The NBA playoffs offer up a pair of betting opportunities Monday night, as hot Philly and Golden State shoots for 2-0 leads against Miami and San Antonio. Which way are we going with free NBA playoff betting picks? NBA Playoff Betting Preview and Free Picks: Monday Night Playoff Action.
The spread on this game dropped a half-point in early betting.
The Sixers took the opener of this series Saturday 130-103 for their 17th straight win. Philly actually trailed the Heat at the half 60-56 but used a 15-0 run early in the third quarter to take control. The Sixers then scored 40 points in the fourth and covered easily at -6.
On the night Philly hit 18 of 28 from 3-point land, outrebounded Miami 60-50 and won the turnover battle 18-11.
Game 1 turned into a blowout, but these teams split four games during the regular season, with an average margin of victory of just 4.5 points.
Also, Saturday’s game flew over a total of 214, but three of the four earlier meetings this season played under, as those games averaged 204 points.
On the injury front Philly C Joel Embiid has missed recent action with a broken orbital bone and he is expected to miss this game, too.
The Sixers are the hottest team in the league right now, and suddenly very popular with bettors. However, we’re doubtful they’ll hit 18 threes Monday night. And these teams played close games during the regular season. We don’t usually subscribe to the zig-zag theory of NBA playoff betting but we’re taking the points here with Miami.
Some books opened the Warriors at -10, with a total of 206, but both those figures dipped a half-point in early betting.
The Warriors took the opener of this series Saturday 113-92, covering at -8. Golden State, which stumbled a bit down the stretch during the regular season, bounced out to an 18-point first-half lead, let the Spurs get within nine early in the third quarter but re-applied the gas and pulled away from there.
On the night Golden State shot 54 percent from the floor but more importantly held the Spurs to just 40 percent FG shooting. The Warriors also won the battle on the boards 57-40.
Golden State is now 18-14 SU, 12-20 ATS this season without Stephen Curry.
The Warriors took three of four games from San Antonio during the regular season, and the only game they lost was because they basically played without four starters.
Saturday’s game pushed a total of 205; three of the four regular-season meetings played under their totals.
We took the Spurs in Game 1 mainly because Golden State just isn’t the same team without Curry. And while we lost that pick, we’re sticking with the theory for Game 2. We’ll take the points with San Antonio.