Tuesday NBA Playoff Betting Predictions
NBA Betting Lines Analysis
By Eric Uribe
Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors (-7.5)
In spite of their 14-point loss in Game One, the sky is not falling in Toronto. The Raptors are use to digging themselves out of a hole. The defeat was their eighth straight loss to open a playoff series. However, they’ll need a remedy for stopping Giannis Antetokounmpo, who made 13 of 18 shots for 28 points.
The story of Game One was Milwaukee’s length on defense, which stymied Toronto the entire second half. After intermission, the Raptors shot 7-of-35 from the field. All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry was ghost-like as he scored just four points. Lowry averaged 22 during the regular season.
No way Lowry shoots 2-of-11 again on Tuesday. As long as he regresses to the mean, expect Game Two to be a dogfight.
Toronto are notoriously slow starters, having bounced back from a pair of Game One losses at home to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals last year. They’ll likely tie the series, but it won’t be easy. The Bucks size is a serious mismatch and they’ll cover Tuesday.
Pick: Bucks (+7.5)
Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics (-7)
You have to feel for Isaiah Thomas. He was playing with a heavy heart in Game One, having lost his sister to a car crash the night before. Despite a 33-point outburst, the Bulls pulled out a 106-102 upset.
Make no mistake about it, Chicago won the game on the glass. They pulled down a stunning 20 offensive rebounds and outrebounded Boston by 21.
It’s also obvious Jimmy Butler is the best player in this series. Butler had a superstar game, scoring 30 points, 15 of them coming in the final quarter. He also locked down Thomas after Rajon Rondo got into foul trouble.
The Bulls have a legit chance at stealing this series. The Celtics are a one-man show with Thomas, who is vulnerable at the moment. They’re also streaking with eight wins in their last 10 games. Lastly, they have championship experience with Dwyane Wade and Rondo, something Boston is severely lacking.
Both Wade and Rajon, who were written off as past-their-peak players, had superb outings in Game One. There’s just something about playoff basketball that brings out the greatness in elite players. Between Butler, Wade, and Rondo, Chicago will pull off another stunner.
Pick: Bulls (+7)
Over/under 195.5 points: Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers
Raise your hand if you realized Joe Johnson was still in the league? No? Most didn’t. The 16-year veteran reintroduced himself in game one, dropping 21 points and the game-winning floater at the buzzer — his NBA-most eighth in the past 10 years.
The rumor mill is already churning with an impending reset button if Los Angeles yet again exits the playoffs early. But let’s hold off on that talk for now. The Clippers caught a big break, and boy we mean big, when Jazz center Rudy Gobert injured himself seconds into the game. Gobert will miss game two and even though Utah prevailed without him, he leaves a huge gap in their number-one defense.
It’s up to DeAndre Jordan to take advantage of Gobert’s absence. While he dominated on the glass on Saturday, notching 15 rebounds, Jordan will have to do better than 10 points. Head coach Doc Rivers is no slouch, so you have to believe he’s been scheming of ways to attack the depleted Jazz interior defense since the gutting loss.
With the Clippers playing desperate, they’ll tighten up their defense and slow down an already mediocre Jazz attack. Jordan plays better, as well, but this game is a gritty, back-and-forth affair that goes under.
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