Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.
Playoff Journal, May 10
by Larry Ness - 05/10/2016
Playoff Journal (May 10)
Both of Monday’s games went into OT and in the case of the Toronto/Miami contest, it marked the third OT game in the series so far (out of four). Monday’s game was tight throughout, although Toronto used a 27-16 third quarter to take a 62-60 lead into the fourth. A Ross three-pointer with about 6 1/2 minutes to go gave the Raptors a 77-68 lead but Miami would come back, ending regulation on a 15-6 run which sent the game into OT tied at 83-all. Miami would win 94-87 and was able to ‘sneak out’ a cover. Wade led the Heat with 30 points, as Miami evened the series despite going a awful 1 of 15 on threes. Toronto’s backcourt duo again ‘shot blanks!’ DeRozan had just NINE points, making 4 of 17 from the floor. The team's leading scorer is now shooting a woeful 33.0 percent in the postseason. Lowry led Toronto to victory in Game 3 but he returned to his ‘brick laying’ ways in Game 4, shooting 2 of 11, including 0-6 on threes (he had 10 points). Lowry is shooting 33.1 percent in the postseason and that includes a MISERABLE 14 of 71 on threes (19.7 percent)!
After a good warm-up, the Warriors decided to let Curry play and he entered Monday’s Game 4 with just under 6:00 minutes to go in the first quarter. However, by that time, the Blazers had jumped out to a 16-2 lead. Golden St fought its way back and trailed 67-57 at the half, despite Portland’s 41-point second quarter (Warriors scored 39 in the 2nd!). The Warriors then used a 29-19 third quarter to take a one point lead into the 4th. Curry’s first made three-pointer came with 4:35 left in regulation but it was Barnes’ three, which sent the game into OT tied at 111-all. It was then “The Steph Curry Show” in the extra period, as the two-time MVP scored 17 points in OT (setting an NBA record, regular or postseason), as the Warriors won 132-125. Curry finished with 40 points, Thompson had 23 and Green 21-9-5. Lillard had 36 points (not quite matching Curry) and McCollum had 24 but Portland's backcourt duo shot a combined 18 of 53, just 34.0 percent. The Warriors are now 11-0 SU and 8-3 ATS following a loss this season.
Home teams check in at 9-7 SU and ATS in the semifinals, with over/under bettors going 8-8. “Zig-Zaggers” got the cash in both games last night (OT being the salvation in each case) and are now 7-5 ATS in the second round. Checking in on there postseason numbers to-date, it’s 39-21 SU (.650) for home teams, which are 34-26 ATS (56.7%). There have been 39 unders in the 60 games (that’s 65.0%) and those following the Zig Zag theory are 24-24 (minus-2.4 net games). Just ONE game tonight but as the The Donald would say, “it’s YUGE!” The Thunder and Spurs are tied at two-all and Game 5 goes tonight in San Antonio at 8:00 ET on TNT.
Durant is coming off a 41-point effort in Game 4 and is averaging 31.7 PPG since getting only 16 points in Game 1 (a SA blowout win). Westbrook is shooting just 33.3 percent in the series but is averaging 22.0 PPG and 10.5 APG. OKC’s dueling centers have been very good, as starter Adams is averaging 9.8 & 12.3 (has reached double digits in rebounds in all four games) and backup Kanter has added 9.3 & 6.3. The Spurs are hoping that a return to San Antonio will help Aldridge. He scored 79 points in Games 1 and 2 at home (on 33 of 44 shooting for 75.0%) but scored a more modest 44 points while connecting on 16 of 39 (41.0%) in the two games at OKC. The Spurs are favored by seven points.