Monday’s two-game NBA Playoffs slate gets another exciting week of basketball underway. On TNT tonight, we’ll see the Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets (7:30 p.m. EST) and Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns (10 p.m. EST). The Nets are up 1-0 in their series while the Nuggets-Suns begin their second-round series.
Milwaukee Bucks at Brooklyn Nets (-1.5) – Total: 234.5
The Nets got away with the win in Game 1, despite James Harden leaving the game early with a hamstring. I don’t think Brooklyn will be so lucky tonight, though. We already saw a two-point adjustment in the spread, leading me to believe the Bucks will even up the series at the end of the night. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are certainly capable of getting it done on their own. However, we’ll need to see what defensive adjustments Milwaukee makes.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks have lots of length, and that was a problem at times for the Nets in Game 1. Brooklyn is already without Jeff Green, which is an even bigger threat to its front line. Numerous centers have had huge individual nights against the Nets, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see former-Net Brook Lopez do some damage here.
At the end of the regular season, the Bucks did defeat the Nets twice in a span of three days- and that came when Harden didn’t play. Brooklyn still probably wins the series, but this could be a tight game tonight. As of 12 p.m. EST, the Nets are getting about 65% of the bets made and money wagered, all while the spread continues to move in favor of the Bucks.
Betting Pick: Bucks (+1.5)
Denver Nuggets at Phoenix Suns (-4.5) – Total: 220.5
Speaking of what the public is doing, we’re seeing 72% of bets made on the Suns with 57% of money wagered going that way as well. I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. After all, I’m banking on Phoenix to get to the NBA Finals; and it may, the road to get there might be tougher than anticipated.
The Suns are coming off a highly emotional series win against the Lakers, so I could see them struggle a bit at first and get themselves into a deficit. I did mention in the last round between the Grizzlies-Jazz, we’ll tend to see some of these upsets happen in Game 1. And what happened? Exactly that.
For this matchup, though, I will fade the public on this bet. The Nuggets showed people they’re more than just MVP candidate Nikola Jokic and beat the Trail Blazers without having Jamal Murray on the court. Chris Paul is still a little banged up for the Suns, and he doesn’t really need to push his body to the limit just yet.
Five of the last six meetings between the teams have gone over the total, including two of three this season.
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