Sunday's Early Tips
April 21, 2018
By Brian Edwards
Editor’s Note: Brian Edwards is on a 24-12-2 run (66.7%, +11.87 Units) in the NBA since March 21. Going back to Feb. 13, Brian has produced a 44-27-2 NBA record (61.7%) to hook his clients up with 15.93 units of profit. Brian’s guaranteed plays are on a 14-4 run (77.8%, +9.73 units), so don’t miss out on tonight’s pay-if-it wins-only selection!
**Boston at Milwaukee**
-- In an 0-2 hole going back home for Game 3 in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Milwaukee (45-40 straight up, 35-45-5 against the spread) broke through Friday night with a 116-92 win over Boston as a five-point home favorite. The 208 combined points went ‘over’ the 205.5-point total to stay perfect in the series. The Bucks darted out to a 27-12 lead to end of the first quarter and kept their feet on the accelerator. They led 58-35 at intermission and didn’t allow the Celtics to get any closer than 14 in the second half.
-- Khris Middleton was the catalyst in the Game 3 laugher, producing 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one blocked shots. Middleton hit 10-of-17 field-goal attempts and 3-of-6 launches from 3-point land. Giannis Antetokounmpo added 19 points, six assists, five rebounds, two steals and two rejections, while Jabari Parker and Eric Bledsoe finished with 17 points apiece. Thon Maker was also in double figures with 14 points, five rebounds and five blocked shots. He buried 3-of-4 attempts from downtown.
-- In the losing effort, Al Horford scored a team-best 16 points for the Celtics. Greg Monroe contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds in just 23 minutes of playing time off the bench. Jayson Tatum finished with 14 points and five boards.
-- Horford is averaging 18.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per game in the series so far. Horford, the two-time national-title winner at the University of Florida who has helped his team to the postseason in all 10 of his seasons in The Association, has a 9/3 assist-to-turnover ratio.
-- Boston (57-28 SU, 52-31-2 ATS) owns a 27-15 record both SU and ATS in its 42 road assignments.
-- Milwaukee has posted a 26-16 SU record and a 13-25-4 ATS mark at home.
-- As of Saturday afternoon, most books had Milwaukee installed as a 4.5-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 204. The Celtics were +175 on the money line (risk $100 to win $175). For first-half wagers, most spots had the Bucks favored by 2.5 points with a total of 99.
-- Boston is playing without Gordon Hayward, Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart.
-- Brad Stevens’s team is ranked third in the NBA in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 100.4 points per game. The Celtics are second in FG percentage ‘D’ (44.0%) and first in defending the 3-point line (33.9%). They’ll need improve in this area in Game 4 after Milwaukee buried 16-of-33 (48.5%) from long distance in Game 3.
-- VegasInsider.com's Chris David leans to the Bucks in Game 4 and has an opinion on Boston’s team total. David said, “Boston was one of the NBA’s best road teams this season before dropping its last three regular-season road games. The Celtics had not lost back-to-back road assignments before then, but now the C’s have lost four in a row on the road. They’ve scored only 93.3 PPG during this span. During Stevens’s postseason career, Boston is scoring merely 96.0 PPG in 14 road contests. I like the Celtics’ team total for Game 4 to go ‘under’ 100.5 points.”
-- Antetokounmpo is averaging 28.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocked shots per game in the series to date. He’s hit 32-of-51 FGAs (62.7%) and knocked down 3-of-6 treys.
-- Before losing at Milwaukee in Game 3, Boston had gone 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS in its five previous head-to-head meetings with the Bucks.
-- The ‘over’ is on an incredible 18-2 run for the Bucks, who have seen the ‘over’ go 23-18-1 in their home games. They’ve watched the ‘over’ cash at a 49-35-1 overall clip.
-- The ‘over’ has cashed in seven consecutive Boston games to improve to 46-38-1 overall and 21-20-1 in its road assignments.
-- Sportsbook.ag has Boston as the -190 ‘chalk’ for its updated series price. The Bucks are the +165 underdogs.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Eastern on ABC.
**Golden State at San Antonio**
-- Golden State (61-24 SU, 37-47-1 ATS) will go for the kill shot Sunday afternoon at San Antonio. The oddsmakers are expecting the Warriors to deal out broom treatment. As of Saturday afternoon, most betting shops had Steve Kerr’s squad listed as a 6.5-point favorite with a total of 203.5. The Spurs were +260 on the money line (risk $100 to win $260). For first-half bets, Golden State was favored by 3.5 points with a total of 103.
-- Golden State is 30-12 SU and 19-23 ATS on the road this year.
-- Golden State took a 3-0 series lead by capturing a 110-97 win over San Antonio in Thursday’s Game 3 at AT&T Center. The Warriors took the money as 3.5-point road favorites against a Spurs club that was playing without their head coach, Gregg Popovich. ‘Pop’s wife passed away on Wednesday.
-- Kevin Durant led the way for the Warriors in Game 3, scoring a game-high 26 points by making 9-of-17 FGAs and all seven of his shots from the free-throw line. He also had nine rebounds and six assists. Klay Thompson (19), Shaun Livingston (16), Quinn Cook (12), Draymond Green (10) and Andre Iguodala (10) also scored in double figures. As usual, Green stuff the box score with seven assists, six rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals.
-- In the Game 3 setback, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out four assists compared to just two turnovers. Tony Parker snapped out of his extended slump, contributing 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. Patty Mills had 14 points and Rudy Gay had 11 points and six boards.
-- Thompson is in a shooting groove here in the early stages of the playoffs. Through three games, the Washington State product is averaging 25.7 points PPG and has a 9/3 assist-to-turnover ratio. Thompson has drained 31-of-49 FGAs (63.3%) and 13-of-20 from 3-point range (65.0%).
-- San Antonio (47-38 SU, 42-41-2 ATS) has compiled a 33-9 SU record and a 26-15-1 ATS ledger at home. The Spurs had won 11 in a row at home, going 9-2 ATS in the process, before losing Game 3. They have been home underdogs five times, posting a 2-3 record both SU and ATS.
-- VI’s David won’t be surprised of the Warriors seal the deal on Sunday. David said, “Even though the Spurs are often considered the NBA’s best organization, the club has been swept before and a Popovich squad has never won a Game 4 when trailing 3-0 in a series. They’re 0-3 in three such instances and average margin in those defeats has been 16.3 PPG, including a 129-115 loss to Golden State in the Western Conference finals last season.”
-- Popovich will not be on the sidelines again Sunday for Game 4.
-- According to VI’s Kevin Rogers, road teams with 3-0 series leads in last year’s postseason went 5-1 SU and 4-1-1 ATS. Rogers said, “The only home team to avoid the sweep last season was the Cavs when they forced a Game 5 by beating Golden State in Game 4 of the Finals.”
-- The ‘under’ is 43-41-1 overall for the Warriors, 22-20 in their road outings.
-- The ‘under’ is 44-40-1 overall for the Spurs, 21-21 in their home games.
-- ABC will have the telecast at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
-- Golden State star Steph Curry still hasn’t been cleared for contact. He is reportedly in danger of missing the start of Round 2 while still recovering from an MCL injury to his knee.
-- Philadelphia captured a 106-102 win in Saturday’s Game 3 at Miami. The 76ers, who took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, covered the number as 3.5-point road favorites. J.J. Redick led seven Philadelphia players in double figures with 24 points. His two free throws with 16 seconds remaining sealed the spread cover. Miami had two shots on its final possession to trim the deficit, but it missed on both and the 76ers secured the rebounds with three ticks left and dribbled out the clock. The 208 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 212.5-point total. Ben Simmons had a triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals. He made 8-of-13 FGAs. Joel Embiid finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Dwyane Wade had another sensational performance in defeat. The Heat’s franchise icon contributed 25 points, three rebounds and three steals in 26 minutes of action.
-- I’m convinced the 76ers are going to win the East.
-- The updated series price for Indiana-Cleveland is the Cavs -115 at Sportsbook.ag. Gamblers can back the Pacers, who overcame a 17-point deficit to win Game 3 at home and take a 2-1 series advantage, at -105 odds.
-- After cashing a winner with the 76ers on Saturday, I’m 10-4-1 in the playoffs for 5.65 units of profit. You can get signed up for winners galore through the Finals with my playoff package.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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