Miami Heat vs. Brooklyn Nets
The Nets came out fired up in Game 3 and showed the public that they're not just going to lay down and let the Heat walk over them in a sweep.
It wasn't looking so good early on, as LeBron James was aggressive from the start and looked like he could have one of his dominant games to lead Miami to victory.
However, Brooklyn stuck around in the first half and then used a huge third quarter, in which they out-scored the Heat 26-14, to race out to the 104-90 victory. The Nets obviously were easy winners against the spread as one-point underdogs.
LeBron ended up with 28 points, eight rebounds and five assists, while Dwyane Wade went for 20 points on 9-of-18 shooting for Miami. The only other player to hit double figures for the Heat was Chris Bosh, who was still relatively quiet with 12 points and five boards.
Everything was hitting for Brooklyn. They shot 52.8 percent overall and nailed 15 threes (15-of-25 for 60.0 percent) in the victory. Six different members of the Nets scored in double figures, led by Joe Johnson's 19 on 7-of-10 shooting.
Game 4's NBA betting lines show the Heat favored by 2 or 2.5 points depending on the sportsbook. Which side should we have faith in tonight?
We're recommending Miami for your sports picks, as we look for a very focused effort, especially on the defensive end. We don't expect Brooklyn to get so hot from beyond the arc either, so we'll go with the better team to take a commanding lead in the series and cover in the process.
Pick: Heat -2
San Antonio Spurs vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Well then. This series is getting out of a hand in a hurry.
The Spurs are on an unbelievable roll right now, winning each of the first three games in this series by at least 15 points. They've averaged 116 points per game so far and have easily covered for backers in each victory.
Game 3 was just more of the same. San Antonio came out hot and was up 28-18 after the first quarter, and they never looked back, out-scoring Portland 32-22 in the second to head into halftime with a 20-point lead.
Tony Parker was excellent again, scoring 29 points on 12-of-20 shooting and dishing out six assists. Tim Duncan had a 19/7/4 line and Kawhi Leonard had a big double-double (16 and 10) in the victory. The Spurs were a ridiculous 25-for-25 as a team from the charity stripe.
The Trail Blazers got 20+ points from LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews, but it still wasn't enough. Portland got absolutely no help from their bench, which has been a common theme for the team this season.
As you can see, the Trail Blazers are in real danger of getting swept tonight. They have no answer for the Spurs right now and we're really seeing the difference in experience (and depth) shine through.
However, instead of backing San Antonio, we're going with the OVER instead, as we expect more of the same in Game 4. It's a trend that's cashed easily in each of the first three games and one we expect to be successful again. To close out our NBA picks, let's look for another clinic on offensive execution from the Spurs and roll with the OVER.
Pick: OVER 210.5[gameodds]5/286091/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]