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Per usual, I’ll put everything official up on Twitter that I bet on personally. This is a betting guide for this NBA card, and anything I’ve actually bet will include a unit amount.
This is an interesting game with the number really growing on the home favorite, and for obvious reasons. The Nets have plenty of flaws, but it’s hard to imagine that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving aren’t able to turn it up in a one-game playoff to overtake an injury riddled Cavs squad (even if the loser still gets another crack to make the postseason). Nets ML is a very strong parlay piece, and one that I’ve been using to string together a couple of parlays.
Otherwise, if I play any other angles in this game, I want to back the Nets coming out hot offensively. The Nets have come out and scored at least 30 points in the first quarter in seven of their last eight games, including 34 when recently hosting Cleveland. I think they’ll come out ready to score in this game. That also ties right in with a potential first half play. Brooklyn has covered the first half spread in four straight home games, including an eight-point lead over the Cavs. Cleveland has been awful in the first half while limping into the playoffs, going 2-8 1H ATS over the last 10, trailing by an average of more than six points.
If you’re looking for anything on the Cleveland side, I love the matchup for Garland. The Nets are awful defensively, and have gotten worse with Kyrie Irving in the lineup. Garland went for 31 in the recent matchup, and should see plenty of minutes to exploit the same matchup in this one.
The Clippers took three of four against the Wolves this season, including 3-0 with Paul George in the lineup. The Wolves did get the last matchup, but these teams haven’t played since January. Since then, the Clippers have added a ton of depth on the wing, which should not only help them in the play-in game(s), but also make some noise as a lower seed in the postseason.
The Clips come into this tournament winners of six of their last seven, including five in a row. Two of those outright victories were as underdogs. The team has won four of its five games since PG returned to the lineup, and I think he can be the difference in this game. Minnesota really struggles against the SG position (more on that later), and the depth now around George should be crucial. Robert Covington and Norman Powell were added as wings to help the Clippers through the regular season without PG and Kawhi Leonard, but now the get to play a complimentary role to George. As long as the bigs can contain Karl-Anthony Towns to a reasonable degree, I think the wing depth of the Clippers gets them the outright win.
As for PG boards, you might remember this one from last postseason. George should be able to kick it up a notch in these bigger games, particularly with the big men battling with KAT down low. George stayed under this mark in his first three games, back, but went over in each of his last two games, averaging just 31 minutes. I expect PG to see some extra run in this one, and the matchup is prime. The Wolves rank poorly against the SG position this season, including one of the worst at keeping them off the glass. George averaged 8.3 rebounds in his three matchup against the Wolves this season, going over in two of the three. Good plus money here makes this an easy call.
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