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.






 

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome