Gary | Tue 02/05/2017 - 20:46 EDT

Spurs won't go down without a fight

Wednesday NBA playoff game day picks 

By Eric Uribe

All odds courtesy of BetOnline.

Lines

Over/under 214 points: Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers (-7)  

Quicken Loans Arena is a house of horrors for the Raptors. In two years, here's how many points they've lost by in four trips during the postseason: 31, 19, 38, and now 11 in Game 1. That's an average losing margin of 24.8 points. Based on that, you need to pound Cleveland at -7. 

In the opening game, it felt like a week of restored Cavaliers' life. Unlike Toronto, they made quick work of their first-round opponent. The additions of P.J. Tucker and Serge Ibaka did little to stop LeBron James and company. James dropped 35 points en route to a 116-105 beatdown.

The defending NBA champions are lasering passes all over the floor, finishing with 26 assists on 39 field goals in Game 1. Opponents have had no answer for the Cavs high-flying attack all playoffs. Cleveland are averaging 113.4 points a game and have hit the over in all but one matchup.

If the Raptors are going to make this a competitive series, they're going to need more from their backcourt. Kyle Lowry finished with 20 points and 11 dishes, while DeMar DeRozan chipped in 19 points. Not terrible numbers by any means, but unless that tandem plays like superstars, this could be easy work for Cleveland. 

We're going to ride the trends in Game 2. Since 2015, the Cavs are 16-1 at home against Eastern Conference foes. That'll become 17 and Toronto once again gets run out of the building. 

The over/under might be the more exciting bet here. Cleveland should continue their scoring ways, while Lowry and DeRozan play better on Wednesday to push this over.

Pick: Cleveland (-7)

Total: Over

Over/under 215 points: Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs (-5.5)

The 126-99 beatdown Houston gave San Antonio in Game 1 was historic. The 27-point playoff loss was the Spurs' worst since 2007 and also the biggest in a series opener ever for Gregg Popovich.

This Rockets offense really flexed their muscles. After defeating Oklahoma City by pounding them inside, the team reverted to their old ways in Game 1, knocking down 22-of-50 three pointers. The hot shooting led to a lead as high as 39 points at one point.

The one advantage most thought would help the Spurs was their size inside, but it may be their undoing. If you thought LaMarcus Aldridge couldn't play any worse, he did with a four-point effort in Game 1.

Even worse, Aldridge and David Lee were torched all night by James Harden coming off a screen, hence where the barrage of three-pointers came from. Going into Wednesday's rematch, Popovich may have to adjust with a smaller lineup.  

We're going to toss this nightmare game out the window. Popovich is a legend, Kawhi Leonard is the best two-way player in the league and the Spurs aren't that bad. In Game 2, they'll just need to play their disciplined style of basketball and that starts and ends with better defensive rotations, especially on Harden.

You can just feel the energy difference between these two teams. The Spurs are playing on old legs, plus tired ones from a grueling first-round series against Memphis. It doesn't help they're running up and down the floor with the Rocket's push-the-pace offense. 

It's almost asinine to expect San Antonio to fall 2-0 on their home floor. We're not going that far, but if anything is a given, Houston will at the very least hang close in this one.

Pick: Rockets (+5.5)

Total: Over

Results / FixturesNBA

Category : Sports Betting News

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