Free Basketball Playoff Picks of the Day: Thursday, April 20th

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Jordan Sharp

Thursday, April 20, 2017 1:37 PM GMT

It’s another wild night of basketball action and our handicapper Mark Lathrop is ready for another run at some winning tickets. Check out Thursday's edition of the NBA Picks of the Day!

 Raptors vs. Bucks

 

Even after another hard fight, the Bucks are tied 1-1 heading into a crucial Game 3 for both teams tonight. If the Raptors lose, they are almost surely going to lose the series and if the Bucks lose, they will relinquish home court advantage that they stole in Game 1.

Those are pretty high stakes, but now that they are at home, the Bucks seem like the play here over the weary Raptors. Toronto was 23-18 SU on the road this season, but they struggled at times against longer and better defensive teams. With the fact that the Bucks get even better on defense at home, I love them ATS tonight laying -1 ½.

Milwaukee was also 23-18 this season, but they put up that record playing at home. They beat the Raptors once when playing at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and considering the long-term trends from the Raptors in playoff road games, you have to like Milwaukee to rebound from their Game 2 loss and get the win.

Of all the teams that have played in the playoffs since 2014, the Raptors have the worst overall ATS record of any of those teams at 7-19 ATS. If you take their road games during that stretch, Toronto is only 2-9 ATS in their last 11 road playoff games. That’s about all you need to know here.

 

Free NBA Pick: Bucks -1½ Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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  Spurs vs. Grizzlies

 

Even though this series has shifted to Memphis, the play of both teams likely won’t change much. The Spurs are still going to try to shut down either Marc Gasol or Mike Conley in hopes that no one else has the ability to beat them on that team.

The Grizzlies, on the other hand, will still try to play strong defense, rebound the ball and try to find some more scoring, but in the end, while the game may be closer than the first two, the Spurs still hold the edge in my book.

There are two very important notes about this game. While Memphis beat the Spurs twice in Memphis this season, one of those games was without Kawhi Leonard and now tonight the Grizzlies will likely still be without their glue guy on the wing in Tony Allen.

Memphis has been forced to play some inexperienced guards in this series and when Conley is off the floor it should kill them if the Spurs bring their defense. Danny Green has been a madman on defense over the first two games and along with Leonard, the Spurs just have too many weapons on defense and the Grizzlies don’t have enough offense.

 Free NBA Pick: Spurs -3½ Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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