NBA Odds: Saturday, May 10, 2014 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 5/9/2014
I very much expected the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs to win their respective conference semifinal series. But I also thought they each would go at least six games. The way things look right now, the Heat and Spurs could finish off sweeps Monday night, sit back and rest up while awaiting their conference finals opponent. I hope I'm wrong, but any chance the Nets and Blazers have down 2-0 have is winning at home Saturday.
Game 3: Heat at Nets (+1.5, 189)
I realistically don't see this series going more than five games. And in fact t hat is the Sportsbook.ag favored exact series result at -105, with a sweep next at +110. Nets winning the next four is +12500. Hey, why not throw a few dollars down on that -- maybe LeBron James gets hurt on Saturday. Otherwise, the Nets simply look old. Once again they put up a good fight in Game 2, at least for three quarters, but ran out of gas midway through the fourth as Miami outscored Brooklyn 25-15 on the way to a 94-82 victory. The Heat's game-clinching run happened in the third quarter of Game 1. Miami has had five players score in double-figures in both games and it simply isn't going to lose when that happens.
As for the Nets, the clear Game 2 goat was Deron Williams. Remember not too long ago he was considered perhaps the top point guard in the NBA and the Dallas Mavericks were clearing all this cap space to lure him? The Nets couldn't give Williams away right now with his contract and after his scoreless Game 2, his first scoreless game ever when playing at least 15 minutes. He was a team-worst minus-18. If Williams isn't dominating his matchup with Mario Chalmers, forget it. Chalmers, incidentally, had 11 points, five assists and was plus-14. Kevin Garnett absolutely will retire when this series ends. He has nothing left. After going scoreless in Game 1, he had four points in Game 2 and was minus-11. To be fair, he did have a game-high 12 rebounds. Amazingly, Heat reserve Ray Allen has outscored Garnett and Paul Pierce combined so far.
The only bright spot for Brooklyn was Mirza Teletovic, who had 20 points off the bench. Without him, this was a blowout early. For some reason, Jason Kidd didn't play Andrei Kirilenko, a great defender, a single minute in Game 2. I think it's now clear that Kidd is being hugely outcoached by the experienced Erik Spoelstra.
Key trends: The Nets are 2-6 ATS in their past eight after an ATS loss. Brooklyn is 1-5 ATS in its past six at home. The "under" is 7-3 in Miami's past 10 conference semifinal games. The under is 4-1 in the Nets' past five Saturday games.
Updated Sportsbook.ag series line: Heat -3500, Nets +1500
Early lean: I'm sure the Nets play with a ton of energy for at least two quarters, and I'd take any first-half prop that has them leading. However, barring big games by Williams, Joe Johnson and Pierce, and not just two but all three, I don't see how Brooklyn wins. Take the Heat and the under.
Game 3: Spurs at Trail Blazers (+1.5, 209)
This series hasn't been close whatsoever. It is the definition of playoff experience and total professionalism against inexperience and too much emotion. The Blazers might have left everything they had on the court in that Rockets series. San Antonio took control of Game 1 with a 36-23 advantage in the second quarter on the way to a 116-92 win. Game 2 was almost an identical image. The Spurs grabbed hold of the game with a 41-25 advantage in the second on the way to a 114-97 victory.
Portland has zero -- zero! -- chance if LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard don't combine for something like 50 points in every game. Tiago Splitter, not Tim Duncan, did a major number on Aldridge in Game 2 as Aldridge was just 6-for-23 from the field for 16 points with four turnovers and a minus-11 rating. Aldridge was 2-for-14 when guarded by Splitter. Lillard, meanwhile, was 8-for-20 for 19 points and a minus-12 rating. Once again, the younger, faster Blazers were outscored in fast-break points, this time 17-10.
Kawhi Leonard was arguably the best Spurs player in Game 2, shooting 8-for-9 from the field for 20 points to go with five rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Tony Parker easily won the point guard matchup again, scoring 16 points to go with 10 assists and five rebounds. The Spurs turned it over just eight times. Their bench dominated with 50 points for the second straight game. Portland's had 19. To make matters worse, Portland's primary bench player, Mo Williams, is playing through a strained groin. He played only nine gimpy minutes in Game 2 and somehow managed to go minus-16 in that stretch. It's no sure thing he even plays Saturday.
Key trends: San Antonio is 0-4 ATS in its past four road games. Portland is 1-7 ATS in its past eight home games. It is 0-5 ATS in its past five after allowing 100 points or more in its previous game. The "over" is 5-0 in San Antonio's past five after a win. The over is 4-1 in Portland's past five at home. The over is 5-1 in the past six meetings in Portland.
Updated Sportsbook.ag series line: Spurs -1800, Blazers +1050
Early lean: I've seen nothing that indicates a reason to take Portland here. Spurs cover. Love the over as the Blazers will hit triple digits at home. I like Spurs in five at -110 on Sportsbook.ag. A sweep is +200.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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