Monday, May 1 NBA Playoff Picks of the Day

Jordan Sharp

Monday, May 1, 2017 3:09 PM UTC

Monday, May. 1, 2017 3:09 PM UTC

Welcome to another day of NBA odds. There are two big Game 1’s set to take place tonight and our handicapper is back with more of their valuable selections for you to cash your ticket.

[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/] Raptors vs. Cavaliers

The Cavaliers’ defense has been anything but special in this year’s playoffs. If they don’t get things together on that end of the court, they are not going to repeat as the NBA Champions. Whether they can get past the Raptors and either the Celtics or Wizards without playing much defense remains to be seen, but the real question is whether we can profit off of the Cavs’ lack of defense.

I think we can. I’ve already released a teaser play on this Game 1 tonight, but the full game total also has plenty of value on its own. At 208½, if the Cavaliers are playing at a fast pace and with little to no defense, this game and series could be pretty high scoring.

I’ve already touched on the Cavs’ defensive rating a lot here to start the second round, but in case you haven’t seen yet, the Cavs own the worst defensive rating of any team still left in the playoffs.

That could mean absolutely nothing in this second round series if the Cavs suddenly turn on the defensive turbo boosters. However, I don’t think it will be that easy. The Cavs have no one to defense Kyle Lowry and he could go nuts in this series. Even though I expect Lebron James to spend some time defending DeMar DeRozan, he can’t guard him the whole game and be the Cavs’ leading scorer too.

That means Iman Shumpert will have to step up too, which hurts the Cavs’ shooting some, but I also expect J.R. Smith and Deron Williams to see the court a lot in this one too. All in all, though, this one comes down to pace and defense, which is making me lean towards the over.

The Cavs and Pacers played at the seventh fastest pace of any team in their first-round series at 97.6 possessions per game. The Raptors were slowed down some by the Bucks, who play at one of the slowest paces in the league, however, I expect them to be forced to speed things up in this series.

On the road in the playoffs, the Raptors did play a little slower against Milwaukee, but once again that was more likely a product of the team they were playing and the environment they were playing in. In that case, take the over for your NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: 'Over' 208½ Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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 Rockets vs. Spurs

The Rockets and Spurs should be a fantastic series. These two played one another close all season with the Spurs taking three of the four games. However, the Rockets played them close all year, with three of those games coming down to one possession.

While I’m trying not to over-think that, I see the play tonight being the Rockets taking points. James Harden and Kawhi Leonard could cancel one another out, but the Rockets still have enough firepower to get the job done in this one. They have more shooting than the Spurs and if they play anything close to defense in tonight’s game, they should get the cover.

Free NBA Pick: Rockets +6 Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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