are on a roll.

Russell Westbrook has been a machine lately. An unstoppable, triple-doubling feasting machine – so much so, in fact, that he just broke an incredible record.

Westbrook is what makes this team go, and there’s no getting around the fact that if he and Bradley Beal don’t bring it, this squad is in trouble. However, Westbrook has been in playoff mode for some time now, and Beal just made a healthy return on Sunday.

These guys are ready to rock, and they’ve been red hot lately. The other thing here is that Boston may lack the same urgency the Wizards possess. The loser of this game still has one more chance to make it into the official playoffs, after all.

I dig Washington’s form, and I don’t trust the Pacers. You can play it safe with ATS bets for all parties involved, but I’ll be aiming high with the Hornets and Wizards as straight up underdog bets.

Best NBA Bets for Tuesday, May 18th

  • Hornets (+3) -115
  • Hornets vs. Pacers Over 228 (-110)
  • Wizards (+1.5) -113
  • Wizards vs. Celtics Over 232.5 (-110)

While I am all about the NBA upset picks for Tuesday’s play-in tournament tip-off, it’s undeniable that the safer play is to bet against the spreads here.

Charlotte at +3 and Washington at +1.5 are rock solid bets here, and that’s especially the case since I think they both win. I’d go the extra mile here, but I totally understand any hesitance.

The game totals are pretty high, but Indiana and Washington have two of the fastest offenses in the NBA. The Wizards rank #1 in the league, and the Pacers slide in at 5th.

If they can do it, both will push the pace here, and accompanied by their atrocious defenses, they should contribute even more so to fast games with plenty of points.

Boston and Charlotte are slower teams when you look at the averages, but the tempo on the other side – and the lack of defense – should help them get where bettors need them to go.

The 2021 NBA play-in tourney looks like a lot of fun, and I got a feeling it gets started off with a bang. Whether that has you diving in with my NBA upset picks or my best NBA bets above, just be sure you’re using the best NBA betting apps you can find online.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

More Posts by Noah Contact Noah



AUGUST Sportsbook of the Month
Welcome Bonus 50% up to $1,000
Read Review Visit Site
Back to top