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We’re inching closer to the second round of the NBA playoffs, and we have another three games on tap today, starting with Magic-Bucks at 4:00 p.m. ET.
The Bucks and Lakers will both look to close out their series, while the Thunder and Rockets will play in a decisive Game 5. Teams that win Game 5 of a 2-2 series go on to win the series at a nearly 85% clip, so this is an absolutely massive contest.
Let’s break down all three games from a betting perspective and identify some potential DraftKings Sportsbook values.
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Milwaukee Bucks vs. Orlando Magic: Bucks -14 (-112)
This is a pretty large number, but the Bucks have a few things working in their favor in this matchup. For starters, they’ve covered in three straight games, and they’ve won each of those contests by at least 14 points. The Bucks have also posted a record of 22-16 against the spread when favored by at least 12 points over the past two seasons, which makes them the second-most profitable team in basketball in that situation.
No. 1 and 2 seeds have also historically taken care of business in Game 5’s during the first round of the playoffs. Those teams have posted a record of 25-12-2 in that situation since 2006, and we saw the Clippers cover in this situation yesterday.
The mental edge in this contest also definitely belongs to the Bucks. The Magic know they have no chance of advancing in this series, so why prolong the inevitable? They’ve been quarantined for more than a month now, and I wouldn’t blame them if they just wanted to go home.
Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Rockets -3.5 (-112)
The Thunder have won each of the past two games, but they definitely got a little lucky in Game 4. They trailed by as many as 15 points during the third quarter before the Rockets got ice cold from behind the 3-point line. That’s definitely possible with a team like the Rockets – they missed 27 straight 3’s vs. the Warriors in 2018 – but they should still win that game way more than they lose it. The Rockets ultimately had a win expectancy of 92.1% with 5:38 to go in the third quarter according to inpredictible.
The sharps also appear to love the Rockets in Game 5. They’re currently receiving 95% of the spread bets in this contest, which has caused the line to move from 2 to 3.5. I’m locking this in now before it moves any higher.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers: C.J. McCollum more points than Anthony Davis (-107)
The big news in this contest is the injury to Damian Lillard. He’s been ruled out for Game 5, and it sounds like his season might be over even if the Blazers can extend this series further.
That should lead to an increased workload for McCollum. He’s increased his usage rate by +7.5% with Lillard off the court this season, resulting in an average of 27.7 points per 36 minutes. He could very easily play more than 40 minutes in this contest if the Blazers can keep it competitive.
On the other hand, Davis was forced to leave Game 4 early with back spasms. He’s listed as probable, but do the Lakers really want to push him today? They’re currently favored by 14 points, so it wouldn’t shock me to see a reduced workload for Davis in this matchup.
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