Sports Talk

1 year ago

Tuesday's NBA Playoffs Betting Preview and Odds The opening round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs continues Tuesday night with three Game 5s, featuring the 76ers and Warriors trying to close out their series' and the Bucks and Celtics all even at two games apiece. We break down all the matchups to help you handicap the games like a pro.

Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics (-3, 204.5)

Superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo looks to help the Milwaukee Bucks win their third straight postseason game when they visit the Boston Celtics in Tuesday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference first-round series. The "Greek Freak" is enjoying his time in the spotlight and his reputation for being a clutch player took a rise when he tipped in the winning basket with 5.1 seconds left in Game 4 to give the Bucks a series-tying 104-102 victory.

Seventh-seeded Milwaukee dropped two games in Boston to start the series before winning the past two at home and will ride its star player as far as possible. "At the end of the day in the playoffs, we know we have the best player on the floor," Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon told reporters of Antetokounmpo. "So we rely on him, and he comes through." The second-seeded Celtics are without their top player in guard Kyrie Irving and are finding themselves in more of a tussle than they were hoping. "We're battling, we're playing hard, but it's not good enough just to play hard," veteran center Al Horford said after Game 4. "This is why the playoffs are so challenging. But I think it's good for our group. I think we're learning. We're looking forward to being able to go back home."

TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBATV, FS Wisconsin (Milwaukee), NBCS Boston


BETTING ACTION AND LINE MOVES: The Celtics opened as 3-point home favorites for Game 5 and as of Monday night that pointspread has not moved - this is despite 66 percent of Covers Consensus users picking the Celtics to cover. The total hit betting boards at 204 and has been bumped up slightly to 204.5. Check out the complete line history here.

ABOUT THE BUCKS (46-40 SU, 35-46-5 ATS, 50-35-1 O/U): Backup forward Jabari Parker came up big in the back-to-back victories by averaging 16.5 points, six rebounds, two blocked shots and 1.5 steals after averaging one point and three rebounds with no blocks or steals in the first two games. His emergence was crucial as small forward Khris Middleton (25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds) had been the lone consistent compliment to Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 27.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists. "We've been saying from the beginning that we need him," Middleton told reporters. "He is one of the best scorers in the league and one of the best players. For him to come off the bench for us is a huge boost. We just want him to be ready and stay locked in."

ABOUT THE CELTICS (57-29 SU, 53-31-2 ATS, 47-38-1 O/U): Shooting guard Jaylen Brown continues to excel while picking up the scoring slack associated with Irving's absence and he had 34 points, eight rebounds and three steals in Game 4. It was the second 30-point effort of the series for Brown, who made five 3-pointers in two of the past three games while averaging a team-best 23.8 points in the series. Point guard Terry Rozier came back to earth by averaging 9.5 points on 5-of-19 shooting in the two losses in Milwaukee after averaging 23 points over the first two games when he badly outplayed Bucks veteran Eric Bledsoe.


Bucks - C J. Henson (Questionable, Back).

Celtics - PG M. Smart (Questionable, Thumb), PG K. Irving (Out For Season, Knee), PF D. Theis (Out For Season, Knee), SF G. Hayward (Out For Season, Ankle).



* Bucks are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games.
* Celtics are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 home games.
* Over is 11-0 in Bucks' last 11 vs. NBA Atlantic.
* Over is 10-1 in Celtics' last 11 overall.
* Over is 10-1-1 in the last 12 meetings in Boston.

Click here for complete list of hot and cold trends.

Miami Heat at Philadelphia 76ers (-10, 211)

The Philadelphia 76ers are winners of 19 of their last 20 games and are one victory away from advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals. The 76ers will try to put the finishing touches on a first-round series win when they host the Miami Heat on Tuesday.

Philadelphia shot 7-of-31 from 3-point range and committed 27 turnovers in Game 4 but used a 19-2 run in the fourth quarter to take the lead and hold on for a 106-102 victory, and the team plans to use Monday's practice day to iron out some of the rough patches. "We are just trying to do our job," 76ers coach Brett Brown told reporters. "We are going to come in, bunker down, and get better. We sure hope that equals a win." The Heat are looking to become the 12th team in NBA history to rally back from a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven series and are aware that the margin for error is slim. "We need to be smarter," Miami point guard Goran Dragic told reporters. "Our spacing needs to be better. When they blitz us, our other guys need to be available so when we pass it, we need to make the right reads for the open shot or penetration. Everybody needs to be on this train."

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, FS Sun (Miami), NBCS Philadelphia


BETTING ACTION AND LINE MOVES: The Sixers opened as 10-point home favorites and as of Monday night that pointspread has not moved - this is despite 62 percent of Covers Consensus users picking the Heat to cover as 10-point dogs. The total hit betting boards at 211.5 and is down slightly to 211. Check out the complete line history here.

ABOUT THE HEAT (45-41 SU, 41-39-6 ATS, 39-46-1 O/U): Miami was outscored 27-19 in the fourth quarter on Saturday and went 13-for-25 from the free-throw line in the loss. "We all feel that we're this close," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. "That's what makes this game tough. They made bigger plays than us in the fourth quarter. We played really good basketball through most of the game, but we've had a tough time finishing games against Philadelphia and that's been the issue." Veteran shooting guard Dwyane Wade continues to provide a boost to the team off the bench and is averaging 18 points in the series after scoring a team-high 25 in Game 4.

ABOUT THE 76ERS (55-31 SU, 50-34-2 ATS, 43-42-1 O/U): Philadelphia placed seven scorers in double figures in Game 4 but the clear star was rookie point guard Ben Simmons, who recorded a triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. "Ben is Ben," shooting guard JJ Redick told reporters. "It's almost become expected now that he's going to go average a triple-double. He's very tough physically, but I think he’s even tougher mentally. The last four games he's been as vocal and demonstrative as I've seen him all season. He's been fantastic. He's been coming out of his shell in regard to leadership, and that's huge for us." Simmons is the first rookie since Magic Johnson in 1980 to record a triple-double in the playoffs.


Heat - SF J. Richardson (Probable, Shoulder), SG D. Waiters (Out For Season, Ankle).

76ers - SG T. Luwawu-Cabarrot (Out Indefinitely, Knee).  



* Heat are 19-9-2 ATS in their last 30 road games.
* 76ers are 20-7 ATS in their last 27 home games.
* Over is 10-4 in Heat's last 14 road games.
* Under is 6-2 in 76ers' last 8 Conference Quarterfinals games.
* Favorite is 4-1-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.

Click here for complete list of hot and cold trends.

San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors (-11, 204.5)

The San Antonio Spurs had too much pride to get swept on their homecourt by the Golden State Warriors for the second straight season and earned a 103-90 win in Game 4 on Sunday behind a vintage performance from Manu Ginobili. The 40-year-old future Hall of Famer will try to get the Spurs back home with another win when they visit the Warriors for Game 5 of the best-of-seven series on Tuesday.

San Antonio, which will be operating without head coach Gregg Popovich for the third straight game following the death of his wife, leaned on Ginobili down the stretch on Sunday and was rewarded with 16 points off the bench. "I cannot lie to you," interim head coach Ettore Messina told reporters. "Even if it's awful, because nobody would like to be in this situation for obvious reasons. At the same time, there is a little part of that that moves me to be there with Manu in these playoff games. Really, that's something that pushes you to try to be the best possible helper for him and the team, and don't mess up anything; just help him to have a great game." Even Golden State coach Steve Kerr, who played with Ginobili in San Antonio in 2003, found a way to be happy for his former teammate. "I smiled when he made that corner 3 right in front of us at the end of the game," Kerr told reporters. "It was just so typical Manu: (40) years old and 16 points and hits the clinching 3. He's Manu. That's what he does. I know he's old because he was my teammate, and I'm old as dirt. So, if I played with him, he must be old."

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, FS Southwest (San Antonio), NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)


BETTING ACTION AND LINE MOVES: The Warriors opened as 10.5-point home favorites for Game 5 and that number was pushed up slightly by sportsbooks to -11. The total hit betting boards at 204.5 and has been steady as of Monday night. Check out the complete line history here.

ABOUT THE SPURS (48-38 SU, 43-41-2 ATS, 40-45-1 O/U): San Antonio went 15-of-28 from 3-point range in Game 4, with Ginobili (3-of-5), point guard Dejounte Murray (3-of-4) and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (3-of-3) leading the way. "We're not the best shooting team in the league, but we're not that bad either to shoot 20 percent every game," Ginobili told reporters. "(Sunday), we had a good night shooting. We'll see if we can maintain that for next game. There's not much you can do. You try to get the best shots possible, try to find the open teammate." Aldridge finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the win for his third straight double-double in the series.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (61-25 SU, 37-48-1 ATS, 41-44-1 O/U): Golden State All-Star shooting guard Klay Thompson shot 63.3 percent from the floor and 65 percent from 3-point range while averaging 25.7 points in the first three games of the series but slumped to 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting in Game 4. The Warriors committed seven of their 18 turnovers in the first quarter, setting the tone for a sloppy performance. "You can't turn the ball over seven times and spot them a 10- or 12-point lead and make them play at their pace," Thompson told reporters. "Come Tuesday, we're going to start better."


Spurs - C J. Lauvergne (Questionable, Personal), SF K. Leonard (Out For Season, Quadricep).

Warriors - PG S. Curry (Early May, Knee), SG P. McCaw (Out Indefinitely, Back), SF C. Boucher (Out Indefinitely, Ankle).



* Spurs are 0-9 ATS in their last 9 road games.
* Warriors are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 games playing on 1 days rest.
* Over is 6-0-1 in Spurs last 7 road games.
* Over is 4-0-1 in Warriors last 5 home games.
* Over is 6-1-1 in the last 8 meetings in Golden State.