We have a big night of Game 5s in the first round of the NBA Playoffs on Tuesday, with the Nets looking to close out the Celtics at home. Denver and Phoenix will also host crucial games with each series tied at 2-2, despite opening the playoffs as underdogs, even with home court.
The Celtics put together a near-perfect game on Friday night, getting their lone win of the series. Jayson Tatum scored a combined 90 points in the two games in Boston, but still got blown out in Game 4, with all three of Brooklyn’s studs having big games. Now the Nets return home in an elimination game, with some potential fuel added to the fire, following a fan in Boston throwing a water bottle at Kyrie Irving on Sunday night.
In a road elimination game, and expected to remain without Kemba Walker and Robert Williams, the Celtics find themselves in a tough spot to come out with much energy. All four of Tatum’s 50-point games this season have come at home, and Boston’s going to need another one here to avoid the end of the season. The Nets have held massive halftime leads in two of the last three, and I expect them to come out and set the tone in this one.
STEVE BUCHANAN'S SUPERSTAR TRIO ODDS BOOST ON @DKSportsbook— Steve Buchanan (@SBuchanan24) June 1, 2021
Only ONE of these three needs to hit a home run tonight for the ✅. Fernando Tatis Jr, Adolis Garcia or Garrett Cooper. Boosted from -152 to +115.
Place your bets here: https://t.co/pwQ7EEc1rW pic.twitter.com/FZNHW6CTLo
The movement in series price from before and after Game 4 is one of the most alarming I can recall. Up 2-1 in the series, and favored by 6.5 points on Sunday, the Lakers were as high as -900 to win the series. After losing Game 4, and more importantly losing Anthony Davis to a groin injury, the Lakers amazingly shifted to +130 underdogs for the series. If you like the Lakers you can get a much better price on them by betting the exact games for a much larger payout, obviously sacrificing a small loss on the bet that doesn’t hit. You have to be prepared to lose both bets if the Suns pull it off, but we know Chris Paul’s track record in the playoffs. I expect LeBron to be able to pull this off if he needs to, but also feel as though we see Anthony Davis in Game 6 and Game 7 if need be.
I strongly lean to the Trail Blazers getting the road win on Tuesday, but am more comfortable going with them for the series, at a slight discount compared to pre-series. The Blazers will have to steal one on the road, and protect home court in Game 6, but they have the more dangerous roster.
What the Nuggets have done is impressive, and Nikola Jokic is the rightful MVP. But without Jamal Murray, and other role players dinged up, a healthy Portland team with some depth has more to finish strong here. The Nuggets are starting a pair of bench players in the backcourt against Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. I expect that to be the difference in advancing here.
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