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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.
I’m not quite sure how I’ll bet this game yet, if at all. However, a few things do stand out to me. Kyrie Irving went off for 39 points in Game 1, capped by shooting 7-of-9 in the fourth quarter. I expect the Celtics to put an emphasis on slowing Kyrie, as they did on the final defensive possession on Sunday. As good as the C’s were on Durant, I don’t think it can last. KD was just 9-for-24 from the field in Game 1, finishing with 23 points. When he played in Boston last month, he went for 37 on just 21 shots, also getting to the free throw line twice as much. KD should be in line for a bounce-back game.
This is a good matchup for Horford, and we saw it in Game 1 when he finished with 20 points and 15 boards. Horford did shoot 8-for-13 and knocked down both his 3-pointers and both his free throws. So while he might not be quite as efficient, the opportunities are going to be here for Al now that the postseason has arrived, particularly until Robert Williams returns. Horford played 41 minutes, and was a crucial piece to what Boston was doing on the floor. I don’t see that plan changing in Game 2, especially with two full days off between games.
As for a side in this game, I think a lot of people are looking for a bounce-back from Brooklyn. I’d lean the other way. Yes, the Nets probably need to steal one on the road early in this series, but wasn’t Game 1 their chance and they blew it? Brooklyn shot 54% from the field and connected on 11-of-24 triples and still fell short. The Celtics shot significantly worse against a much softer defense. While Durant should have a better game, I’d expect this elite Celtics defense to dig in on the rest of the Nets and limit them more. The C’s should also be able to score better against Brooklyn’s lacking defense. The Nets might be the popular side, but this is Boston or pass for me.
This is the only game on my radar for Wednesday, so I’ll also include a couple of spots for Thursday I’m planning to attack.
MIN 1Q ML (-105) — Thursday
This has been a back and forth series thus far, with the Wolves stealing Game 1 on the road and then the Grizzlies dominating a Game 2 they desperately needed. Now we look for Minnesota to respond early in Game 3 at home. Prior to locking in the No. 7 seed, the Wolves were 25-13-1 1Q ATS at home this season. Minnesota has also covered the first quarter in both games of the series so far. I like that trend to continue with the scene shifting to their home floor.
GSW ML (-125) — Thursday
Generally speaking, when a team is down 2-0 and heading home for Game 3, that’s the desperation spot that you want to back them in. If not, it tends to be a stay away spot. In this case, I think I’m going to play the short number on the Warriors.
Golden State has completely overmatched the Nuggets in both games so far, and I’m not sure going back to Denver is going to fix that. Nikola Jokic hasn’t played all that well in this series, and we’ve seen the MVP get frustrated plenty. The Dubs have found that small-ball lineup that’s working for them, and Jordan Poole is playing out of his mind. Even if/when Poole cools down, the rest of the Splash Brothers plus Andrew Wiggins are just way too much top-end talent compared to Denver.
The only time these two teams played at close to full strength this season, the Warriors won in Denver by double digits (and that was without Draymond Green). The Nuggets have nothing beyond Jokic, and it shows. We could be looking at a sweep here.
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