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Better NBA Playoff Bets On Wednesday
NBA Playoff Game Day Odds Comparison
By Liam Davis
The first game between the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards was weird. Though the Hawks jumped out to an early lead, it never felt like they were in control. Their defensive schemes against the John Wall were bad, and they were a minus-20 and minus-21 with Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard, respectively in the game.
That doesn't bode well for their prospects in this series, and one can argue that they were lucky to lose Game 1 by only seven points. They trailed by as many as 15, Washington only shot 8-of-28 from beyond the arc, and the Wizards have, by and large, been absolute terrors at home this season.
Resist whatever urge you have to roll with the Hawks here. Adjustments between games matter a whole bunch, but the Wizards should be able to grind out a decisive victory.
The Pick: Washington Wizards (-5.5)
Yes, the Houston Rockets kicked the Oklahoma City Thunder's butt in Game 1, winning by 31 points. The Thunder had no answer for James Harden high pick-and-rolls, and their offense absolutely stalled.
Russell Westbrook had an off night, and no one helped picked up the slack. Andre Roberson came closest, pumping in 18 points, and that's a problem.
Still, things didn't really get away from the Thunder until the third quarter. They were able to remain within striking distance for more than half the game. Head coach Billy Donovan will adjust his defensive coverages, and Westbrook and a couple of peers should have beetter offensive showings.
In the grand scheme, the Rockets still don't look like a great matchup for the Thunder. They shoot a ton of threes, and when they're falling, the Thunder cannot keep up. But this series is destined for at least one close game, and considering that Oklahoma City's offense has already hit rock bottom, there's nowhere for it to go other than up.
The Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder (+8)
There are arguments to be made for both spreads here.
The Portland Trail Blazers covered in Game 1, and that was with C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard doing all the work. They are bound to get more help in Game 2, and Kevin Durant might not even suit up for the Golden State Warriors.
But here's something to consider: The Warriors outscored the Blazers by 12 points in the second half alone in Game 1. They really started to zero in on Lillard and McCollum defensively, and Draymond Green flipped whatever switch it is that turns him into the unquestioned Defensive Player of the Year.
We should expect more of the same for the Warriors, even if Durant doesn't play. The Blazers don't have the firepower to keep up with Golden State's stars, and they don't have the supporting cast to rival the Warriors' bench. Another double-digit victory for the Dubs feels like a formality.
The Pick: Golden State Warriors (-13.5)
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