NBA Odds: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews - 4/28/2014
It should be quite the scene in Los Angeles on Tuesday night when the Clippers play their first home game since the Donald Sterling story broke. Sterling will not be in attendance, which is probably wise for his safety. Here's a look at all three playoff games Tuesday.
Game 5: Wizards at Bulls (-4.5, 183.5)
This is the lone series that can end Tuesday as Washington has a 3-1 lead. Really any chance the Bulls likely had of winning this series vanished in Game 4's 98-89 loss in D.C. The Wizards didn't have the suspended Nene in that one, and he's been one of the best players in this series. Joakim Noah sure didn't miss Nene as he had 10 points and 15 rebounds. Mike Dunleavy was nearly invisible after going crazy in Game 3. He's dealing with a bruised thumb but will start Game 5. The Bulls had all of two fast-break points. They just don't have the offense to matchup here.
Washington's Trevor Ariza blew up for career playoff high 30 points in Game 4, which helped offset the fact that the Washington bench managed only 10 points. The Wizards turned the ball over just six times and scored 29 points off 16 Chicago giveaways. History bodes well for the Wizards in this one. They are 5-0 in Game 5s of a playoff series when leading the series 3-1.
Key trends: The Wizards are 5-0 ATS in their past five road games. The Bulls are 0-5 ATS in their past five playing on one day of rest. The "over" is 6-0 in Washington's past six. The Wizards are 6-0 ATS in their past six in Chicago.
Updated Sportsbook.ag series line: Wizards -550, Bulls +400
Early lean: Take Washington and the "over."
Game 5: Grizzlies at Thunder (-6, 186.5)
If you are a Memphis Grizzlies fan and I told you that your team would hold Oklahoma City stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to a combined 30 points on 11-for-45 from the field, you probably would be feeling pretty good about the Grizzlies' chances. Alas, while those two struggled in Game 4, and it was just the second time in their careers they'd both shot worse than 30 percent in the same game, Reggie Jackson finally showed up off the bench with 32 points in the Thunder's 92-89 overtime victory; he had 15 points combined leading into Game 4. OKC shot only 36.7 percent from the field but had a whopping 58 rebounds. Serge Ibaka and Durant combined for 27 boards, and Westbrook had nine himself.
Marc Gasol had 23 points and 11 rebounds in 49 minutes to lead Memphis, which was only 13-of-23 from the free-throw line. The Grizzlies gagged away a late lead for the third straight game. This is the second series in NBA history to have three consecutive overtime games, the other Bulls-Celtics in 2009. While Memphis has looked like the better team overall, it needs more from Zach Randolph. He is 10-for-34 in the past two games and hitting at only 36 percent in the series. Kendrick Perkins is doing a fine defensive job on Randolph, who was benched for much of the fourth quarter of Game 4
Key trends: Memphis has covered just two of its past 11 road games. The Thunder are 2-7-1 ATS in their past 10 playing on two days of rest. The "under" is 6-1 in OKC's past seven Tuesday games.
Updated Sportsbook.ag series line: Thunder -330, Grizzlies +265
Early lean: As close as this series has been, I'm pretty shocked that Memphis is getting that many points. Take it.
Game 5: Warriors at Clippers (-6, 210.5)
Expect very heavy security and plenty of protests outside Staples Center on Tuesday in the wake of Sterling's racist diatribe. Sponsors already are fleeing the Clippers and the NBA reportedly will announce something early Tuesday regarding possible punishment. Clearly the guy can't be around the team any longer, but I'm not sure of the legality of forcing someone to sell the team. Obviously what Sterling said was terribly wrong, but this is also America and he's entitled to say that I suppose. The Clippers looked very distracted in Sunday's 118-97 loss. I'd imagine it only gets worse back home. L.A. was looking for its first ever three-game playoff winning streak.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson made a lineup change for Game 4, going small with his starting five by using David Lee at center and Draymond Green at power forward. Jermaine O'Neal moved to the bench, something he suggested to Jackson. Lee was plus-30 with 15 points and six rebounds, while helping hold L.A.'s DeAndre Jordan scoreless and to six boards. Green had just four points but was a team-best plus-33. The Clippers may have awoken Steph Curry as he had a series-best 33 points and hit seven 3-pointers. The Warriors had 20 points in transition with that smaller lineup compared to six for L.A.
Key trends: The Warriors are 5-1 ATS in their past six after an ATS win. The Clippers are 4-0 ATS in their past four after a loss of more than 10 points. The "over" is 4-0 in Golden State's past four road games. The home team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.
Updated Sportsbook.ag series lines: Clippers -350, Warriors +275
This is a tough call because it's somewhat unprecedented what the Clippers players are dealing with. Do they band together and win in spite of their owner
or does this whole mess torpedo the season? I think they band together with leaders like Doc Rivers and Chris Paul. Give the points and go "over."
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