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NBA ♦ Playoffs ♦ Friday 4/29/16

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    “NBA playoffs betting preview and odds”

    We have three huge first round basketball games Friday night. The Raptors, Hornets, and Trail Blazers are all looking to eliminate their opposition and move on to the second round.

    Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers (-2, 194.5)

    Raptors lead series 3-2

    Toronto shooting guard DeMar DeRozan emerged from his playoff hibernation in the Game 5 victory and will attempt to help the Raptors clinch the best-of-7 series when they visit the Indiana Pacers on Friday. DeRozan set a personal best for the postseason with 34 points in the 102-99 road win to give the Raptors a 3-2 series lead.

    DeRozan shot just 29.6 percent over the first four games but rediscovered his All-Star form with the stellar effort. “It’s all about patience,” DeRozan told reporters. “You can’t get flustered, you can’t get frustrated. You’ve got to stay the course. That’s what we’re going to continue to do.” Indiana faces elimination after letting a 17-point lead get away in Game 5 and helped Toronto’s comeback bid by scoring just nine fourth-quarter points. “Once again, we failed to live up to that moment,” All-Star forward Paul George told reporters. “Nine points in the fourth. It’s the only thing to look at – nine points in the fourth.”

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, ESPNews, TSN (Toronto), FSN Indiana

    The Pacers opened as 2.5-point favorites but the public hit the Raptors and the books were forced to bring the line down to -2. The total hit the board at 196 but was dropped to 194.5 by Thursday afternoon. Check out the complete line history here.

    ABOUT THE RAPTORS (59-28, 47-40 ATS, 43-43-1 O/U):
    DeRozan averaged just 13.3 points over the first four games of the series before his breakout game but backcourt mate Kyle Lowry still can’t find the mark. Lowry, the All-Star point guard, went 3-for-11 in Game 5 to drop his series shooting percentage to 31.4 and he has shot below 40 percent in each of the five contests. Backup center Bismack Biyombo was a big-time standout in Game 5 with 10 points and 16 rebounds and he is averaging nine boards in the series.

    ABOUT THE PACERS (47-40, 44-42-1 ATS, 38-49 O/U):
    George is averaging 28.8 points in the series after enjoying another superb game with 39 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in Game 5 and was again trying to suppress frustration with some of his teammates. “I think our guys individually know, individually, that they have to bring it,” George told reporters. “I’m not about putting guys down or putting teammates down, but individually everybody has to bring it.” Shooting guard Monta Ellis is one guy Indiana could use a boost from as he has scored eight or fewer points in each of the past three games while shooting 9-of-26 from the field.


    * Raptors are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 Conference Quarterfinals games.
    * Pacers are 17-4 ATS in their last 21 games playing on 2 days rest.
    * Under is 7-1 in Raptors last 8 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
    * Under is 8-2 in Pacers last 10 home games.
    * Underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings.


    Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets (-1.5, 190.5)

    Hornets lead series 3-2

    The Charlotte Hornets have won three straight games and took full control of the their first-round series against the fourth-seeded Miami Heat by stealing a win on the road on Wednesday. The Hornets have a chance to close out the series and advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals when they host the Heat in Game 6 on Friday.

    Charlotte leaned on its backcourt to even the series in Game 4 with a combined 55 points from Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin but got only 25 points from the two in Game 5 while the frontcourt took control. Courtney Lee was having the worst night of the backcourt quartet before hitting the biggest shot of the game – a 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds left that put the Hornets in front for good. “I was wide open so I just let it fly,” Lee told reporters. “If I had to draw it up, I’ll take shooting 1-for-8 before I knock down a big shot any day.” The Heat will leave Miami with the same feelings they had after leaving Charlotte following Game 4 as they question the refereeing but the NBA said Thursday that a non-foul on Dwyane Wade with 2.6 seconds left was the correct call.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN Sun (Miami)

    The Hornets have won three games in a row to take the lead in this series against the Heat and they opened as one-point favorites – the line was bumped slightly to -1.5. The total opened at 192.5 and was dropped a full two points to 190.5. Check out the complete line history here.

    ABOUT THE HEAT (50-37, 45-41-1 ATS, 36-50-1 O/U):
    Miami was dismayed by the whistles blown against them in Game 4 and subtly questioned the disparity in personal foul calls after the game but were more open about things after Game 5. Wade told reporters that he was fouled on the layup attempt that would have tied the game in the final seconds and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, took to Twitter to advocate for fining the refs. “It hurts losing at home,” Heat coach Eric Spoelstra told reporters. “But welcome to the playoffs. The playoffs just started now. One team beat somebody on the road. Now it gets real. Now we just have to collect ourselves, as raw as it feels right now. We have 48 hours to regroup and get ready for a heck of a battle in Game 6.”

    ABOUT THE HORNETS (51-36, 45-41-1 ATS, 42-43-2 O/U):
    Charlotte doesn’t know what it is going to get out of forward Marvin Williams from game-to-game in the playoffs, but he stepped up with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and three steals in Game 5. The Hornets changed up the lineup before Game 3 and pushed Al Jefferson into a starting role with fellow center Frank Kaminsky, leaving Williams to do damage on the wing against smaller defenders. Williams went scoreless in 37 minutes in Game 4 and was a combined 1-of-17 in the first two games of the series but put together solid performances in two of the last three to help support Walker, Lin and Lee.


    * Heat are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 road games.
    * Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
    * Under is 5-0 in Heat last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
    * Over is 4-1 in Hornets last 5 Friday games.


    Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers (-10, 198)

    Trail Blazers lead series 3-2

    The Los Angeles Clippers put together a strong effort without their injured superstars but in the end did not have enough to overcome the Portland Trail Blazers at home in Game 5. The Clippers will try to muster up enough to extend the series when they visit the Trail Blazers in a potential elimination Game 6 on Friday.

    Los Angeles lost All-Star point guard Chris Paul (broken hand) and star forward Blake Griffin (quad) for the rest of the postseason in a Game 4 loss and could not find enough offense late to avoid a 108-98 loss at home in Game 5. “(The players) heard the same thing that (the media) said, you know, for 48 hours,” Doc Rivers said. “’Hard game, can they win?’ So, I liked the emotion, but they didn’t sustain it. Like, the pace we played at in the first half was terrific, we just couldn’t sustain the pace.” Portland weathered the early emotional storm from the Clippers and found its stride offensively in the second half, giving itself a chance to close out the series at home. “We want to close the series out,” guard C.J. McCollum told reporters. “We’ve got a unique opportunity here to play an elimination game at home, and we want to make sure we take full advantage of it.”

    TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Prime Ticket (Los Angeles), KGW (Portland)

    The Blazers opened as 10-point favorites at home in an elimination game and the line has yet to move. The total opened at 197.5 and has also been stationary. Check out the complete line history here.

    ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (55-32, 42-42-3 ATS, 35-52 O/U):
    Future Hall of Famer and former NBA champion Paul Pierce started in place of Griffin and went scoreless in 10 minutes while Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford started in place of Paul in Game 5 and went 6-of-23 from the floor in 44 minutes. “I was a little winded,” Crawford told reporters. “But what can you do at this point? You have to find a way.” Austin Rivers moved into the starting lineup as well but it was J.J. Redick managing a team-high 19 points in the loss while Jeff Green came off the bench to add 17 points in 37 minutes.

    ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (47-40, 47-40 ATS, 45-42 O/U):
    Portland star guard Damian Lillard was 1-of-10 from the floor in the first three quarters on Wednesday before exploding for 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting in the final period to help put the game away. “I’ve always been able to put the first three quarters behind me and come up big when my team has needed it,” said Lillard. “All my teammates throughout the game, they just kept saying, ‘keep shooting, stay with it, stay aggressive, keep your mind right.’ I would have been doing that all along, but it felt good to have that encouragement and that support. … I just had to be patient.” Lillard finished with 22 points in the win while McCollum matched his series high with 27.


    * Clippers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss.
    * Trail Blazers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 1 days rest.
    * Under is 9-1 in Clippers last 10 games following a double-digit loss at home.
    * Under is 6-1 in Trail Blazers last 7 overall.
    * Under is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.



    Indiana-Toronto (T 3-2)
    Pacers blew 13-point 4th quarter lead in Game 5; George scored 39 points, but Indiana bench was putrid 6-23 from floor and was -41 in only 77:00 of play. Raptors won nine of last 12 games against Indiana, taking three of last five here (under 4-1). Toronto is 12-3 vs spread in last 15 series games- five of last seven stayed under total. Toronto shot 38.0/36.5% in two losses, 43.8/41.5/40.2% in three wins. Raptors won ten of last 14 games overall, they are 8-4 vs spread in their last 12 games.

    Charlotte-Miami (CH 3-2)
    Charlotte held Miami to 84.3 ppg in winning last three games after Heat had taken 2-0 series lead, scoring 123-115 points. Miami lost three of last four visits here; over is 6-3 in last nine series games. Four Hornet subs who played in Game 5 had a combined +23 plus/minus- Charlotte starters were -13. Seven of nine Hornets who played last game scored between 8-17 points- very balanced. Miami lost four of its last five road games; Charlotte won its last four games at home.

    Portland-LA Clippers (P 3-2)
    Clippers are without Paul/Griffin for duration of this series; not having Paul is huge. LA lost three of last four visits here, five of last six games in series stayed under total. Trailblazers won ten of their last 14 games overall; eight of their last 11 games stayed under the total. Crawford was 6-23 from floor in Game 5; Rivers was -23 in 37:00, which means the Clippers were +13 in 11:00 with coach’s son on the bench. LA scored 84-88 in losses here in series- they need road win to keep season alive.

    Playoff tally: Favorites vs spread: 24-15, Over: 12-27


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Against – All teams where the line is +3 to -3 (CHARLOTTE) off an upset win as an underdog against opponent off a upset loss as a favorite
    70-33 over the last 5 seasons. ( 68.0% | 33.7 units )
    11-5 this year. ( 68.8% | 5.5 units )

    Play Against – All teams with a money line of +135 to -155 (CHARLOTTE) after a close win by 3 points or less
    162-99 over the last 5 seasons. ( 62.1% | 59.4 units )
    30-17 this year. ( 63.8% | 13.0 units )

    Play On – Any team vs. the 1rst half line (MIAMI) revenging a close loss vs opponent of 3 points or less against opponent off 2 consecutive wins against division rivals
    70-33 since 1997. ( 68.0% | 33.7 units )
    1-0 this year. ( 100.0% | 1.0 units )


    Friday’s Tip Sheet
    By Chris David

    Eastern Conference – Game 6 – Raptors lead 3-2

    Toronto at Indiana – ESPNews/NBATV, 7:35 p.m. ET

    Backing teams off a bad loss is never a smart decision and bettors face that dilemma on Friday with Indiana. In Game 5 on Tuesday the Pacers built a 90-77 lead after three quarters but forgot to show up for the final 12 minutes. The Raptors outscored Indiana 25-9 in the fourth and captured a 102-99 win and 3-2 series lead.

    Indiana’s Paul George was once again the best player on the court (39-8-8) but he only managed to take three shots in the final quarter. Rookie Norman Powell did a great job defending the All-Star and his plus-16 effort in Game 5 was the top mark for the Raptors.

    Toronto was also helped with a 34-point performance from DeMar DeRozan, which made many forget his 13.3 points per game production in the first four games. Fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry still hasn’t found his shot (15.2 PPG) in this series for the Raptors but he’s been picked up by backup Corey Joseph (10.4 PPG) and the aforementioned Powell.

    Despite collapsing on Tuesday, Indiana opened as a two-point home favorite for Game 6 and that says something since the Raptors opened as road favorites in the first two games played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in this series.

    Based on recent playoff history for the pair, NBA Expert Kevin Rogers doesn’t have much confidence in either club. He explained, “The Raptors haven’t advanced past the first round of the playoffs since 2001, losing in the conference quarterfinals five consecutive times. The Pacers put together an incredible 6-0 both SU and ATS record as a home favorite during the 2013 playoffs, but Indiana has dropped off in that department recently by posting a 3-6 ATS mark in its past nine opportunities when laying points at home in the postseason.”

    Indiana has gone 3-3 in Game 6 when facing elimination at home and according to Rogers, you might be inclined to bet against teams with their backs to the wall.

    “In the 2015 postseason, all six road teams looking to close out a series in Game 6 up 3-2 won and covered. Only two of these squads were listed in the underdog role as the Hawks and Cavaliers each finished off their series as a road ‘dog in the conference semifinals.”

    Those of you watching this year’s playoffs can note that Atlanta helped that record improve to 7-0 last night as it eliminated Boston on the road.

    Indiana has gone 5-3 both SU and ATS when listed as a favorite between 1-2 points this season while the ‘under’ has gone 6-2 in those games. Toronto has gone 8-10 SU and 10-7-1 ATS as a road underdog this season and that includes a 1-1 record versus Indiana.

    Toronto (7-3) and Indiana (10-6) have both been solid bets on two days of rest this season but if you’re playing percentages, the Raptors get a slight lean.

    Eastern Conference – Game 6 – Hornets lead 3-2

    Miami at Charlotte – ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET

    After watching the home team win the first four games in this first round series, the Hornets defeated the Heat 90-88 as six-point road underdogs (ML +210) in Game 5 on Wednesday. Charlotte took the lead with 25 second left on a 3-pointer from Courtney Lee and Miami couldn’t come up with an answer but many believe Heat guard Dwyane Wade was fouled on a late attempt.

    The win snapped the Heat’s eight-game winning streak at home and also was the first road playoff win for Charlotte in 14 years. Including that victory, the Hornets have won three straight in this series and have a chance to finish the Heat in a possible Game 6 clincher on Friday.

    The Hornets opened as 1 ½-point home favorites and that number is much shorter than the first two games (-3, -2.5) played at Time Warner Cable Arena. A couple major outfits have moved to Charlotte to -2 and based on what we’ve seen from Miami the last three games, I’d expect the line to go up.

    Miami scored 123 and 115 points in its two wins while connecting on 18-of-34 shots (53%) from downtown. Since then, the Heat are 23-of-69 (33%) and it makes you believe that the first two games were offensive anomalies especially when you realize that the team only made 34 percent from 3-point land during the regular season.

    Make no mistake, Charlotte hasn’t been great in this series either but it’s hard to see them losing at home. Including wins in this series, Charlotte has gone 15-2 in its last 17 home games. Plus, Miami is 7-10 SU and 6-11 ATS as a visitor since the All-Star break and that includes a 1-7 record as a road underdog.

    Rogers pointed out that past clubs from Miami have been known to pack it in when facing these kind of situations. He said, “The Heat haven’t fared well with their backs to the wall on the road in postseason play. Since 2009, Miami has been eliminated three times on the road, all by double-digits. In 2009, the Heat fell by 14 points in the decisive Game 7 of the first round to Atlanta, followed by a 10-point defeat at Boston the next postseason. In the 2014 NBA Finals, the Spurs blasted the Heat by 17 points, as Miami hopes to avoid a disappointing end to the season.”

    To be fair, this Heat team has a lot of new faces on the roster with a lot less experience. Wade is the only tested veteran and his 7-7 record when facing elimination is simply ordinary.

    Western Conference – Game 6 – Trail Blazers 3-2

    L.A. Clippers at Portland – ESPN, 10:35 p.m. ET

    Oddsmakers opened the Trail Blazers as 10-point home favorites over the Clippers in Game 6 on Friday and I believe that number is inflated and solely based on the outcome from Wednesday.

    Portland earned a 108-98 win in Game 5 as a 2 ½-point road favorite at the Staples Center and certainly capitalized on the absence of Clippers’ Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The backcourt of Damian Lillard (22) and CJ McCollum (27) finally got going for the Trail Blazers as they combined for 49 points but the game was much tighter than the final score.

    Los Angeles led by five points (50-45) at halftime and the game was knotted 71-71 after three quarters. In the final 12 minutes, Portland opened with a 19-6 run and they just couldn’t miss offensively. They scored 37 points on 12-of-21 shotsin the fourth, which includes an eye opening 6-of-11 effort from 3-point land. On the other end of the court, the Clippers were just 1-of-6 from downtown in the fourth and 6-of-20 (30%) overall.

    Portland has now won three straight against Los Angeles and owns a 3-2 series lead. Winning the fourth quarter has fueled Portland during this streak, outscoring the Clippers by 27 total points (26-21, 32-20, 37-27) in the victories.

    Winning at Portland won’t be an easy task for Los Angeles according to Rogers. “Since blowing a 15-point halftime lead to the Rockets on February 25, the Blazers have been nearly unbeatable at the Moda Center. Portland has won 11 of its last 12 home contests, while limiting six of those opponents to fewer than 100 points,” said Rogers.

    Los Angeles owned a winning record on the road (24-17 SU, 20-18-3 ATS) during the regular season but a lot of those losses came down the stretch. Including the two postseason setbacks, the Clippers have gone 3-7 both SU and ATS in their last 10 games as visitors.

    While Portland is expected to advance by the oddsmakers and win this game, you could be hesitant to lay the heavy wood. Portland was installed as a double-digit favorite five times during the regular season and the club went 5-0 in those games, which isn’t surprising considering none of the opponents made the playoffs. However, the Trail Blazers only managed to post a 1-4 record against the spread. For what it’s worth, the Clippers were 1-2 SU and 2-1 ATS as double-digit underdogs this season.

    Due to the injuries and Portland winning the last three games, it’s now listed as high as a minus-1300 favorite (Bet $100 to win $7) to win this series. The takeback on the Clippers is close to 8/1 odds and while it’s wishful thinking to grab the generous return, I do believe L.A. will be competitive on Friday.



    100* Blazers -10

    100* Pacers -2


    NBA Basketball Betting Trends – Fri – April, 29

    Miami at Charlotte, 3:00 ET
    Miami: 46-33 ATS after 1 or more consecutive losses
    Charlotte: 73-101 ATS after covering 5 or 6 of their last 7

    Toronto at Indiana, 8:00 ET
    Toronto: 11-23 ATS after a game with 15 or less assists
    Charlotte: 22-12 ATS after playing a game as an underdog

    LA Clippers at Portland, 3:00 ET
    Los Angeles: 4-13 ATS after failing to cover 3 of their last 4
    Portland: 15-7 ATS after 2 games giving up 10 or less offensive rebounds


    Basketball Crusher

    Los Angeles Clippers + Portland Trail Blazers – OVER 198
    (System Record: 83-5, lost last game)
    Overall Record: 83-93-3

    Toronto Raptors + Indiana Pacers – OVER 194.5


    Power Play Wins



    John Ryan Sports

    NBA | Heat vs Hornets
    Play on: Hornets -2 -104
    25* graded play on Charlotte as they host Miami in Game 6 playoff action set to start at 8:00 PM ET. SIM algorithm shows a high probability that Charlotte will win this game by at least 7 points. 82% of teams that win Game 5 in the NBA playoffs win the series. We saw Charlotte win in Miami in Game 5 by a score of 90-88 and were 5 ½ point dogs.

    Technical Discussion Points Supporting this graded play is a proven system posting a 32-8 since 1996 good for 80% winners. Play against all teams where the line is +3 to -3 (MIAMI) – revenging a close loss vs opponent of 3 points or less, off a close loss by 3 points or less to a division rival. The following game situations match the SIM projections and my compiled research for the outcome of this game. Charlotte is a money winning 30-15 ATS (+13.5 Units) when they score 99 to 104 points in a game over the last 3 seasons; 21-8 ATS (+12.2 Units) in home games versus good ball handling teams – committing less than 14 turnovers/game – 2nd half of the season over the last 3 seasons.

    Fundamental Discussion Points Miami has lost three straight to Charlotte and their offense is struggling against Charlotte’s defense. In the first two games, Miami shot 57% and in the last 3, they shot a dismal 42% or less. This has turned into a defensive physical style of series and that certainly favors Charlotte to finish the Heat off tonight.

    Pick Charlotte Hornets.



    3* Portland Trailblazers -10



    Portland Trailblazers -10



    Charlotte Hornets


    Guaranteed picks,today


    7:35pm Raptors vs. Pacers
    (2000 Stars) Toronto

    8:05pm Heat vs. Hornets
    (3000 Stars) Charotte

    10:35pm Clippers vs. Blazers
    (1000 Stars)under 198

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