NBA Betting: Top ATS Picks for Wednesday's Short Slate

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 7:19 PM GMT

Three Game 2s of the NBA playoffs on the schedule for Wednesday night and the home side won the first matchup of each three rather easily. Can a road team steal a win to avoid a 2-0 hole? Here are my ATS picks with NBA odds from 5Dimes.

Nets vs. Hawks (-9.5)
What chance can you give Brooklyn to beat Atlanta? The Hawks are now 5-0 this season against the Nets and led for all but the first 39 seconds in the Game 1 99-92 victory, although they failed to cover the 11-ponit spread at sportsbooks. The lead reached as many as 16 points but the Nets kept coming back, getting as close as four points down the stretch. I suppose if you are a Brooklyn backer you take solace in that you shot better than the Hawks and outrebounded them. There's talk that Nets coach Lionel Hollins might replace rookie guard Markel Brown in the starting lineup. He played just six minutes in Game 1 before being tethered to the bench. Alan Anderson or Bojan Bogdanovic would take his spot. Neither was particularly good in Game 1 as Bogdanovic was 2-for-8 from the field (1-for-5 from long range) for five points in 32 minutes. Anderson had five points in 16 minutes. He had missed the final seven regular-season games with an ankle injury. Why not go with a small lineup and put point guard Jarrett Jack in there alongside Deron Williams? Clearly the Nets need to try something desperate to beat the top-seeded Hawks.

NBA Free Picks: Nets is your best NBA pick here. They have covered four of the past five in Atlanta. The Hawks have now failed to cover their past four games overall.

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Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies (-6)
This is just the worst possible matchup for Portland because Memphis slows things down and pounds it in the paint and that's not something the Blazers like to do. They want to get out and run. Memphis won all four regular-season contests between these teams in 2014-15, the first time ever the Grizzlies swept the Blazers. Game 1 was no different as Memphis won easily 100-86 as a 5.5-point favorite on NBA odds. Memphis led wire-to-wire and by as many as 29 points in the third quarter, the Grizzlies’ largest-ever postseason lead. By the way, the last team to win a first-round playoff series after being swept by that team in the regular season was the Hornets against the Hawks in the 1998 playoffs. The Grizzlies had five players in double-figure points in Game 1, led by 20 off the bench from Beno Udrih. He also had seven assists and seven rebounds -- doubt that career game happens again. The Blazers are so banged up that their once very good bench now is rather weak. That group totaled just 21 points in the opener. Portland was the only team among the West's top seven with a losing road record during the season.

NBA Free Picks: Grizzlies. Portland is 0-5 ATS in the past five meetings and 0-5 ATS in its past five road games overall.

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Spurs vs. Clippers (-1.5)
Are we witnessing the end of the Spurs' dynasty under Tim Duncan? Too early to say that, but that's now two bad losses in a row for San Antonio. Had it won the regular-season finale in New Orleans, then the Spurs would be the No. 2 seed and have an easy first-round matchup against Dallas instead of dropping to No. 6 and facing the scorching-hot Clippers without home-court advantage. Chris Paul (32 points) and Blake Griffin (26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists) were easily the two best players on the court in L.A.'s 107-92 Game 1 win. That's eight straight wins overall for L.A. and 15 of the past 16. Every Spurs starter other than Tim Duncan had a minus plus/minus rating in that game, with Kawhi Leonard the worst at minus-21. Tony Parker was basically useless with 10 points and one more turnover (two) than assist. Not counting that Pelicans season finale, the previous three times the Spurs lost a game, they won the next in blowout fashion:  123-97 vs. Minnesota on March 15, 114-103 at Milwaukee on March 18 and 130-91 vs. Oklahoma City on March 25. Obviously the Clippers are better than any of those clubs.

NBA Free Pick: Spurs. L.A. has covered just one of its past six at home. The underdog is 10-3 ATS in the past 13 meetings. 

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