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Thread: Monday's NBA Trends and Indexes - 4/15

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    Default Monday's NBA Trends and Indexes - 4/15

    Trends and Indexes

    Monday, April 15

    Good Luck on day # 105 of 2019!

    NOTE: As information becomes available, we will attempt to post the trends and indexes as soon as possible.Information is posted from what we believe are reliable sources.Any opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the posting member or BettorsChat.

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    Armadillo: Monday's six-pack

    — Celtics 84, Pacers 74— Indiana scored 8 points in third quarter.

    — Blazers 104, Thunder 99— OKC was 5-33 behind the arc.

    — Rockies 4, Giants 0— Marquez had a no-hiiter into 8th inning.

    — Cardinals 9, Reds 5— NL Central rivals split pair of games in Mexico.

    — Astros 3, Mariners 2— Houston goes to Seattle and sweeps the Mariners.

    — Dodgers 7, Brewers 1— LA snaps its 6-game losing streak.


    **********

    Armadillo: Monday's List of 13: Wrapping up a sport weekend……

    13) I’m listening to Hubie Brown analyze the Spurs-Nuggets game Saturday, and he talks about when he coached games in Denver in the old ABA, when he coached the Kentucky Colonels, who were a really good team. He was talking about the high altitude in Denver.

    Then it dawned on me; the ABA folded in 1976, WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL.

    Hubie is so awesome, so sharp, a pleasure to listen to. Absolutely no nonsense; he was coaching pro ball when I had a full head of curly hair, and thats a damn long time ago.

    12) The 1974-75 Kentucky Colonels were really good; they went 58-26, won the second-to-last ABA title, with a roster that included Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel, Louie Dampier, Will Jones, really good players.

    Had the Colonels’ owner not sold out to the ABA’s other owners and folded the Colonels (he was later allowed to buy the Celtics as a reward for screwing the Kentucky fans), Hubie Brown would have had a hell of a ballclub to go into the NBA with.

    Instead, the Nets, Pacers, Nuggets, Spurs joined the NBA for the 1976-77 season.

    11) One thing that disappointed me about Showtime’s 4-part Action series about sports betting is that they never showed the Westgate Theater on an NFL Sunday, which is my favorite place to be on any football Sunday. Just a perfect setup. Food to the left, betting in back, people are respectful of each other. I’ve had some excellent conversations in there with total strangers while watching football.

    On a college football Saturday, the Westgate SuperBook is great fun. The SuperBook is a cool place to hang out and the SouthPoint is awesome for baseball/basketball nights, but for an NFL Sunday, a 1,500-seat theater with food/betting is pretty much ideal.

    10) Last episode of the Action series last night focused on the Super Bowl, which was a very sad few hours at Armadillo World HQ (I’ve been a Ram fan since 1966). This isn’t an episode I’ll watch more than once. Too soon.

    9) FOX should have a much better #1 baseball analyst than John Smoltz, who doesn’t seem to like baseball that much. Listen to him for a few innings and it is obvious he’d much rather be out on the golf course. He should work for the Golf Channel.

    8) Congrats to the person who wagered $85,000 on Eldrick Woods this week at 14-1 odds; his payday is $1.19M, about half of what Woods won at Augusta.

    7) Baseball injuries:
    — Seattle put P Wade LeBlanc (oblique) on the IL
    — Braves put P Aroyds Vizcaino (shoulder) on IL
    — Boston OF Andrew Benitendi left Sunday’s game after fouling a ball off his foot.

    6) First two days of NBA playoffs, favorites were 4-4 vs spread; under was 8-0.

    5) Coaching carousel:
    — Cincinnati hired Northern Kentucky’s John Brannen as its new coach.
    — Utah Valley hired Lakers’ assistant Mark Madsen as its new coach.
    — Wofford promoted associate coach Jay McAuley as head coach.

    4) James Harden won the NBA scoring title this season by 8.09 points/game, the biggest margin of victory since Wilt Chamberlain won it by 16+ points in 1962-63.

    3) It is April 15; Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel are still free agents. Weird.

    2) Former Clemson QB Kelly Bryant is playing at Missouri now; when Mizzou had its spring game this weekend, 7 or 8 of his Clemson teammates went to Columbia to watch Bryant play- thats something NFL scouts will take note of down the road. A quarterback being liked/respected by teammates is a big deal to NFL scouts.

    1) NFL schedule comes out Thursday; seems like last season just ended.

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    BROOKLYN (43 - 40) at PHILADELPHIA (51 - 32) - 4/15/2019, 8:00 PM

    Top Trends for this game.
    PHILADELPHIA is 140-116 ATS (+12.4 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 51-36 ATS (+11.4 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) after a division game this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 38-19 ATS (+17.1 Units) revenging a home loss vs opponent over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 78-57 ATS (+15.3 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 42-25 ATS (+14.5 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 75-56 ATS (+13.4 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 42-25 ATS (+14.5 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season over the last 3 seasons.

    BROOKLYN is 46-37 ATS (+5.3 Units) in all games this season.
    BROOKLYN is 34-23 ATS (+8.7 Units) when the total is greater than or equal to 220 this season.
    BROOKLYN is 66-51 ATS (+9.9 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 26-16 ATS (+8.4 Units) in road games this season.
    BROOKLYN is 29-14 ATS (+13.6 Units) in a road game where the total is greater than or equal to 220 over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 21-10 ATS (+10.0 Units) in road games in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 34-14 ATS (+18.6 Units) in road games after a division game since 1996.
    BROOKLYN is 15-4 ATS (+10.6 Units) off an upset win as an underdog this season.
    BROOKLYN is 52-34 ATS (+14.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 18-8 ATS (+9.2 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 35-22 ATS (+10.8 Units) in road games versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 38-22 ATS (+13.8 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.
    BROOKLYN is 20-11 ATS (+7.9 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 13-25 ATS (-14.5 Units) vs. division opponents over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    BROOKLYN is 7-5 against the spread versus PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
    PHILADELPHIA is 8-5 straight up against BROOKLYN over the last 3 seasons
    7 of 13 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    LA CLIPPERS (48 - 35) at GOLDEN STATE (58 - 25) - 4/15/2019, 10:30 PM

    Top Trends for this game.
    LA CLIPPERS are 1-10 ATS (-10.0 Units) in April games over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 234-288 ATS (-82.8 Units) after a loss by 10 points or more since 1996.
    LA CLIPPERS are 229-291 ATS (-91.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 137-100 ATS (+27.0 Units) in April games since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 69-44 ATS (+20.6 Units) in all playoff games since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 28-10 ATS (+17.0 Units) in the first round of the playoffs since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 87-58 ATS (+23.2 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season since 1996.

    LA CLIPPERS are 45-37 ATS (+4.3 Units) in all games this season.
    LA CLIPPERS are 47-34 ATS (+9.6 Units) in road games over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 23-10 ATS (+12.0 Units) vs. division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 21-10 ATS (+10.0 Units) after a division game over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 60-45 ATS (+10.5 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 36-46 ATS (-14.6 Units) in all games this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 32-43 ATS (-15.3 Units) as a favorite this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 38-53 ATS (-20.3 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 22-34 ATS (-15.4 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 28-41 ATS (-17.1 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    GOLDEN STATE is 8-5 against the spread versus LA CLIPPERS over the last 3 seasons
    GOLDEN STATE is 11-2 straight up against LA CLIPPERS over the last 3 seasons
    9 of 13 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    ORLANDO (43 - 40) at TORONTO (58 - 25) - 4/16/2019, 8:05 PM

    Top Trends for this game.
    ORLANDO is 126-162 ATS (-52.2 Units) when playing with 2 days rest since 1996.
    ORLANDO is 45-35 ATS (+6.5 Units) in all games this season.
    ORLANDO is 20-11 ATS (+7.9 Units) in the second half of the season this season.
    ORLANDO is 15-4 ATS (+10.6 Units) against Atlantic division opponents this season.
    ORLANDO is 23-13 ATS (+8.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
    ORLANDO is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season this season.
    ORLANDO is 37-27 ATS (+7.3 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game this season.
    ORLANDO is 37-26 ATS (+8.4 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.
    ORLANDO is 21-10 ATS (+10.0 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season this season.

    TORONTO is 39-60 ATS (-27.0 Units) in home games on Tuesday nights since 1996.
    TORONTO is 17-31 ATS (-17.1 Units) in home games revenging a loss vs opponent over the last 3 seasons.
    TORONTO is 206-262 ATS (-82.2 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    ORLANDO is 7-5 against the spread versus TORONTO over the last 3 seasons
    TORONTO is 7-5 straight up against ORLANDO over the last 3 seasons
    8 of 12 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    SAN ANTONIO (49 - 34) at DENVER (54 - 29) - 4/16/2019, 9:05 PM

    Top Trends for this game.
    SAN ANTONIO is 1091-956 ATS (+39.4 Units) in all games since 1996.
    SAN ANTONIO is 160-118 ATS (+30.2 Units) on Tuesday nights since 1996.
    SAN ANTONIO is 34-24 ATS (+7.6 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.
    DENVER is 12-25 ATS (-15.5 Units) against Southwest division opponents over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    SAN ANTONIO is 8-4 against the spread versus DENVER over the last 3 seasons
    SAN ANTONIO is 8-4 straight up against DENVER over the last 3 seasons
    7 of 12 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
    OKLAHOMA CITY (49 - 33) at PORTLAND (53 - 29) - 4/16/2019, 10:35 PM
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.
    Head-to-Head Series History
    PORTLAND is 7-5 against the spread versus OKLAHOMA CITY over the last 3 seasons
    PORTLAND is 7-5 straight up against OKLAHOMA CITY over the last 3 seasons
    7 of 11 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
    Common sense is not so common.
    “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.” Zig Ziglar

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    NBA
    Long Sheet

    Monday, April 15


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    BROOKLYN (43 - 40) at PHILADELPHIA (51 - 32) - 4/15/2019, 8:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    PHILADELPHIA is 140-116 ATS (+12.4 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 51-36 ATS (+11.4 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) after a division game this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 38-19 ATS (+17.1 Units) revenging a home loss vs opponent over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 78-57 ATS (+15.3 Units) revenging a loss vs opponent over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 42-25 ATS (+14.5 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 75-56 ATS (+13.4 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game over the last 3 seasons.
    PHILADELPHIA is 42-25 ATS (+14.5 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season over the last 3 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 46-37 ATS (+5.3 Units) in all games this season.
    BROOKLYN is 34-23 ATS (+8.7 Units) when the total is greater than or equal to 220 this season.
    BROOKLYN is 66-51 ATS (+9.9 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 26-16 ATS (+8.4 Units) in road games this season.
    BROOKLYN is 29-14 ATS (+13.6 Units) in a road game where the total is greater than or equal to 220 over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 21-10 ATS (+10.0 Units) in road games in the second half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 34-14 ATS (+18.6 Units) in road games after a division game since 1996.
    BROOKLYN is 15-4 ATS (+10.6 Units) off an upset win as an underdog this season.
    BROOKLYN is 52-34 ATS (+14.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 18-8 ATS (+9.2 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 35-22 ATS (+10.8 Units) in road games versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.
    BROOKLYN is 38-22 ATS (+13.8 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game this season.
    BROOKLYN is 20-11 ATS (+7.9 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season this season.
    PHILADELPHIA is 13-25 ATS (-14.5 Units) vs. division opponents over the last 2 seasons.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    BROOKLYN is 7-5 against the spread versus PHILADELPHIA over the last 3 seasons
    PHILADELPHIA is 8-5 straight up against BROOKLYN over the last 3 seasons
    7 of 13 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    LA CLIPPERS (48 - 35) at GOLDEN STATE (58 - 25) - 4/15/2019, 10:30 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    LA CLIPPERS are 1-10 ATS (-10.0 Units) in April games over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 234-288 ATS (-82.8 Units) after a loss by 10 points or more since 1996.
    LA CLIPPERS are 229-291 ATS (-91.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record - 2nd half of the season since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 137-100 ATS (+27.0 Units) in April games since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 69-44 ATS (+20.6 Units) in all playoff games since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 28-10 ATS (+17.0 Units) in the first round of the playoffs since 1996.
    GOLDEN STATE is 87-58 ATS (+23.2 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points/game - 2nd half of the season since 1996.
    LA CLIPPERS are 45-37 ATS (+4.3 Units) in all games this season.
    LA CLIPPERS are 47-34 ATS (+9.6 Units) in road games over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 23-10 ATS (+12.0 Units) vs. division opponents over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 21-10 ATS (+10.0 Units) after a division game over the last 2 seasons.
    LA CLIPPERS are 60-45 ATS (+10.5 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 36-46 ATS (-14.6 Units) in all games this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 32-43 ATS (-15.3 Units) as a favorite this season.
    GOLDEN STATE is 38-53 ATS (-20.3 Units) in home games over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 22-34 ATS (-15.4 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
    GOLDEN STATE is 28-41 ATS (-17.1 Units) versus poor defensive teams - allowing 106+ points/game this season.

    Head-to-Head Series History
    GOLDEN STATE is 8-5 against the spread versus LA CLIPPERS over the last 3 seasons
    GOLDEN STATE is 11-2 straight up against LA CLIPPERS over the last 3 seasons
    9 of 13 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    NBA
    Armadillo's Write-Up

    Monday, April 15


    Nets’ bench was +74 in Game 1; remarkable. 76ers shot 3-25 on arc, 29-42 on foul line in 111-102 Game 1 loss, when home crowd booed them. Philly was -21 in 32:00 with Simmons on floor, +12 in 16:00 he sat out. Philly lost five of their last seven games overall; they’re 5-3-2 vs spread in last ten home games. Nets won/covered their last four games; they covered seven of their last eight road games. Under is 13-5 in their last 18 games. 76ers won five of their last eight games with Brooklyn; three of last four series games went over. Five of Philly’s last seven games went over.

    Golden State won three of last four NBA titles; they won first round series five of last six years. Warriors won seven of its last eight games (under 5-2-1). Golden State cruised in Game 1; they had 69 points at half, were +15 on boards- Steph Curry had 15 rebounds himself. Clippers lost four of last five games; they’re 2-4 vs spread in last six road games. LA’s top two scorers in Game 1 (Harrell, Williams) both came off bench. Over is 10-3-1 in their last 14 games. Warriors won nine of last 11 games with the Clippers, but LA covered four of last seven- Clippers covered four of last six visits to Oakland. Eight of last 11 series games went over.




    NBA

    Monday, April 15


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Trend Report
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Brooklyn @ Philadelphia
    Brooklyn
    Brooklyn is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games on the road
    Brooklyn is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Philadelphia
    Philadelphia
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Philadelphia's last 6 games at home
    Philadelphia is 7-2 SU in its last 9 games at home

    LA Clippers @ Golden State
    LA Clippers
    The total has gone OVER in 9 of LA Clippers's last 12 games when playing Golden State
    The total has gone OVER in 10 of LA Clippers's last 14 games
    Golden State
    Golden State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
    Golden State is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games when playing at home against LA Clippers


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    NBA
    Dunkel

    Monday, April 15



    Brooklyn @ Philadelphia

    Game 521-522
    April 15, 2019 @ 8:00 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    Brooklyn
    123.137
    Philadelphia
    115.749
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Brooklyn
    by 7 1/2
    229
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Philadelphia
    by 8
    225 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Brooklyn
    (+8); Over

    LA Clippers @ Golden State


    Game 523-524
    April 15, 2019 @ 10:30 pm

    Dunkel Rating:
    LA Clippers
    117.029
    Golden State
    122.925
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Golden State
    by 6
    227
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Golden State
    by 14
    230 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    LA Clippers
    (+14); Under

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    NBA Playoffs best bets and prop predictions: Early scoring drives Warriors and Clippers
    Monique Vág

    Two games are scheduled for the NBA playoffs today with the 76ers 8-point favorites as they attempt to avenge their upset loss at home against the Nets, and the Warriors listed as 13.5-point favorites after making light work of the Clippers in the first game. We’re here to bring you the must-read notes from around the Association to help you make the best wagers.

    BROOKLYN NETS AT PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

    Spread: Philadelphia 76ers -8
    Over/Under: 226 points
    Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ET, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    The Nets were victorious 111-102 in game one, despite a slow performance from D’Angelo Russell who missed 12 of his first 15 shots from the floor, but still finished with 26 points. The difference in the first game was the 3-point shooting of both teams where the Nets shot 11 of 26 for 42 percent from beyond the arc, and the 76ers only managed to connect on three of 25 for 12 percent.

    The 76ers will need to be more aggressive and take advantage of a weak Nets team inside the paint where they rank 25th in point allowed with 51.2 ppg. Although he doesn’t shoot a lot, Ben Simmons is efficient when he does. He is shooting just over 56 percent from the field and if he is unable to connect attacking the hoop, being aggressive could at the very least get him visits to the charity. Bet his points, rebounds, assists total Over 29.5.

    LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS AT GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS

    Spread: Golden State Warriors -13.5
    Over/Under: 230.5 points
    Start Time: 10:30 p.m. ET, Oracle Arena, Oakland, California

    In game one it was the Warriors hot start which helped secure the victory putting up 69 points at halftime. This was the eighth win out of the most recent 10 in the head-to-head versus the Clippers. During that 10 game stretch, the Warriors averaged 63 first half points.

    The Warriors and Clippers rank first and third in first-half points per game. The Warriors are second in first-quarter scoring with 30.4 ppg, and the Clippers rank first in second-quarter ppg with 30.1.

    The pace of the game should help with cashing on Over bets. The Clippers rank first in the Association in possessions per game over their last three games averaging 113.3. The Warriors rank eighth over their last three averaging 107.1. Look for both teams to start out quick and efficient and back the first half total Over 118.

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    Monday's Playoff Essentials
    Tony Mejia

    Eastern Conference First Round – Game 2

    No. 6 Brooklyn at No. 3 Philadelphia (TNT, 8 p.m. ET) -- Nets lead 1-0


    Apr. 13 - Nets (+7.5) 111 at 76ers 102 (Under 228)

    2018-19 Regular Season (Split 2-2, Over 3-1)
    Nov. 4 – Nets (+4) 122 vs. 76ers 97 (Under 224)
    Nov. 25 – 76ers (-4.5) 127 at Nets 125 (Over 226)
    Dec. 12 – Nets (+6) 127 at 76ers 123 (Over 224.5)
    Mar. 28 - 76ers (-7) 123 vs. Nets 110 (Over 231.5)

    Philadelphia center Joel Embiid is again ‘questionable’ for Game 2.

    He wore the same designation prior to the series opener, warming up to see how his knee would hold up before ultimately playing 24 minutes in the 76ers’ 111-102 setback against the Nets. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who watched him play this season that he’s hurt. There’s a lack of explosiveness compared to what he normally brings to the table. Of course, Embiid at 80 percent is much better than almost everyone else at full strength, so if he’s able to suit up and get through warmups, Philadelphia can count on the production of the game’s top center to help even things up.

    Embiid wasn’t the problem in Saturday afternoon’s defeat since he finished with 22 points, 15 boards and five blocks while playing much less than he ordinarily would have. He drew a pair of fouls on counterpart Jarrett Allen inside the game’s first minute, so Philly had the visiting Nets right where they wanted them early. You would have expected them to continue playing through their All-Star center in the post, taking advantage of working inside-out the way few other teams are capable of, especially with Brooklyn’s top rim protector in foul trouble. Instead, Embiid fired up a 3-pointer and floated around the perimeter and the sets that were used produced very little.

    Boban Marjanovic replaced Embiid five minutes in, part of Philly’s usual rotation since Brett Brown likes to come back in with his best player later in the quarter after a short break, so there wasn’t a lot to take from a first quarter where both teams appeared to be feeling one another out. Brooklyn was going to ride the 3-ball and got a lot of its rotation involved immediately with Jared Dudley, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and Ed Davis all getting their feet wet by the 4:00 mark.

    Philadelphia seemingly cleared the Embiid hurdle but struggled to see Tobias Harris and J.J. Redick, its top 3-point shooters, find the range. Ultimately, it caught up with the 76ers when Brooklyn closed the opening quarter on a 12-0 run fueled by the energy provided by its bench. They were stuck playing from behind the rest of the way and failed to rattle the Nets enough to get them to fumble away the result.

    If you’re into finger-pointing, there is plenty of blame to go around for why the 76ers find themselves in what feels like the first must-win situation of the postseason. While they would certainly still have a legitimate shot to get out of the series even if they fall behind 2-0, the Nets hosting three of the final five games would make them the series favorite. As things stand now, series odds still favor Philly (-215) over Brooklyn (+180), but anyone who rode the Nets to pull the upset at 5-to-1 before Game 1 has to be thrilled.

    Butler dominated to finish with 36 points, helping the Sixers hang around, but where he excelled as a playmaker, Ben Simmons failed miserably. The backcourt comprised by him and Redick was a minus-21. The Nets successfully sagged on him, daring him to shoot, so he ended up just 4-for-9. Worse yet, he had just three assists since Butler was playing catalyst and further dragged the team down by shooting 1-for-5 on free throws. Redick, Harris and Mike Scott, the team’s designated long-range threats who have to punish defenses for the way they play Embiid and Simmons, shot 2-for-14 from beyond the arc. Embiid, in part hoping to lighten the load on his sore knees, crept around the perimeter too much for my taste and missed all five of his 3-point attempts.

    If you’re looking to ride Philadelphia in a game it has to have, be sure you tail Embiid’s status all day and have faith that the team isn’t likely to have a 3-point shooting night as terrible as they had on Saturday. Missing 22 of 25 is hard to do.

    From the Nets standpoint, they have to be encouraged that they got on the board in the series first without All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell being particularly dominant. He led the team with 26 points, but committed four turnovers and ended up a minus-10 in his time on the floor. Dinwiddie scored 18 off the bench while Ed Davis finished a plus-28 while racking up 12 points and 16 rebounds, so the 76ers must do a better job keeping him from making such an impact on the boards. Brooklyn might have young starlets like Russell and Allen, but its sole rides with its journeymen, overachievers like Davis, Dinwiddie, De’Marre Carroll, Joe Harris and Dudley. Those guys have been told multiple times they wouldn’t make it and defied odds, which makes them extremely dangerous as they try to climb the mountain against the more talented 76ers.

    The total for Game 2 opened at 226, which is two points (228) lower than the closing number in Saturday’s opener. Chris David of VegasInsider.com offered up his thoughts on Monday’s number.

    “The 76ers getting held to 102 points at home by the Nets had nothing to do with Brooklyn’s defense and everything to do with making shots. Philly couldn’t buy a bucket from the outside, going 3-of-25 (12%) from 3-point land and missing 13 free throws certainly didn’t help their cause either,” said David. “I’m expecting a big rebound from Philadelphia, especially in the first quarter. Getting held to 22 points in the first 12 minutes was well below their season average (31.2 PPG) and that slow start on Saturday gave the Nets the confidence they needed. The 76ers only lost back-to-back games at home twice during the regular season and I’d ride that trend here, with the offense coming together. Along with a lean to the ‘over’ (55 ½) in the first quarter, I’d ride the Philadelphia Team Total Over (117) as well.”

    In case Embiid can’t go, it’s worth knowing that Philly went 8-10 without him in the lineup. The 76ers will likely push tempo if they can help it to get Simmons and Harris in a better flow in transition. If Embiid does suit up, I’m a fan of the first-quarter ‘over.’ The series shifts to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Thursday.


    Western Conference First Round – Game 2

    No. 8 L.A. Clippers at No. 1 Golden State (TNT, 10:30 p.m. ET) -- Warriors lead 1-0


    Apr. 13 - Warriors (-13.5) 121 vs. Clippers 104 (Under 233)

    2018-19 Regular Season (Warriors 3-1, Split 2-2)
    Nov. 12 - Clippers (+3.5) 121 vs. Warriors 116 (Over 226.5)
    Dec. 23 – Warriors (-11) 129 vs. Clippers 127 (Over 234)
    Jan. 18 – Warriors (-7.5) 112 at Clippers 94 (Under 241.5)
    Apr. 7 – Warriors (-11.5) 131 vs. Clippers 104 (Under 237.5)

    Any questions over whether we should be concerned about Stephen Curry’s latest foot injury, a slight sprain suffered in Game 81, got an emphatic ‘no’ as an answer on Saturday night.

    The Warriors’ guard became the most prolific 3-point shooter in NBA playoff history by making eight in a 121-104 Game 1 win, knocking down eight en route to 38 points. He added a playoff career-high 15 rebounds and seven assists for good measure just so we’re all sure, displaying tremendous energy in his activity. He’s locked in and healthy.

    We’ll see whether complacency sets in at some point this postseason, but Golden State and its crowd was tremendous in the series-opening win over the Clippers, which included the reserves holding off any hopes of an L.A. backdoor cover in the final minutes. The Warriors shot just under 50 percent from the field, finished 14-for-30 from 3-point range and missed just three of 20 free-throws, sparing little in frustrating Clippers-backers who were counting on at least a cover given such a large number.

    Unlike the Eastern Conference’s 1-8 series where the Pistons seemingly had no chance against the Bucks going in, even if Blake Griffin can go, the West’s 1-8 features a team that won 48 games and is bolstered by the league’s highest-scoring bench. L.A.’s bench led the NBA averaging 53.2 points this season, and it came in looking to swing games in this series behind key reserves like Sixth Man of the Year lock Lou Williams and big forward Montrezl Harrell, whose energy and post production is typically an asset. That duo combined to score 51 points in the Game 1 loss, so the Clips were at least successful in fulfilling one of their goals despite the loss.

    The key to hanging around in the series will be to keep the Warriors from getting as comfortable as they managed to in the opener, which is why you saw irritant Patrick Beverley get up in Kevin Durant’s face late in a contest that was already decided on Saturday night. The Clippers have no answer for Durant, who averaged 27.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists in his four regular-season games against them and finished with 23 points in 32 minutes in Game 1. Beverley defended him despite giving up roughly 10 inches in height and was hoping to get a rise out of Durant to try and throw off the Warriors’ All-Star.

    Expect L.A. to go back to that well again given the volatile nature of guys like Draymond Green, DeMarcus Cousins and Durant, hoping one of them will take themselves out of the equation. It was amusing to see Cousins get after Green early in Game 1 when he went after an official, chastising him to keep his head in the game. It worked too. Green punished the Clippers for playing off him and shot 7-for-12 from the field, including 2-for-4 from 3-point range. Considering what a liability he was shooting it earlier this season, the fact he’s gotten some of his confidence back is a major development that could ultimately play x-factor in the Warriors winning a third straight title.

    Golden State opened the postseason as a 2-to-7 favorite (-350) at Westgate to win the West and 1-to-2 (-200) to win the NBA title, so we’ll see whether their odds are ever better than the present going foward.

    With Cousins on board, the Warriors are more talented than they’ve ever been. They were 23-7 in games he’s played in and then added Andrew Bogut to add another rim protector to the mix. Draymond Green shot 34 percent from 3-point range in March and 38.5 in April, improving his season clip to 28.5 percent. If he can avoid being a liability in that department, Steve Kerr’s team has no real weaknesses.

    The Clippers have beaten the Warriors only once, posting a 121-116 OT win at Staples in a game that featured Harris, Marcin Gortat and Mike Scott, all of whom are now gone. Curry didn’t play in that contest. Golden State has lost just two of the last 18 games it has played against the Clippers at Oracle since 2012 and is 27-11 in that span, which includes a 16-2 run since ’15. Doc Rivers has done a fantastic job rolling with the punches over the past few years and may have just engineered his best coaching job, but the fact is that he hasn’t been able to solve the Warriors and now has to deal with Cousins thrown in the mix against an undersized frontcourt once you get past center Ivica Zubac.

    For the nightcap from Oakland, David believes another blowout should be expected unless Los Angeles connects at a very high percentage offensively.

    “I believe Doc Rivers has done an incredible job with this team but L.A. padded it’s record versus losing clubs this season and it the offense hasn’t traveled against quality opponents. When listed as a road ‘dog, the team went 10-18 SU and 13-14-1 ATS, which includes Saturday’s loss in Game 1. Since the All-Star break, they’re 2-4 in that role and the defense has allowed 122.8 PPG in the losses. Since Doc arrived in Los Angeles, the Clippers are just 2-14 in their last 16 games (7-9 ATS) at Golden State,” explained David.

    “If you’re leaning to the ‘dog, a better look could be the Clippers Team Total Over (107 ½) on Monday. The last four road covers for Los Angeles in this series watched the team score 113, 125, 127 and 127 points. All of those games went ‘over’ as well and after seeing a barrage of ‘under’ tickets cash this weekend, seeing things balance out in the Game 2’s is likely.”

    The series shifts to L.A. for Game 3 on Thursday.

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