NBA Picks: Tempting Totals to Play & Win on Tuesday Night

Jason Lake

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 11:31 AM UTC

Tuesday, May. 5, 2015 11:31 AM UTC

The UNDER was the sharp basketball pick at 23-18-1 in the first round of the NBA playoffs. Will Tuesday's second-round games follow suit? Washington could spoil things.

Jason’s record as of May 4: 75-75-5 ATS, 12-17 Totals, plus-0.15 units ML, 6-2 Series (plus-4.0 units)

Order and harmony have been restored to the universe. Last year's NBA playoffs saw the OVER go 32-18 during the first round, which was completely out of character. And temporary, as it turned out; this year, the UNDER was back in the good books at 23-18-1. Our own NBA picks ended up going 2-2, but if you carpet-bombed all 42 games with the UNDER, you made a profit with a healthy 56.10-percent success rate.

Shall we keep pounding the UNDER into the Conference Semifinals? Don't mind if we do. But there is one team on Tuesday's schedule who seems intent on driving up the score – and it's the one you'd least expect.


Washington vs. Atlanta (8:00 p.m. ET)
Aren't the Wizards supposed the be the defensive-minded team in this series? They ranked No. 27 overall in 3-pointers made and attempted during the regular season. But the Wiz also ranked No. 9 in accuracy at 36.0 perecnt, and in the first round against the Toronto Raptors, Washington opened up a can from the perimeter:

Game 1: 6-of-21
Game 2: 10-of-21
Game 3: 12-of-29
Game 4: 15-of-26

Hey, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The Wizards kept firing away in Sunday's second-round opener against Atlanta, shooting 9-of-25 from downtown and winning 104-98 (OVER 197). That's four straight OVER results for the Wiz. Tuesday's NBA odds board shows a total of 197.5 as we go to press, down from 198 points at the open with 55 percent consensus on the UNDER. What's causing the betting public to drop its usual habit of betting the OVER?

Oh, right: John Wall (19.9 PER) and Bradley Beal (14.0 PER) got hurt in Game 1. Wall hurt his left hand/wrist while bracing himself during a fall, and wore a protective wrap during Monday's practice. Beal sprained his right ankle, but not badly enough to require an MRI. Both players should be good to go for Wednesday. Their shooting touch might be a little off, and the rest of the team should cool down at some point. We're pounding the OVER until that point arrives.

Free NBA Pick: Take the OVER at Pinnacle.

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Memphis vs. Golden State (10:30 p.m. ET)
Now this is more like it. The Warriors and Grizzlies combined to take the UNDER to a 5-3-1 record in their respective second round series, and Game 1 of their Western semi was more of the same, as Golden State cruised to a 101-86 win (UNDER 196). Memphis had a difficult time generating offense without injured point guard Mike Conley (18.6 PER), who might end up missing the rest of the playoffs with a broken face. Nick Calathes (12.3 PER) was held scoreless in the opener, although he did play some good defense against Stephen Curry (28.0 PER).

Despite the Conley injury and the results from Game 1, our consensus reports for Game 2 show 91 percent of bettors pounding the OVER, driving the total from 194.5 to 196.5 points. It's always tempting to bet the OVER when you're dealing with the amazing Warriors, especially when they drove the OVER to a 26-14-1 record at the Oracle during the regular season. However, defense is the name of the game in the playoffs, and you won't find many better defensive teams than the Warriors.

You also won't find very many slower teams than the Grizzlies. They ran 94.2 possessions per game during the regular season, or No. 26 in the league. No. 27 were the New Orleans Pelicans (93.7), who were able to slow down the freewheeling Warriors and limit them to 94.1 possessions per game in the first round. That's down from an NBA-high 100.7 possessions in the regular season. It's the stuff from which UNDERs are made.

Free NBA Pick: Take the UNDER at The Greek

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