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NBA ♦ Playoffs ♦ Wednesday 4/20/16

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    NBA Basketball Betting Trends – Wed – April, 20

    Charlotte at Miami, 7:05 ET
    Charlotte: 18-8 ATS revenging a road loss vs opponent
    Miami: 9-18 ATS after having won 5 or 6 of their last 7

    Detroit at Cleveland, 8:05 ET
    Detroit: 20-38 ATS after covering 3 of their last 4 against the spread
    Cleveland: 12-4 ATS after allowing 100 points or more 2 straight games

    Portland at LA Clippers, 10:35 ET
    Portland: 7-0 ATS after a blowout loss by 20 points or more
    Los Angeles: 7-17 ATS after scoring 100 points or more 3 straight games


    NBA Odds: Wednesday, April 20 2016 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
    by Alan Matthews

    These are not your father’s New York Knicks. Two decades ago, that was one of the top jobs in the NBA, maybe the best. Pat Riley took it. So did Rick Pitino. But now that franchise is a mess and team president Phil Jackson reportedly can’t even get a Warriors assistant coach, Luke Walton, to take over as head coach. Meanwhile, to show how much has changed, the perennially downtrodden Minnesota Timberwolves — formerly the Siberia of the NBA for coaches — have plenty of big names interested in their opening because of so much young talent on the roster, and they are likely to hire either Jeff Van Gundy, a former Knicks coach, or Tom Thibodeau, the former Bulls coach, as their new guy very soon. Whomever it is likely also gets full control over personnel like Stan Van Gundy has in Detroit. Expect a decision this week.

    Game 2: No. 6 Hornets at No. 3 Heat (-4.5, 202)

    Charlotte and Miami finished with the same regular-season record, but they didn’t belong on the same court in Game 1 as the Heat crushed the Hornets 123-91. It was over after one quarter with Miami up 41-22. Luol Deng had a season-high 31 points on 11-for-13 shooting and Hassan Whiteside had 21 points on 9-for-11 from the field to go with 11 rebounds in the first playoff game of his career. They were only the second pair of teammates to each shoot better than 80 percent from the field during the same game (with at least 10 attempts) during the postseason since the shot clock era. The other duo was Miami’s Shaquille O’Neal and Jason Williams on May 2, 2006, vs. Detroit. The Heat’s 41 first-quarter points tied their most ever in any playoff quarter and their 123 total points were a team record in a postseason game. The Heat turned it over only six times, tying the second-fewest in a playoff game, and the 32-point margin of victory was No. 4 in team playoff history.

    Charlotte shot 43.1 percent overall and 6-for-17 from long range. It had 11 total assists, just one more than Miami’s Goran Dragic by himself. Nic Batum had 24 points, Kemba Walker 19 and Al Jefferson 13 off the bench but no one else bothered showing up. The Hornets have lost 11 straight playoff games, tied for the third-longest losing streak in NBA postseason history.

    Series line: Heat -350, Hornets +290

    Key trends: Miami is 7-0 against the spread in its past seven home games. The Heat are 11-4 ATS in their past 15 after a win of at least 10 points. The Hornets are 1-4 ATS in their past five as a road dog. The “over/under” is 7-3 in Miami’s past 10 vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 6-0 in Charlotte’s past six overall.

    Early lean:
    Heat and over.

    Game 2: No. 8 Pistons at No. 1 Cavaliers (-10, 201)

    Game 1 of this series was one of the few that were actually close. Cleveland escaped with a 106-101 victory, but the Pistons definitely gave the Cavs all they could handle. Detroit led entering the third and fourth quarters and was up seven with about 11 minutes left before the Cavs went on a run to take the lead for good. The Cavs’ Big 3 of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love all played well. James had 22 points, 11 assists and six rebounds, Irving 31 points and six assists, and Love 28 points, including a couple of clutch baskets, and 13 rebounds. Remember, LeBron never had those two on the floor with him after last year’s first-round series against Boston.

    Detroit did beat Cleveland three of four times in the regular season, although one of those games was totally meaningless. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 21 points, Marcus Morris had 20 — one after halftime — and Reggie Jackson added 17 for the Pistons in Game 1. Andre Drummond had 13 points and 11 rebounds but wasn’t a huge factor down low as he was often covering Love outside the paint. The Pistons aren’t a great 3-point shooting team but finished 15-for-29. Not sure they can keep that up. Stan Van Gundy ripped the refs during a TV interview during the game, saying that LeBron basically does what he wants on offense without ever being called for a charge. Van Gundy’s probably right, but he was fined $25K. We shall see if the refs call something on LeBron in Game 2.

    Series line: Cavaliers -4000, Pistons +1600

    Key trends:
    The Pistons are 3-7 ATS in their past 10 following an ATS win. The Cavs are 5-2 ATS in their past seven after allowing at least 100 points in their previous game. The over is 6-2 in Detroit’s past eight after a loss.

    Early lean:
    Cavaliers and under.

    Game 2: No. 5 Trail Blazers at No. 4 Clippers (-8.5, 209)

    Portland hung with the Clippers for most of the first half in Game 1 but then Los Angeles pulled away with runs entering the half and coming out of intermission for a 115-95 blowout win. Chris Paul totally crushed his matchup with Damian Lillard as Paul had 28 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and two steals. Blake Griffin looked back to pre-injury form as he threw down three big dunks and had 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. He and DeAndre Jordan (18 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks) dominated the smaller Blazers in the paint.

    The Blazers’ lone chance is for guards Lillard and C.J. McCollum to average about 50 points a night in the series. Lillard had 21 in the opener but was just 7-for-17 from the field. McCollum was swallowed up by the much bigger Luc Richard Mbah a Moute on defense as McCollum finished with just nine points on 3-for-11 shooting. The Clippers essentially dared anyone else to beat them and no one could. The Blazers have to hit a ton of 3-pointers for the upset but were only 10-for-30 from long range in Game 1.

    Series line: Clippers -900, Trail Blazers +675

    Key trends:
    The Blazers are 0-4 ATS in their past four games. They have failed to cover their past five playoff games as an underdog. The Clippers are 4-0 ATS in their past four at home. The over is 7-2 in the Clippers’ past nine as playoff favorite.

    Early lean:
    Clippers and over.


    “NBA Playoffs betting preview and odds”

    The opening round of the NBA Playoffs gets back to business Wednesday night with a trio of solid matchups. The Hornets, Pistons, and Trail Blazers will all be trying to avenge Game 1 defeats.

    Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat (-4.5, 199)

    ♦Heat lead series 1-0♦

    The third-seeded Miami Heat versus the sixth-seeded Charlotte Hornets was supposed to be one of the tighter matchups of the first round of the NBA playoffs. The Heat breezed to a 32-point victory in Game 1 and will try to open up a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven set with another easy win when they host the Hornets in Game 2 on Wednesday.

    Miami’s clear advantage entering the series was experience, and Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Joe Johnson all have plenty of experience in the postseason, even if none of it came together. Deng looked comfortable with a season-high 31 points on 11-of-13 shooting in Game 1 to lead a 57.6 percent shooting effort from the Heat. “Whether you lose by 30 or one, it’s one-nothing,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford told reporters. “We lost one game. And up front, we just got manhandled. If Deng and (center Hassan) Whiteside are going to combine for those kinds of numbers, it’s going to be hard for us to win.” Charlotte was outrebounded 49-37 and outscored in the paint 56-36 but does not plan to move center Al Jefferson into the starting lineup.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBATV, FSN Southeast (Charlotte), FSN Sun (Miami)

    The line for this contest opened with the Heat pegged as five-point favorites and the public didn’t trust that line, betting it down to -4.5. The total opened at 202.5 and took a drastic downward turn – settling in at 199.

    ABOUT THE HORNETS (48-35, 42-40-1 ATS, 41-40-2 O/U):
    Kemba Walker was one of three players to score in double figures with 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting in the first game but lamented the team’s execution. “We made a lot of mistakes,” Walker told reporters. “Coach gave us an awesome game plan and we just completely went against it. We didn’t do what he told us to do. That’s not really us. We’re usually the team that plays mistake-free. (Sunday), that wasn’t the case. They played extremely well as well, but we definitely made a lot of mistakes.” Starting guards Walker, Courtney Lee and Nicolas Batum each managed only one assist in the loss.

    ABOUT THE HEAT (49-34, 44-38-1 ATS, 35-47-1 O/U):
    Whiteside was playing in his first postseason game and had no trouble getting the better of Charlotte’s frontcourt with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting, 11 rebounds and three blocks in 26 minutes. “We just knew it was time to play Miami Heat basketball,” Whiteside told reporters. “We’re in the playoffs. It’s all or nothing. Just leave it all out there. We came out and played our hearts out as a team. We’re just going to try to keep it rolling.” Whiteside finished third in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting revealed on Monday.


    * Hornets are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 Conference Quarterfinals games.
    * Heat are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 home games.
    * Over is 6-0 in Hornets last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.
    * Under is 6-1 in Heat last 7 games following a straight up win.
    * Over is 9-0 in the last 9 meetings in Miami.


    1. The Heat’s 123 points in Game 1 was a franchise playoff record.

    2. Charlotte rookie C Frank Kaminsky did not attempt a field goal in 18 minutes on Sunday.

    3. Miami G Goran Dragic was the only starter not to score in double figures with nine points on Sunday but handed out 10 assists.

    PREDICTION: Heat 102, Hornets 97


    Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers (-10, 201)

    ♦Cavaliers lead series 1-0♦

    The Detroit Pistons let an upset opportunity get away in the series opener and look to avoid a 0-2 hole when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers in Wednesday’s Game 2. Eighth-seeded Detroit held a seven-point lead with 11 minutes remaining in Game 1 before top-seeded Cleveland rallied and stymied the Pistons.

    Detroit point guard Reggie Jackson personifies the club’s swagger and he doesn’t see the missed opportunity as a devastating blow. “We know this is Goliath. We welcome it. We like the challenge,” Jackson told reporters after the 106-101 loss. “I think we played well, I don’t think we played necessarily our best game. We’ll figure it out. It’s a 1-0 series. We for sure got another one on Wednesday – come back and be ready to come out swinging.” The Cleveland trio of point guard Kyrie Irving (playoff career-best 31 points), power forward Kevin Love (28 points, 13 rebounds) and small forward LeBron James (22 points, 11 assists) were all in stellar form in the opener. “We have a number of guys on this team, veterans that prepared us for this moment,” Love told reporters. “So kind of leading up to it, three or four weeks left in the season, we were approaching every game like we had to get into the flow of a playoff game and approach every game as a tough one for us.”

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, FSN Detroit, FSN Ohio (Cleveland)

    The Cavs opened at -10.5 and the line was quicly dropped to -10 after Detroit’s gutsy performance in Game 1. The total opened at 201 and hasn’t moved off that number.

    ABOUT THE PISTONS (44-39, 43-38-2 ATS, 43-40 O/U):
    Backup rookie forward Stanley Johnson was a solid contributor in the opener with nine points and eight rebounds in 16 minutes and coach Stan Van Gundy expressed his regret that he didn’t play Johnson over Tobias Harris (nine points in 40 minutes) down the stretch. The first-round draft pick from Arizona averaged 8.1 points and 4.2 rebounds in the regular season but has impressed his teammates with his tenacious approach. “Stanley Johnson is a complete dog. He doesn’t fear no man,” Jackson told reporters. “We all bleed, so there ain’t no reason to worry anybody, and that’s how he feels. He’s going to come at you and attack you. It’s a mindset that we all need to have, and it’s one that we embrace with him on this team.”

    ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (58-25, 37-43-3 ATS, 42-41 O/U):
    Irving (five) and Love (four) combined for nine of Cleveland’s 12 3-pointers in the opener and James was ecstatic to see both players come through after injuries ended their postseasons early last season. “For these two guys, they were just excited to get back to this moment,” James told reporters. “These guys have been working hard – Kyrie on his knee, Kevin on his shoulder – just to get back to this moment. It was great to be out on the floor with them and for them to put together the performance that they did.” Outside of the trio, there wasn’t much offense from the rest of the Cavaliers, as the other six who played combined for just 25 points.


    * Pistons are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Central.
    * Cavaliers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
    * Under is 7-0 in Pistons last 7 games playing on 2 days rest.
    * Over is 4-0 in Cavaliers last 4 vs. NBA Central.
    * Pistons are 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings in Cleveland.


    1. Van Gundy was fined $25,000 by the NBA for saying during an in-game television interview that the officials give James all the calls.

    2. Detroit SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 21 points in Game 1 and made four of his team’s 15 3-point baskets.

    3. Cavaliers backup PG Mo Williams (knee) missed the opener and is doubtful for Game 2.

    PREDICTION: Cavaliers 111, Pistons 102


    Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Clippers (-8.5, 209)

    ♦Clippers lead series 1-0♦

    The Los Angeles Clippers had no trouble with the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 and will try to take a 2-0 lead when they host Game 2 on Wednesday. The Clippers coasted to a 115-95 victory in the series opener behind 28 points and 11 assists from Chris Paul and a solid defensive effort against the Trail Blazers’ talented backcourt.

    Paul had plenty of help from the rest of his teammates, including a strong game from Blake Griffin that made it look as if the former All-Star was all the way back from his quad and hand injuries. “I’m just going to go play and play as hard as I can and fill any void that we see as a team,” Griffin told reporters. “I’m not really worried about the whole, ‘Can he get back?’ or, ‘Will he be able to play at a high level?’ It’s just about filling those gaps for our team and finding ways to help.” The Trail Blazers could use a solid performance from their frontcourt after starters Al-Farouq Aminu, Maurice Harkless and Mason Plumlee combined to go 7-of-25 from the field. The vaunted backcourt duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum wasn’t much better offensively and struggled trying to stop Chris Paul and J.J. Redick on the other end of the floor.

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

    The Clippers opened as 8.5-point favorites and the total opened at 209 – neither number has moved at this point.

    ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (44-39, 44-39 ATS, 44-39 O/U):
    Lillard managed 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting and eight assists in Game 1 but was no match for Paul in his first playoff game as the unquestioned leader of the team. “We knew that they would make runs, but you’ve got to answer back,” Lillard told reporters. “You’ve got to get stops. You’ve got to score the ball.” Lillard helped drag the team to the playoffs despite losing four veteran starters from a playoff team last season and needs more help from McCollum, who struggled to nine points on 3-of-11 shooting in Game 1.

    ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (54-29, 41-39-3 ATS, 34-49 O/U):
    Integrating Griffin back into the rotation after an absence of over three months was a focus for the team in the final two weeks of the regular season, and he looked comfortable in Game 1. “He was great,” Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers told reporters of Griffin. “Assertive. I loved his energy. Yeah, I mean, like I said before the game, I’ve been surprised with him. His energy, his endurance. (Sunday), I thought was the first day that he had great timing as well, so that was good for us.” Griffin delivered 19 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in 32 minutes after playing only five games down the stretch in the regular season.


    * Trail Blazers are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
    * Clippers are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games playing on 2 days rest.
    * Over is 12-3 in Trail Blazers last 15 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
    * Under is 22-5 in Clippers last 27 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
    * Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Los Angeles.


    1. Trail Blazers G Gerald Henderson scored 16 points in 30 minutes off the bench in Game 1.

    2. Clippers starting SF Luc Richard Mbah a Moute did not attempt a shot in 19 minutes.

    3. Los Angeles C DeAndre Jordan collected 18 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks and was 8-of-18 from the free-throw line after heading to the stripe for several trips late with Portland trying to get back into the game.

    PREDICTION: Clippers 110, Trail Blazers 102



    Detroit-Cleveland (C 1-0)
    Pistons won three of last five games with Cleveland, but couldn’t hold its 58-53 halftime lead in Game 1, losing by 5. Detroit was 15-29 from arc and still lost. Five of last six series games went over total. Detroit won three of last five games overall. Cavaliers lost three of last five games; they covered four of last five at home. Six of last eight Cleveland games went over total. Cleveland had only four turnovers in Game 1.

    Charlotte-Miami (M 1-0)
    Hornets lost four of last five visits to Miami (over 5-0); they’re 4-7 in their last 11 games overall vs Miami. Charlotte won four of its last six games (over 6-0); they’re 4-4 SU in last eight road games. Miami won five of its last seven games; five of their last eight stayed under. Heat won, covered its last five home games. Heat had only six turnovers and made 9-18 on arc in its Game 1 win.

    Portland-LA Clippers (LA 1-0)
    Portland lost seven of last nine games with Clippers, going 4-2 vs spread (1-5 SU) in last six played here. Trailblazers won seven of their last ten games overall; five of their last seven stayed under the total. Clippers won their last six home games, covering five of them. Four of five LA starters were +20 or better in Game 1 which was only 50-42 at the half. Clippers shot 53.8% on floor, held Portland to 39.8%.

    Playoff tally: Favorites vs spread: 9-4, Over: 3-10


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play On – Underdogs (CHARLOTTE) explosive offensive team – scoring 103+ points/game on the season, after trailing in their previous game by 15 or more points at the half
    88-46 since 1997. ( 65.7% | 37.4 units )
    14-10 this year. ( 58.3% | 3.0 units )

    Play Against – Any team vs the money line (CHARLOTTE) revenging a loss vs opponent, off a blowout loss by 20 points or more to a division rival
    71-26 over the last 5 seasons. ( 73.2% | 35.2 units )
    8-7 this year. ( 53.3% | -0.3 units )

    Play Under – All teams where the first half total is between 95.5 and 100.5 points off a loss against a division rival, in a game involving two marginal winning teams (51% to 60%)
    50-21 since 1997. ( 70.4% | 26.9 units )
    3-2 this year. ( 60.0% | 0.8 units )


    Basketball Crusher

    Charlotte Hornets +4.5 over Miami Heat
    (System Record: 78-4, lost last 2 games)
    Overall Record: 78-90-3

    Portland Trail Blazers +8.5 over LA Clippers


    Wednesday’s Tip Sheet
    By Kevin Rogers

    Eastern Conference – Game 2 – Miami leads 1-0
    Hornets at Heat (-4 ½, 199) – 7:05 PM EST – NBATV

    Miami put together the best offensive performance not only in the opening weekend of the NBA playoffs, but also in franchise history in Game 1 against Charlotte. The Heat ripped the Hornets, 123-91 to easily cash as 4 ½-point favorites and grab an early 1-0 series advantage. The only question is if Miami can keep up that hot shooting going into Game 2.

    In the series opener, Miami’s Luol Deng torched Charlotte by knocking down 11-of-13 shots from the floor for 31 points, leading four Heat starters in double-figures. The Heat shot a blistering 57.6% from the field, while dropping 41 points in the first quarter to improve to 5-0 in the last five playoff games against Charlotte. Since 2011, Miami owns an 11-2 record in Game 1 playoff contests at the American Airlines Arena, while compiling a 9-3 SU and 6-6 ATS mark in Game 2’s at home in this span.

    The Charlotte franchise hasn’t won a playoff game since getting rebooted in 2004 by losing all nine postseason contests in this span. Steve Clifford’s team was limited to 43% shooting from the field, as Nicolas Batum led the Hornets with 24 points in the Game 1 loss. The Hornets extended their ‘over’ streak to six after eclipsing the Game 1 total of 199, while moving to 9-3 to the ‘over’ in the past 12 road contests.

    NBA expert Chris David provides his thoughts on Wednesday’s action, “While the Heat looked impressive in Game 1, especially offensively, my lean would be to the Hornets in Game 2 based on what we’ve seen from them off losses in the second-half of the season. Charlotte has gone 7-1 since the All-Star break after a loss while averaging 106.3 PPG and the lone setback only came by six points.”

    Will Charlotte continue its ‘over’ run in Game 2? David feels that it will be another shootout in South Florida, “I’m a little surprised the opening total of 203 got steamed down to 199 so quickly and I don’t understand the logic behind that move. From what we’ve seen this season, Miami hasn’t shown many offensive letdowns after lighting up the scoreboard. They’ve busted 120-plus three times in the regular season and they averaged 109 PPG in the next game. Plus, the last nine meetings between this pair at American Airlines Arena have all gone ‘over’ the number.”

    Eastern Conference – Game 2 – Cleveland leads 1-0
    Pistons at Cavaliers (-10, 201) – 8:05 PM EST – TNT

    Detroit gave Cleveland all it could handle in Sunday’s Game 1, even leading by two points heading into the fourth quarter as 11-point underdogs. However, the Cavaliers rallied to outscore the Pistons in the final 12 minutes, 30-23 to capture the opener, 106-101. Detroit managed the cover as double-digit ‘dogs, but the Pistons need to do more work to slow down Cleveland’s Big Three.

    Point guard Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 31 points in his first playoff game since breaking his kneecap in the opener of last summer’s NBA Finals. Kevin Love pumped in 28 points and 13 rebounds, while LeBron James scored 22 points and dished out 11 assists to improve Cleveland’s playoff home record against Eastern Conference foes to 7-1 SU since the start of last season’s postseason. However, the Cavaliers have covered only three times at Quicken Loans Arena against the East in this span, while dropping to 0-4 ATS in its past four playoff games overall.

    The Pistons shot the ball well in spite of letting things slip away in Game 1, connecting on 50% of their shots from the floor and knocking down 15 three-pointers. The backcourt duo of Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined to score 38 points on 14-of-26 shooting, while Marcus Morris contributed 20 points in the defeat for Detroit. The Pistons are seeking their first playoff win since 2008, as each of their last five postseason defeats have come at the hands of the Cavaliers.

    David believes things will turn around from a totals perspective in Game 2, “Even though Game 1 went ‘over’ in this series, I would come back with the ‘under’ in Game 2. I thought the game was going to be ugly and technically it was as Detroit only took 73 shots, but they happened to connect on 51 percent of them and that included 15 bombs from 3-point land. I expect both those numbers to drop on Wednesday and I think Detroit will do a better job on the glass, which should limit Cleveland’s attempts. The total is hovering in the same neighborhood and I don’t see the winner getting over the century mark on Wednesday.”

    The Pistons are currently riding a 4-1 ATS run in the road underdog role, while owning a 1-2 ATS record as a double-digit underdog this season. The Cavaliers have cashed just eight times in 21 opportunities as a favorite of at least 10 points this season, while James has posted a 9-3 SU and 5-7 ATS record in his last 12 Game 2’s of the playoffs after winning the series opener.

    Western Conference – Game 2 – Los Angeles leads 1-0
    Blazers at Clippers (-8 ½, 209) – 10:35 PM EST – TNT

    The Warriors and Spurs have cruised to 2-0 advantages in their Western Conference quarterfinal series, while the Thunder were tripped up by the Mavericks in Monday’s Game 2. The Clippers seem like the forgotten team of this upper-half in the West, but Los Angeles seeks a 2-0 series edge after pulling away from the Blazers in the series opener, 115-95 as 8 ½-point favorites.

    Los Angeles connected on nearly 54% of its attempts from the floor on Sunday night, led by point guard Chris Paul’s 28 points. Six Clippers scored in double-figures, as Paul’s backcourt mate J.J. Redick shot an efficient 8-of-12 from the field for 17 points, while Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan combined to score 37 points and pull down 24 rebounds. The Clippers put together a solid performance in their first playoff game since last season’s second round meltdown against the Rockets, as Doc Rivers’ team snapped a six-game playoff ‘over’ streak at Staples Center with an ‘under’ in Game 1.

    The lack of depth showed for Portland on Sunday as the dynamic duo of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum combined to score 30 points, which won’t cut it against Los Angeles. Granted, Lillard did his part by putting up 21 points, but McCollum came out struggling after a solid playoff debut against Memphis last season by scoring nine points on 3-of-11 shooting. The most impressive performance came from reserve guard Gerald Henderson, who contributed 16 points off the bench on 7-of-12 shooting.

    David doesn’t see much changing in the result from Game 1 to Game 2 at Staples Center, “The 20-point win by the Clippers in Game 1 wasn’t surprising but seeing the Los Angeles starting backcourt outscore Portland’s two-headed monster, 45-30 opened up some eyes. If the Trail Blazers don’t win that battle, they have no chance at winning a game yet alone staying close to the spread either. Los Angeles has blown playoff games in the past but it’s hard to advise a lean to Portland, who went 3-10 as a visitor in the final six weeks of the season and all three wins were against non-playoff clubs. For our purposes, the Blazers only covered two of the 10 losses and that should could give you extra confidence in laying the points with the Clippers in Game 2.”



    100* Heat -4.5



    5000* Play Miami -4.5 over Charlotte
    Miami has won 79 of the last 112 games when playing as a home favorite and they have won 65 of the last 112 games when playing in the 2nd half of the season. Miami has won 41 of the last 58 games when playing four or less games in ten days and they have won 46 of the last 74 games after scoring 105 points or more in their last game.


    1000* Play Cleveland -10.5 over Detroit




    1000* Play Miami -4.5 over Charlotte
    Charlotte has lost 76 of the last 126 road games and they have lost 94 of the last 147 games when playing as an underdog. Charlotte has lost 31 of the last 53 games vs. division opponents and they are allowing an average of 101 points a game this season.

    500* Play Cleveland -10.5 over Detroit

    500* Play Los Angeles -8.5 over Portland




    Play Cleveland -10.5 over Detroit (TOP NBA PLAY)–VIP PLAY
    Cleveland has won 81 of the last 108 games when playing as a favorite and they have won 69 of the last 110 games when playing in the 2nd half of the season. Cleveland has won 28 of the last 40 games when playing with two days of rest and they have won 29 of the last 41 games coming off an OVER the total in their last game.

    ‘Extra NBA Hoops Plays’

    Play Miami -4.5 over Charlotte

    Play Los Angeles -8.5 over Portland


    Ralph Michaels – CAL SPORTS

    #531 2* Portland +8.5 La Clippers 10:35 TNT
    In the Clippers 20 point win in game #1 LA shot 53.8% while Portland shot 39.8%. The Trailblazers are a very resilient teams and after their last 16 loses they have gone 12-4 ATS and three of the ATS losses where outright wins and they were a sizable favorite. That means in their last 16 games off a loss they have only lost and failed to cover once. Another reason to expect a bounce back is that the Clippers did something they’ve rarely done which is pressure their opponent at the half court line which Portland will be ready for tonight. Lastly the Clippers are second last in the league in FT% which wasn’t a factor in a 20 point final but with the game closer it sure will be.



    10* PERSONAL FAVORITE! (44-20 L64!)
    Cleveland Cavaliers-10

    I’m playing on CLEVELAND. I won with Atlanta yesterday, a team which had narrowly “escaped” with a win on its home floor in Game 1. Having survived that “close call,” the Hawks were all business and won Game 2 with relative ease. I see this one setting up much the same way. The Pistons had their chance in Game 1 but squandered it. I expect that result to serve as a “wake up call” for the Cavs. As the Hawks did yesterday, I look for the Cavs to take care of business in Game 2. The Pistons are new to this, as the team hasn’t been to the playoffs in some time. They easily could be caught thinking about “what could have been.” The Cavs, on the other hand, are playoff veterans and know there’s no time for any “reflecting.” They’re 5-3 ATS (7-1 SU) their last eight, when leading in a playoff series and I look for them to improve on those stats in convincing fashion here. 10* Personal Favorite

    UNDER 199 – Charlotte Hornets vs Miami Heat

    I’m playing on Charlotte and Miami to finish UNDER the total. While Game 1 was high-scoring, I’m expecting the defense to take center stage in Game 2. Admittedly, the Hornets were horrible defensively in the opener. That’s not them though and I concur with coach Steve Clifford when he says that he expects a much better defensive effort tonight. When asked about his defense, Clifford responded with the following: “We’ve got to try harder, for one. We have to have more readiness to play …. We were the ninth-best defensive team in the NBA (in the 2015-16 regular season) …. I think we’ll bounce back well. We’ve been resilient all year. I think we have prideful guys. They want to play better and I think we will.” Charlotte has seen the UNDER go 10-7 after allowing 105 or more points while Miami has seen the UNDER go 15-12 after scoring 105 or more. (While a combined 25-19 record may not sound like much, its still a respectable 57%.) Even with the Game 1 result, the Heat have still seen the UNDER go 24-18 here on the season and 26-16 when they’ve faced a team with a winning record. I expect those stats to improve tonight. 10*

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