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Tuesday NBA winners

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Tuesday night will answer a few NBA playoff betting questions we pretty much know the answer to. Can Golden State overcome the loss of David Lee? Can Boston stop Carmelo Anthony? Is Milwaukee ever going to make this series competitive? I think there's hope for all the dogs on the board, but not on Tuesday. Here are my thoughts on Tuesday night's NBA playoff action.

#8 Milwaukee Bucks (0-1) over #1 Miami Heat (1-0)
Tuesday, April 23rd --- 7:30pm EST
NBA Betting Line: Miami -14.5 (197.0)

I warned that the Miami Heat would start the playoffs with a bang, and they most certainly came through for me with a 110-87 shellacking of the poor Milwaukee Bucks. LeBron had a defiant 27-10-8 stat line while Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade contributed 31 points combined. From the first possession through to the last, Milwaukee was outmatched and outclassed.

Ray Allen came alive, scoring 20 points off the bench in just 29 minutes and that has to be reassuring for a Miami team that relies so heavily on three-point scoring to maintain balance offensively. Allen isn't the only sniper who can hit the mark from range, and that spells trouble for Milwaukee who's only real glimmer of hope was facing a team that couldn't win a shootout.

This is a huge NBA playoff betting spread to cover, but I'm not concerned with the Bucks until they return home. Milwaukee is just 2-9 ATS in their last 11 road games and 6-21 ATS in their last 27 games against the Eastern Conference. There just aren't any weapons in Milwaukee that can stem the flood of points coming from LeBron and his teammates.

Take Miami to cover this monstrous -14.0 spread in the OVER.

#2 New York Knicks (1-0) over #7 Boston Celtics (0-1)
Tuesday, April 23rd --- 8pm EST
NBA Playoff Line: New York -7

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Carmelo Anthony exploded for 36 points in a decisive 85-78 win for the Knicks in the opener of what will inevitably a hard fought series. The Celtics barely covered in this game, shaving off a half-point against their +7.5 handicap. This is going to be a very tough series to call from an NBA playoff betting standpoint.

The problem is that New York is still one of the better bets in the league, especially at home where they're 5-2 ATS when playing a team with a losing road record. In the playoffs, the Knicks are a paltry 1-7 ATS in the quarterfinals and that has much to do with the line inflating past what it should be as anything else. There's a lot of fans in New York who blow the betting line up no matter what, especially when their team is as hot as it is.

Boston is playing with a harrowingly shallow lineup, sending eight guys in to the rotation and leaning on Kevin Garnett, Avery Bradley and Paul Pierce. Jeff Green actually led the team with 26 points while playing 46 minutes. That's got to catch up with the Celtics eventually. Green has tons of talent, but he's never played at a consistent level and The Truth is going to be exerting too much energy trying to stop Carmelo from dominating the scoreboard.

Boston had a very good Game 1, but the Knicks were quiet through the supporting cast past Carmelo. J.R. Smith came off the bench to score 15 points in 32 minutes, while Raymond Felton and Kenyon Martin were the only other players to score in double-digits (Kenyon Martin!!!). I don't think the rest of New York stays quiet with a chance to go up early in this series before it goes back to the Garden.

The city of Boston will do everything they can to will their beloved Celtics back in to this series. The emotional fuel stemming from the Boston Marathon bombings will make Game 3 an intriguing and difficult game to play in NBA playoff betting.

For now, take New York to cover the -6.5 line in Game 2 while this game stays well below the TOTAL.

#3 Denver Nuggets (1-0) vs. #6 Golden State Warriors (0-1)
Tuesday, April 23rd --- 10:30pm EST
NBA Playoff Line: Denver -8.0 (207.0)

Golden State's decent chances of knocking off the Denver Nuggets suffered a kill shot when David Lee injured his hip flexor. The freak injury will keep Lee out for the remainder of the playoffs, and even the most optimistic NBA betting backer knows that Lee won't be back for the balance of this series. With a 97-95 loss to Denver on their home court, Golden State showed the punch it needed to keep this series close but losing Lee basically puts their dreams of an upset on ice.

Lee has his detractors, and I've addressed this through my multitude of previews, but what he does offensively has to be appreciated. There are those that like Carl Landry as an under the radar character, but he's limited in providing points and isn't a much better defender than Lee. The Warriors just don't have the depth to absorb an injury to one of their best players.

There's the off hand chance that Stephen Curry goes absolutely ballistic to keep this game close, but that's very unlikely. Lee does a lot to help Curry break open for his looks, and without him setting screens and offering a reliable relief option under the rim, it's going to be hard for the Warriors to get in to any semblance of a rhythm.

  
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