Tuesday's Tip Sheet
April 26, 2016
By Brian Edwards
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**Indiana at Toronto**
-- As of early this morning, most betting shops had Toronto (58-28 straight up, 47-39 against the spread) listed as a seven-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 192. Gamblers can take the Pacers to win outright for a +250 payout (risk $100 to win $250). For first-half bets, the Raptors were favored by four points with a total of 96.
-- Indiana (47-39 SU, 43-42-1 ATS) squared up the series at 2-2 by winning a 100-83 decision over Toronto in Saturday’s Game 4 as a one-point home underdog. Ian Mahinmi led the way with 22 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, two steals and one blocked shot. George Hill also finished with 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. Paul George scored 19 points and is averaging 26.3 points per game during the series.
-- In the Game 4 loss, Jonas Valanciunas scored a team-best 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field for the Raptors. Kyle Lowry and DeMarre Carroll had 12 points apiece. DeMar DeRozan, who averaged 23.5 PPG during 81 regular-season games, saw his 24-game streak of scoring in double figures snapped. DeRozan had eight points on 4-of-15 shooting and had more turnovers (six) than assists (four). Norman Powell scored 10 points off the bench in only 13-plus minutes of playing time.
-- George’s 33-point effort in the series opener helped Indiana score a 100-92 win as a seven-point underdog. Toronto countered with a 98-87 victory an eight-point home favorite in Game 2. Then in Game 3, the Raptors cruised to a 101-85 win as one-point road favorites. They raced out to a 17-point halftime lead and cruised to the finish line. Lowry and DeRozan scored 21 apiece for the winners, while Carroll finished with 17 points, his best scoring effort since returning from a 41-game injury absence on April 7. George tallied 25 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the Game 3 loss. Myles Turner contributed 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
-- Indiana veteran guard Monta Ellis scored 15 points in both Games 1 and 2 at Toronto, but he was limited to seven points in both Games 3 and 4. Ellis was 3-of-9 from the field in Game 3, 3-of-7 in Game 4.
-- When the Pacers have been listed as underdogs of six points or more this year, they have compiled a 7-2 spread record.
-- Toronto owns a 16-5 spread record in its last 21 games against Indiana, going 23-8 in its 31 at home versus the Pacers.
-- VegasInsider.com’s Chris David has noticed Toronto playing well when coming off losses recently, but the Raptors have been money burners at home in the playoffs. David explained, “Toronto captured a 98-87 victory in Game 2 after dropping the first game in this series to Indiana and that result shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since the All-Star break, the Raptors have gone 9-1 off a loss and that includes the win in this series. More importantly, Toronto’s offense has averaged 104.7 points per game in these situations and it’s hard not to expect a better effort here, especially after posting 83 points in Game 4 last Saturday.
“However, bettors watching the Raptors the last three seasons at home in the playoffs could be reluctant to back them here. Since Toronto made a return to the postseason, it’s gone 3-5 SU and 1-6-1 ATS at home.”
-- The ‘under’ is 4-0 in this series and 6-1 in the last seven head-to-head encounters between these squads this season. The combined point totals in Game 1-4 are as follows (in order): 190, 185, 186 and 183.
-- The ‘under’ has cashed in six consecutive games for the Pacers to improve to 49-37 overall. They have seen the ‘under’ go 23-20 in their road outings.
-- Toronto has seen five straight ‘unders’ for it go above .500 for the season (43-42-1). The ‘over’ is 23-20 for the Raptors in their home contests.
-- David had this take on the total: “The total for Game 5 is hovering around 192 points and even though the ‘under’ has cashed in all four games, I believe this game has a chance to see the high side. Along with the Raptors’ ability to rebound offensively off losses, the two-day break should help and the early start is something that the club is very familiar with. The team played eight home games at 6 or 6:30 p.m. ET during the regular season and the offense averaged 103.3 PPG. The winner in the first four games has scored 100, 98, 101 and 100. With the Raptors team total listed at 99 for Game 5, I’m buying the ‘over’ and I’d also lean to Indiana’s team total ‘over’ (93) as well.”
-- TNT will have the broadcast at 6:05 p.m. Eastern.
**Boston at Atlanta**
-- Boston (50-36 SU, 43-42-1 ATS) pulled even at 2-2 in this best-of-seven Easter Conference first-round series by holding serve at home in Game 3 and 4 this past weekend. Isaiah Thomas exploded for 42 points to spark the Celtics to a 111-103 win over Atlanta as a three-point home favorite Friday night. The Hawks overcame a 20-point deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but they were unable to score a field goal in the final 3:51 of the game. Brad Stevens, who had lost his first six playoff games since leaving Butler for the coveted Boston gig, shook up his starting lineup in Game 3 by inserting Evan Turner and Jonas Jerebko into the starting lineup. It worked. Turner responded with 17 points, seven assists and five steals, while Jerebko finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Amir Johnson added 15 points, seven boards and a pair of blocked shots, while Marcus Smart contributed 11 points five assists, three rebounds and two rejections.
-- In the Game 3 defeat, Jeff Teague paced the Hawks with 23 points and five assists. Teague’s back-up Dennis Schroder produced 20 points in just 22-plus minutes off the bench. Kent Bazemore had 20 points and eight rebounds, while Kyle Korver drained 5-of-9 from 3-point land en route to a 17-point effort. Atlanta leading scorer Paul Millsap was held under his scoring average for a third straight game and he didn’t get into double figures for a second consecutive time. Millsap went 3-of-9 from the field and had eight points and 10 rebounds. Al Horford finished with eight points, 13 rebounds, four blocked shots and six assists compared to only one turnover.
-- In Sunday’s Game 4, Atlanta (50-36 SU, 45-40-1 against the spread) allowed a 16-point third-quarter lead to get away in a 104-95 loss in overtime at TD Garden. The Celtics took the cash as one-point home favorites thanks to the efforts of Smart, who scored 20 points, grabbed eight rebound, dished out five assists and successfully defended a red-hot Millsap in the latter stages of the game. Millsap scored 45 points to fall just one point short of his career-high, but he was held to only two points in the final 5:33 of regulation and the extra session. Thomas was outstanding again, tallying 28 points, six assists, four rebounds and two blocked shots. Turner finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two blocked shots, while Jerebko had 16 points and 10 boards. Jae Crowder added 12 points and five boards for the winners.
-- Boston center Kelly Olynyk, who missed Games 2 and 3 with a shoulder injury, returned to the court to log 3:35 of playing time. He had two rebounds. Olynyk averaged 10.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game during the regular season.
-- Trailing by four in the final minute of regulation, Teague hit a trey to slice the deficit to one. Following an Atlanta stop on the defensive end, the Wake Forest product buried another triple to put the Hawks ahead by two. However, Thomas would answer with a bucket in the paint with 15 ticks remaining. Teague attempt to make a play at the end of regulation but lost control of his dribble just before attempting a potential game winner. He finished just 4-of-18 from the field with 13 points and five assists. Millsap also had 13 rebounds, three assists, two steals and four blocked shots. He made 19-of-31 shots from the floor. Korver had 10 points and eight rebounds, but Bazemore and Horford were limited to five points apiece. Horford had nine rebounds, one steal, one blocked shot and five assists without committing a turnover. Bazemore hauled in eight boards, but he was an abysmal 2-of-10 from the field.
-- As of early this morning, most betting shops had the Hawks favored by seven points for Tuesday’s Game 5 at Philips Arena. The total was 199.5 or 200 points, while the Celtics were +260 on the money line (risk $100 to win $260). For first-half wagers, Atlanta was a 3.5-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 95.5 points.
-- VI’s David has taken note of Atlanta’s success when coming off of OT defeats this year. David said, “If you bet Atlanta on Sunday, you obviously weren’t happy with the final sequences during regulation and it’s never fun seeing your team get dominated in the extra session. Including Sunday’s loss, the Hawks are now 0-5 in overtime games this season and one handicapping rule I try to stick by is never backing a club off a rough loss but this team has shown some tenacity. In the first four overtime losses, the Hawks have gone 3-1 in the following matchup with the one setback coming to Golden State. In the victories, Atlanta posted 114, 113 and 106 points.”
-- Atlanta has won five in a row at home and 12 of its last 14. For the year, the Hawks are 29-14 SU and 23-20 at ‘The Highlight Factory.’ Meanwhile, Boston is mired in a 3-10 ATS slump in its last 13 road assignments. The Celtics have gone 19-24 SU and 19-23-1 ATS on the road this season.
-- The ‘under’ has cashed at a 3-1 clip in this series. The combined points totals have been (in order): 203, 161, 214 and 199. Despite overtime, Game 4 still saw the ‘under’ emerge when the 199 combined points fell short of the 203-point tally. The ‘over’ had gone 3-1 in the four head-to-head meetings between these clubs during the regular season.
-- The ‘under’ is 7-2 in Atlanta’s last nine games, 16-9 in its last 25 home outings. The ‘under’ is 47-39 overall for the Hawks, 24-19 in their home contests.
- -David leans to the ‘under’ on the total. He said, “The total for Game 5 opened 201 and that number was quickly steamed down to 199 ½ at a few major offshore shops. The numbers for the first two games in this series at Philips Arena were 205 and 206, which tells you that most have figured out how good the Hawks defense is at home, especially under head coach Mike Budenholzer. In their last 13 home playoff games, only two opponents have managed to bust the century mark on the Hawks and that effort has helped the ‘under’ go 11-2 and that includes a run of seven straight games.”
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. Eastern on TNT.
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