The NBA playoff grind continues, as the Celtics and Raptors meet for a crucial Game 5 and the Clippers look to bounce back from a surprising Game 2 loss. Here’s what jumps out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors: UNDER 212 (-109)
The totals in this series continue to drop a point or two each game to adjust for all the unders but the numbers are still set too high given what we’ve seen play out. The first four games have finished at 206, 201, 207 and 193 respectively and things should only tighten up as these teams see more of each other. These are divisional opponents with a ton of familiarity to begin with and both extremely well-coached teams that make a ton of defensive adjustments over the course of both a series and a game. If totals in a series had been flying over by 10-20 points per game, the public would be pouncing on these numbers betting them up. But people seem less inclined to bet unders, especially on low totals, which should give us a favorable number up until tipoff. Boston shot just 20% from downtown in Game 4, so I expect a bounce-back there but that game still finished 19 points below the Game 5 total. Another approach to this game could be getting back in on the live under if things get off to a fast start. Game 4 had 58 first-quarter points but just 39 in the fourth. Game 3 saw 61 in the first quarter, then just 43 in the second and 51 in the fourth. This has been a trend all series and it is worth monitoring going forward.
Boston Celtics vs. Toronto Raptors: Celtics Series Line (-110)
The Celtics clearly proved they’re the better team in the first two games and while the series is even at 2-2, it doesn’t feel like the play has been even. Tip your cap to the Raptors for their miracle Game 3 victory but they were outplayed for most of that game. Then the Celtics shot 7-for-35 from downtown in Game 4 and still lost by just seven, holding Toronto to 100 points. That poor of a shooting night from Kemba Walker, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown (a combined 4-of-23 from deep) is extremely unlikely to happen again. I think the Game 5 moneyline is a pretty solid play as well but I think the safer play is on the better team to win two of the next three games.
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Los Angeles Clippers vs. Denver Nuggets: LAC 1H -5 (-110)
The Clippers have a serious issue with falling asleep for a quarter or more in games, particularly when they feel comfortable following a win. They got absolutely smacked out of the gates by the Nuggets in Game 2, trailing by as many as 23 early in the game and never taking a lead. The Clips cut it to within five in the fourth quarter but did too much damage to themselves early to have a chance. I expect that all to change after a loss, as that’s the way this team has operated all season. The Clippers are an insane 22-3 straight up (20-5 ATS) following a loss this season and a lot of those wins have resulted from coming out motivated and building a big first-half lead. Nikola Jokic is questionable for this game with a wrist injury, only further helping the Clippers’ chances to get out to a strong start. I think we see a pretty similar game script to Game 1 here, which saw the Clips up by 18 at halftime en route a 23-point victory.
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