NBA playoff betting predictions for Wednesday night
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.
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 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
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