Live Betting Preview: Heat, Knicks Poised For Sweeps
It's nice to have confidence in yourself and your team, but young Bucks guard Brandon Jennings probably should have kept his opinion to himself. Instead, he mouthed off that the No. 8 Bucks would upset the No. 1 Miami Heat in six games in the East quarterfinals. That would only qualify as the biggest upset in playoff history.
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How big? Bovada didn't offer a series price on Bucks-Heat because of the absurd odds: the Heat essentially would have been 1/200. Through two games, the Heat look almost bored as they have beaten the Bucks 110-87 and 98-86 (1-1 ATS) as the series heads to Milwaukee for Games 3 and 4, both of which will have Live Play-by-Play Betting at Bovada.
Obviously for Jennings' prediction to come true the Bucks have to beat the Heat four-straight times. Miami didn't lose three-consecutive games this season and hasn't lost three total games in their past 41. Chris Andersen has proved to be an unbelievable signing for Miami. The team signed the "Birdman" essentially off the street in late January, and he's been an inside presence the Heat lacked. Andersen is averaging 10.0 points on 80% shooting and 6.5 rebounds in just 14.5 minutes in the first two games. He didn't have back-to-back double-digit scoring games during the regular season. The Heat outscored the Bucks by 14 points in the 12 minutes Andersen was on the floor in Game 2.
The Bucks, who are 7.5-point underdogs for Game 3 Thursday, did get their one victory against Miami this year at home: 104-85 on December 29. It was the second of a road back-to-back for the Heat and their fourth game in five nights. It showed as Miami ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, outscored 35-14.
The Heat visited Milwaukee again March 15 and won 107-94, which was victory No. 21 in Miami's 27-game winning streak. Game 4 is Sunday and all signs point to a Miami sweep, which could mean more than a week off for the Heat as they await the Bulls-Nets winner in the next round.
*-Also Thursday, Game 3 of Clippers-Grizzlies will have Live Betting (as will Saturday's Game 4). Los Angeles looks to take a commanding 3-0 with the series shifting to Memphis. The last time the Clippers visited was April 13 and they won 91-87 to earn a key playoff tiebreaker with Memphis and end the Grizzlies' 13-game home winning streak.
Knicks Wearing Down Celtics
New York hasn't won a round in the playoffs in 13 seasons, but the Knicks could find themselves in the East semifinals as soon as Sunday with wins in Boston in Game 3 Friday and Game 4 Sunday, both of which will have Live Betting at the book.
For lack of a better word, the Knicks have made the Celtics look ancient, taking a 2-0 lead. Boston still hasn't topped 78 points. If you just counted first halves, the Celtics would be up 2-0 as they led at half in both games. However, Boston had 25 second-half points in Game 1 and 23 in Game 2. New York had 36 and 45 points, respectively, in those halves. Boston shot 19.4% in the second half of Game 2, the storied franchise's worst shooting postseason half in 16 years. The Boston bench has totaled 23 points so far.
The Celtics opened at +290 to take this series, and Boston winning would have been the book's biggest loss of any conference quarterfinals (Knicks -380). Clearly Friday is a must-win because no teams have ever rallied from a 3-0 deficit. Just 15 teams have come back from a 2-0 deficit. Since 1984, five of 132 lower seeds, as No. 7 Boston is, have rallied from a 2-0 deficit to win a first-round series.
Boston did open as a three-point favorite for Game 3, with the total dropping from 189.5 in Game 1 to 183.5 for Friday with the first two games finishing easily under the total.
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