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Thursday's Tips

**Miami at Milwaukee**

--Miami (68-16 straight up, 47-37 against the spread) took a 2-0 series advantage with Tuesday’s 98-86 win over Milwaukee as a 14-point home favorite. The Heat led by only three points going into the fourth quarter, but a 30-14 run saw it take a 98-79 lead with 2:15 remaining. However, the Bucks hooked up their backers with a backdoor cover by scoring the last seven points of the game, including an essential Mike Dunleavy 3-pointer with 33 ticks left.

--Dwyane Wade was the catalyst in Game 2, scoring a team-high 21 points to go with seven rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals. LeBron James added 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while Chris ‘Birdman’ Andersen came off the bench and provided a key spark with 10 points and six boards.

--Erik Spoelstra’s squad won Game 1 by a 110-87 count as a 13.5-point home favorite. The 197 combined points resulted in a push for wagers on the total. James led the way with 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as Miami outscored Milwaukee by 16 points in the second half.

--Milwaukee guard Brandon Jennings scored 26 points in Game 1, but he made just 3-of-15 shots in Game 2 and finished with merely eight points. In a similar fashion, Monta Ellis had 22 points in the series opener, but he was held to just seven points in Game 2.

--As of early Wednesday night, most betting shops had the Heat installed as a 7.5-point road favorite with a total of 194.5. Gamblers can take the Bucks to win outright for a +300 return (risk $100 to win $300). Miami is favored by four in first-half wagers and the total is 97.5.

--Milwaukee (38-46 SU, 38-46 ATS) has struggled at home, going 21-20 SU and 16-25 ATS.

--Miami has won 10 consecutive games while compiling an 8-2 spread record. is currently showing the Heat as the -220 ‘chalk’ to win the NBA title (risk $220 to win $100).

--The ‘over’ is 42-40-2 overall for Miami, but the ‘under’ is 23-18 in its 41 road assignments.

--The ‘under’ is 42-39-3 overall for the Bucks, but the ‘over’ is 22-18-1 in their home games.

--The ‘under’ is 4-0-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings between these clubs.

--Tip-off on TNT is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

**Brooklyn at Chicago**

--With the series knotted at 1-1, this best-of-seven matchup moves to the Windy City for Game 3. Most books are listing Chicago (46-38 SU, 37-47 ATS) as a 3.5-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 181. Bettors can take the Nets on the money line for a +145 payout (risk $100 to win $145). The Bulls are favored by two in the first half with a total of 91.5.

--Brooklyn (50-34 SU, 40-41-3 ATS) won the series opener in blowout fashion, cruising to a 106-89 victory as a 4.5-point home favorite. The 195 combined points soared ‘over’ the 181-point tally. Deron Williams led six Nets in double figures with 22 points and seven assists. Brook Lopez added 21 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots. In the losing effort, Carlos Boozer scored a game-high 25 points.

--Chicago played with more energy and urgency in Game 2, capturing a 90-82 win as a 5.5-point underdog. The Bulls hooked up money-line backers with a +200 return, while the 172 combined points stayed ‘under’ the 183-point total. Luol Deng paced the winners with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Boozer finished with 13 points and 12 boards. Joakim Noah also had a double-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

--In the Game 2 defeat, Lopez scored a game-high 21 points for the Nets.

--Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson is struggling with plantar fasciitus but is listed as ‘probable’ for Game 3 (as of early Wednesday night). Johnson averages 16.3 points, 3.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game.

--P.J. Carlesimo’s team has thrived in road underdog situations recently, posting a 9-3 spread record with eight outright victories in its last 12 such spots.

--The ‘over’ is 42-41-1 overall for the Nets, 20-20-1 in their road contests.

--The ‘under’ is 45-38-1 overall for the Bulls, 24-16-1 in their home games. has Brooklyn and Chicago with 75/1 and 100/1 odds, respectively, to win the NBA title. However, the offshore website has the Bulls with -115 odds to win this series, while the Nets are carrying a -105 price.

--NBA-TV will provide television coverage at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

**Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis**

--Los Angeles (58-26 SU, 46-38 ATS) took a 2-0 series lead thanks to Chris Paul’s game-winning leaner that kissed home off the glass with 0.1 seconds remaining in Game 2. The shot lifted the Clippers to a 93-91 home win but the Grizzlies took the money as 5.5-point underdogs. Paul finished with 24 points and nine assists compared to only one turnover. Blake Griffin scored 21 points and pulled down eight boards, while Jamal Crawford contributed 15 points off the bench.

--Memphis dropped Game 2 despite a spectacular effort from Mike Conley, who finished with 28 points and nine assists, including a gorgeous ‘dime’ to Marc Gasol for the tying bucket that preceded Paul’s game-winning heroics. Gasol finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots, while Tony Allen had 16 points and 10 boards.

--For Game 3, most spots have tabbed Memphis (56-28 SU, 47-35-2 ATS) as a 4.5-point favorite with a total of 179.5. Gamblers can take the Clippers on the money line for a +175 payout. The Grizzlies are three-point ‘chalk’ for first-half bets, while the total is 90.5.

--Vinny Del Negro’s team has won nine in a row and hasn’t tasted defeat since April 1. The Clippers have now won five of six head-to-head meetings against the Grizz this year.

--The ‘over’ is 47-37 overall for the Clippers, but the ‘under’ is 21-20 in their road assignments.

--The ‘under’ is 50-33-1 overall for Memphis, 27-14 in its home games.

--Going into Game 3, has the Clippers with 15/1 odds to win the NBA title. The Grizzlies have 100/1 odds. Sportsbook has the updated series price as the Clippers -650 compared to Memphis at +450.

--Tip-off is slated for 9:30 p.m. Eastern on TNT.

David: Wednesday's Early Tips
Edwards: Wednesday's Late Tips
Bookmaker: Bucks, Celtics square off Big Easy Sweep
News: First Round Series Odds
News: 2018 Playoff Results
News: First Round Predictions
Giannis, Bucks try to fend off elimination
Miami Heat will look for ways to improve
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