Tuesday's Playoff Tips
April 24, 2018
By Brian Edwards
Editor’s Note: Brian Edwards is on a 27-16-2 run (63.2%, +10.6 Units) in the NBA since March 21. Going back to Feb. 13, Brian has produced a 47-31-2 NBA record (60.3%) to hook his clients up with 14.66 units of profit. Brian’s guaranteed plays are on a 15-5 run (75.0%, +9.65 units), so don’t miss out on tonight’s pay-if-it wins-only selection!
**Game 5 - Milwaukee at Boston**
-- Milwaukee (46-40 straight up, 35-46-5 against the spread) evened this best-of-seven series at 2-2 with Sunday’s 104-102 win as a four-point favorite. The Bucks, who were four-point home favorites, went ahead of the number in the final minute of the first quarter and built their lead to 16 at intermission and to as many as 20 in the third quarter. However, Boston’s Jaylen Brown erupted in the second half to spark the Celtics into a 75-75 tie with 9:03 remaining. They went ahead 100-99 on Jayson Tatum’s difficult jumper with 52 ticks left, but Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon countered with a 3-ball from the corner. Al Horford drained a pair of free throws to tie the game. Brogdon missed back at the other end, but All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo scored the game winner on a tip-in with 5.1 seconds left. Marcus Morris’s baseline jumper at the horn missed.
-- Antetokounmpo scored 27 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists. Khris Middleton added 23 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots, while Jabari Parker produced 16 points, seven boards, three blocks and two steals. Brogdon and Eric Bledsoe scored only 10 and nine points, respectively, but both players hit huge shots at crunch time. Bledsoe had five assists compared to merely one turnover and he blocked two shots. The Bucks had a 22/8 assist-to-turnover ratio, but they gave up 16 offensive rebounds to Boston.
-- Brown has set his career playoff highs in three games this series. He went for 20 points in Game 1, 30 in Game 2 and 34 in the Game 4 loss. Brown buried 13-of-24 field-goal attempts Sunday and 5-of-8 shots from 3-point range. He also had eight rebounds and three steals. Tatum finished with 21 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Al Horford contributed 13 points, nine boards, four assists and a pair of blocked shots.
-- As of early this morning, Boston (57-29 SU, 53-31-2ATS) was installed as a three-point home favorite for tonight’s Game 5. The total was 204.5 and the Bucks were +135 on the money line (risk $100 to win $135).
-- Boston defensive stopper Marcus Smart has been out since March 11 due to a torn tendon in his thumb that required surgery. The fourth-year swingman out of Oklahoma St. has been upgraded to ‘questionable’ for Game 5. Smart played in 54 regular-season games, averaging 10.2 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game. He had a 259/129 assist-to-turnover ratio. During last season’s playoffs, Smart averaged 8.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.9 blocked shots per game. He has played in 28 career postseason games.
-- Brad Stevens’s squad is 29-14 SU and 24-17-2 ATS at home this year. The Celtics won Game 1 by a 113-107 count in overtime as four-point favorites. They won a 120-106 decision in Game 2 to easily cover the spread as one-point home ‘chalk.’
-- Milwaukee John Henson is ‘questionable’ for Game 5 with back soreness. He missed Games 3 and 4. Henson, a sixth-year center who played his college ball at North Carolina, had 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and one block in Game 2. He averaged 8.8 points and 6.8 RPG in 76 regular-season contests.
-- Milwaukee is 19-24 SU and 22-20-1 ATS in its 43 road assignments.
-- VegsaInsider.com’s Kevin Rogers points out how home teams had the better of Game 5’s last season. Rogers said, “In the playoffs last year, home teams went 6-1 SU and 4-3 ATS when a series was tied at 2-2. The Celtics found themselves in this spot in the first round after winning two road games at Chicago. The Bulls, who had won Game 1 and 2 at Boston when Rajon Rondo was healthy, lost Game 5 at Boston by a 108-97 score.”
-- The ‘over’ has hit in eight consecutive Boston games to improve to 47-38-1 overall and 25-18 at home.
-- The ‘over’ is on a remarkable 18-2 run for Milwaukee in its past 20 games. The Bucks have seen the ‘over ‘go 50-35-1 overall, 26-17 in their road outings.
-- The ‘over’ is 10-1-1 in Milwaukee’s last 12 games at Boston. The ‘over’ has hit in six straight head-to-head meetings between these clubs and is 7-1 in eight encounters this year. Furthermore, the ‘over’ is 13-3-1 in the last 17 games of this rivalry.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on NBA-TV.
**Game 5 - Miami at Philadelphia**
-- Philadelphia (55-31 SU, 50-34 ATS) won a 106-102 decision as a 3.5-point favorite in Saturday’s Game 4 at Miami. Brett Brown’s team took a 3-1 series advantage with back-to-back wins in South Florida. The 208 combined points dropped ‘under’ the 212.5-point total in Saturday’s showdown. J.J. Redick’s two free throws with 16 seconds left got the 76ers ahead of the number, and Miami missed a pair of shots on its final possession. Redick led seven Philadelphia players in double figures with 24 points. Ben Simmons produced 17 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals, while Joel Embiid finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots.
-- Dwyane Wade scored a game-high 25 points in Game 4. He also had three steals and three rebounds. Goran Dragic had 20 points, four steals and three assists, while James Johnson contributed 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. Hassan Whiteside finished with 13 points and 13 boards.
-- Miami was an abysmal 13-of-25 from the free-throw line in the Game 4 loss. The Heat were outscored 27-19 in the final stanza.
-- As of early this morning, most betting shops had Philadelphia listed as a 10-point favorite with a total of 211. The Heat were +450 on the money line (risk $100 to win $450).
-- Since March 15, Philadelphia has won 19 of 20 games SU while going 14-6 ATS. The 76ers have won 13 of those 19 games by double-digit margins.
-- Philadelphia has compiled a 4-4 spread record in eight games as a double-digit favorite this year.
-- Brown’s team is 31-12 SU and 28-15 ATS at home.
-- In the first four postseason games of his career, Simmons is averaging 19.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 9.8 assists and 2.5 SPG. He has made 51.8 percent of his FGAs.
-- Miami (45-41 SU, 41-39-6 ATS) is 1-2 ATS in three games as a double-digit underdog this season.
-- Erik Spoelstra’s squad is 19-24 SU and 25-17-1 on the road.
-- Before posting a double-double in Game 4, Whiteside had only contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first three games combined. For the series, Wade is averaging 18.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. He is shooting at a 49.1 percent clip from the field. Wade scored 28 points to go with seven rebounds, three steals and three assists in Miami’s Game 2 win in the City of Brotherly Love. His relentless attacking of the basket has earned him 22 trips to the FT line, where he’s made 18 for an 81.8 percent rate.
-- VegasInsider.com’s Chris David was surprised to see the line for Game 5 shoot up so high. David said, “After seeing Philadelphia at -6 and -6.5 for the first two games, the number has jumped up to -10. Even though the value appears to be with the Heat, I’m hesitant to go against the 76ers, who are lighting it up from distance. They’re scary good when the shots are falling. It’s rare to see Miami as a double-digit underdog, only happening three times this season. Those were against the NBA’s elite, the Warriors twice and the Rockets. Philadelphia isn’t on that level yet, but it has run the Heat out of the gym twice.”
-- The ‘over’ is 43-42-1 overall for the 76ers, but they’ve seen the ‘under’ go 22-20-1 in their home contests. The ‘over’ has hit at a 6-3 clip in Philadelphia’s past nine games.
-- The ‘under’ is 46-39-1 overall for the Heat, 23-20 in its road assignments.
-- TNT will have the broadcast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
**Game 5 - San Antonio at Golden State**
-- Manu Ginobili may or may not return for the 2018-19 season. He’s decided on a year-to-year basis and that will likely continue into the offseason. If the future Hall of Famer was playing his last game Sunday at AT&T Center, he left the fans with a special encore performance. Ginobili scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to propel San Antonio to a 103-90 win over Golden State as a six-point home underdog. The Spurs, who cashed money-line tickets in the +240 neighborhood, forced a Game 5 and avoided getting swept by the Warriors for a second straight season. The 193 combined points fell ‘under’ the 206.5-point total.
-- LaMarcus Aldridge scored a team-high 22 points and hit a dagger trey to put his team up by seven late in the four quarter. Golden State didn’t get closer than five the rest of the way. San Antonio buried 15-of-28 attempts from downtown (53.6%), with Dejounte Murray (12 points) and Ginobili both knocking down 3-of-4 launches from long distance. Rudy Gay finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. Kyle Anderson was also in double figures with 10 points, while Patty Mills and Tony Parker combined for 18 points and seven assists compared to just two turnovers. Anderson hit all four of his FGAs and both tries from the charity stripe.
-- Kevin Durant had 34 points and 13 rebounds in the Game 4 defeat. Klay Thompson made only 4-of-16 FGAs and finished with 12 points. Shaun Livingston was the only other Warrior in double figures with 10 points. Draymond Green tallied nine points, 18 rebounds and nine assists.
-- As of early this morning, most spots had Golden State (61-25 SU,37-48-1 ATS) listed as an 11-point favorite for tonight’s Game 5. The total was 204.5 points and the Spurs were +650 on the money line.
-- Steve Kerr’s team owns a 31-12 SU record and an 18-24-1 ATS mark at home this year.
-- San Antonio (48-38 SU, 43-41-2 ATS) has struggled mightily on the road, going 14-29 SU and 16-26-1 ATS. The Spurs have been double-digit road underdogs three times, going 1-2 ATS.
-- Golden State is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in four home games against San Antonio this year. The three spread covers have been by margins of 15, 21 and 17 points.
-- VI’s Rogers offered up these numbers as they apply to Golden State in this spot. Rogers said, “The Warriors couldn’t seal the deal on Sunday in San Antonio, but they have put together a 5-2 record since 2015 when trying to close a series at Oracle Arena. Golden State has compiled an average 3-3-1 ATS mark in those contests, but it is 3-1 ATS against Western Conference foes in this span.”
-- The ‘under’ is 45-40-1 overall for the Spurs, 23-19-1 in their road assignments.
-- The ‘under’ is 44-41-1 overall for the Warriors, 21-21-1 in their home outings.
-- The ‘under’ is 4-3-1 overall in eight head-to-head meetings between these clubs this year.
-- Tip-off will be at 10:35 p.m. Eastern on TNT.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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