NBA Picks: Friday Night Playoff Predictions

Jordan Sharp

Friday, May 9, 2014 2:24 PM GMT

It’s a big Friday in the NBA Odds, as we have two series tied heading into pivotal Game 3’s. Could the higher seeds take back home court advantage tonight, or will the two home teams put even more pressure on the higher seeds?

Pacers vs. Wizards Game 3
This series has and will continue to be a wild one, as both teams have a lot to prove, and a lot to live up to in one instance. The Pacers finally looked somewhat like the Pacers in Game 2 of this series, but now on the road in a hostile environment, will Indiana’s aggression follow them to Washington? The betting odds list the Pacers as +3 ½ road underdogs tonight in the District of Columbia, with a total of 183 points.

I am intrigued by the spread, but for at least one more time in this series, I think the total offers the best value for our NBA picks. We have seen this total low, high and then back to low for Game 3. At 183, this total is back to being on the verge of too low. Washington plays very well on the offensive end of the floor when playing at home, and I think they will be able to take advantage of the Pacers’ defense. I’m not sold that Indiana is going to pack their defense on the trip to DC, and at 183 points, all Washington would have to do it get up and around 95 points, and this total is going over. 

Even though the over has only cashed once (Game 1) in the five times these two have played one another this regular and postseason, the over looks like the play again here in Game 3. Dating back to the regular season, the over has cashed in seven of the Wizards last nine games, and in five of their seven postseason contests. 

My Pick: OVER 183

[gameodds]5/286084/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds] 

Thunder vs. Clippers Game 3
We almost cashed the over in this Game 2, however after a big 1st quarter of scoring, the defense evened up as the game grew longer. In Game 3 in LA, the NBA Odds have the Clippers as -4 favorites, with a total of 214 ½. I think the Clippers will be able to rebound from their Game 2 loss, however their answer (along with the Thunder’s) will be on the defensive end of the floor. 

Oklahoma City’s defense played very well in Game 2, and they might have played some of their better defense of the season. I have seen them play good defense at times, but it comes in such small spurts during a game you forget about it. Game 2 saw the Thunder defend very well for most of the game, and if they can take that on the road, this total is looking like a nice under value for the second game in a row.

The Clippers’ defense improves a tick at home, and even though they will still carry a bulk of the scoring, I doubt Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combine for 63 points on the road. OKC won the rebounding battle easily in Game 2, which is another thing I suspect will even up in this third game. All in all, the longer this series goes on, the more defense we will see from both sides, and the lower the final scores will be. Take the under here on Friday night. 

My Pick: UNDER 214 ½

[gameodds]5/286085/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]