Monday night’s incredible comeback in Oakland only goes to show you how tough it can be sweating out your NBA playoff picks, which is why we can’t give up the sweet pain of the ups and downs in these games. Golden State bettors on the East Coast may have gone to bed feeling great about their winner, figuring there’s no way a 31-point lead turns into a Los Angeles Clippers cover, much less an outright Clips win.
But those ups and downs and the incredible ride are what make the NBA playoffs, and particularly picking the NBA playoffs, so much fun.
So with that in mind, here’s a couple of NBA plays to lock in tonight:
1. Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors: Under 212.5
It’s tempting to take the Raps on the zig-zag theory. If Orlando pulled the stunner in Game 1, there’s an expectation that Toronto will respond with a resounding victory. That expectation is shared by oddsmakers and baked into the line, with the Raptors favored by double-digits. Don’t take the bait there, especially now that Orlando has some confidence in its ability to get buckets in crunch time.
Instead I love the Under here, backing a Toronto team that ranked No. 4 in the NBA in defensive efficiency during the regular season. If you think the Raptors are going to win and have a great response, it should come with a strong defensive performance. Now you don’t have to sweat free throws in what should be a Toronto win.
SportsLine NBA expert Adam Thompson is on a 79-59 run with his picks, bringing in $1,377 in profit to $100 bettors during that stretch. You can see his best bets for Tuesday’s action right here.
2. San Antonio Spurs at Denver Nuggets: Nuggets -7
Now we do grab the zig-zag theory, noting that Denver was 34-7 at home this season and the Spurs were a pedestrian 16-25 away from San Antonio. That first game may not have been an anomaly, and we may see this trendy upset pick pan out over the seven-game series, but I doubt that San Antonio leaves Denver with a 2-0 lead. Denver needs to speed things up do a better job of dictating pace, and if they can get in rhythm early, I like the home crowd to help power a double-digit victory.
How about some prop picks? Tom Fornelli has shared his top five props for this game, including two involving Nikola Jokic. You can check out his picks only at SportsLine.
3: Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers: Blazers -1
Carl the Contrarian here reporting for duty.
Both bets and dollars have been pouring in on Oklahoma City, moving a line that opened at Blazers -3 down to 1. The Thunder, as the lower seed, was actually favored to win this series before Game 1, and now no one can believe that we might end up with Portland holding court and taking a 2-0 lead to Oklahoma City. The way things have gone for the Thunder towards the end of the regular season have actually had me in fade mode for a while now, and I always like taking the opposite side of “Playoff P” Paul George in the postseason.
The SportsLine Projection Model has two strong plays for the Blazers-Thunder matchup, with the computer’s spread and total picks both hitting in more than 60 percent of simulations. Get those projections only at SportsLine.