GAMBLING GUIDE

NBA playoff betting predictions for Wednesday night

Look for Lebron and the Cavs to bounce back. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Rockets (-10.5) vs. Timberwolves Game 2

The hometown Houston Rockets host the Timberwolves in the second game of the series, and although they are up 1-0, a more efficient performance is what backers are hoping for. Opening as  -11.5 point favorites in Game 1, the Rockets never really gave bettors a chance at covering the number with their horrible performance from behind the arc. Outside of Harden, the Rockets shot 3-of-25 from 3-point range and needed every bit of James Harden's 44 points to close out the opening game of the series. Clint Capela also chipped in 24 points and 12 boards to assist the Beard in an off night for Houston. The game was played at an extremely low pace of 95.4, substantially below the Timberwolves season average of 98.4. The slow pace and low scoring in Sunday's matchup came as a huge surprise, as these two teams have seen their games go over in 14 of the last 18 matchups. These teams faced off four times during the regular season, with the Rockets scoring 116, 126, 120 and 129 points in those contests. The Rockets are No. 1 in the NBA in 3 pointers made hitting over 15.2 per game as this team has proved all season long it can live and die by the three.  Another stat that hurt the Rockets’ overall performance was their assist percentage, where during the regular season they assisted on 55.7 percent of their shots, Sunday night they failed to move the ball efficiently, seeing the number plummet to 38.5. They had an abundance of good looks; the ball just wasn't going down; luckily they had Harden to rescue them in a much-needed win.

The Pick

Good teams find a way to win even while playing bad; it's great teams that bounce back and give us performances that we are accustomed to seeing.  The Rockets have struggled of late as double-digit favorites going 6-15 ATS in the last 21 games in such a role. Not only a problem for Houston but since 1991, Double Digit underdogs are 35-22-2 ATS in opening round games. With the trends bucking in the opposite direction, we look to pick a favorable spot on the Rockets Team Total Over with 112.5 available at may spots. Even with the abysmal 3-point shooting, Houston still scored 27, 27, 22, and 28 per quarter. Look for them to continue the scoring but with an added bump in efficiency seeing them ultimately clear the number.

Rockets team Total over 112.5

Cavaliers (-8) vs. Pacers Game 2

The last time LeBron James lost an opening round game, Gangnam Style had us dancing like fools, and The Avengers was dominating theaters. The Game 1 loss came with little surprise for a team that has been struggling to find its identity. Indiana now leads the season series 4-1, and the underdog really believes they should win this series. As a +240 dog, the Pacers led the entire way after a 25-8 start and never looked back. Cleveland shot an embarrassing 23.5 percent from 3 while the Pacers were on fire hitting 39.3 percent. The Cavaliers were also forced into 16 turnovers, not something you want to see for a team listed as a -700 favorite to win the series. After Indiana stole home court, the series is much more even, and the Cavaliers are now only listed at -234 to advance. The Pacers played at the seventh slowest pace during the regular season, the Cavs 12th fastest. The tortoise-style speed Game 1 was played at was dictated by the visitors seeing the game played at a pace of 93.9, the slowest of all the playoff games thus far and an ample drop from Cleveland's 100.9 average.

The Pick

The Pacers had everything go right from the opening tipoff, but can they replicate that performance in Game 2? The problem with the Cavaliers and their ultimate downfall will be their defense, not so much the offensive side. Listed as -8 point favorites, LeBron and company will look to even things up, but they will have to knock down shots and move the ball more effectively. Working in their favor, a trend dating back to the early 90's.

When a home favorite loses an opening round game, they are an astonishing 97-26 Straight up and 72-47-4 ATS in the following matchup.

LeBron bounces back knowing the importance of not going down 0-2, and the offense gets back on track.

Cavaliers Team Total Over 108
Cavaliers-8


For any questions or comments reach me @JerryBoKnowz on twitter.






 

 

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Houston's winning streak is up to nine

Astros secure series over Orioles as winning streak continues

Zack Greinke provided another long outing for his team on Tuesday. Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images.

After continuing their recent dominance with a lopsided win over this Orioles team on Monday in the rain-plagued opener, the Astros eyed number nine in a row if they could do it again on Tuesday. Though not as one-sided, the Astros would get the victory to secure the series win.

Final Score: Astros 3, Orioles 1

Astros' Record: 45-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (8-2)

Losing Pitcher: Jorge Lopez (2-9)

A tame start for Houston's offense

After a scoreless first inning on both sides, Myles Straw started the scoring with two outs in the top of the second, sneaking a ball off and over the left-field wall just out of the grasp of Austin Hays for a solo homer to put Houston ahead 1-0. After Baltimore tied the game in the third, the game remained gridlocked 1-1 until the top of the seventh, when Chase McCormick would reach on a one-out infield single then raced around to score on a Myles Straw RBI single, putting Houston back in front 2-1.

Greinke pitches into the eighth

Over that span, Zack Greinke was getting efficient innings against Baltimore's lineup. He allowed that trying run in the third, which came after a one-out walk moved to third on a single, then scored on a sac fly. That was one of his few moments with runners in scoring position, as he erased a single in the first, a single in the fourth, and a double in the seventh to maintain the new 2-1 lead.

The Astros loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the eighth but came away with only one run of insurance on a McCormick sac fly, making it 3-1 as Greinke returned to the mound to continue working. He allowed a leadoff single then retired the next batter before Dusty Baker would come out to get him as the left-handed portion of the lineup was due up and a better match for Brooks Raley, who had been warming. Greinke's final line: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 91 P.

Astros make it nine in a row

Raley completed the eighth for Greinke with two strikeouts to strand the inherited runner. With it still a two-run game in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Pressly entered for the save. He erased a two-out single to finish things off, giving Houston their ninth win in a row and securing the series with a chance at the sweep in the finale.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set will be another 6:05 PM Central start time on Wednesday. Thomas Eshelman (0-0, 1.93 ERA) will be on the mound for Baltimore to face the Astros, while Jose Urquidy (5-3, 3.65 ERA) will start for Houston.

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