NBA Picks of the Day: Top Value Plays on Totals for Tonight's Series Openers

Jordan Sharp

Monday, May 4, 2015 12:06 PM UTC

Monday, May. 4, 2015 12:06 PM UTC

The second round has started and the two conference semi finals games on tonight should both be worth the billing. The NBA Odds are fresh out for both of these games, and I have two valuable NBA Picks.

Bulls vs. Cavaliers
Chicago dispatched the Bucks with at least some trouble, and now they have to play a Cavs team that has been even more banged up from the 1st round. The Bulls won’t have to deal with Kevin Love at all in this series, and they won’t have to hear from the shooting of JR Smith until the series heads to Chicago. With that in mind, the NBA Odds still have the Cavs as -4 ½ favorites here, with a total of 194 points.

These two teams split their season series two games a piece, each winning on the other’s floor. That may be in play tonight with the Cavs short handed and off of a long rest. While the rest is certainly going to help Lebron James, I think the long layover may actually hurt the rest of the Cavs here. That being said, considering these two teams probably already hate each other thanks to the Lebron/Bulls rivalry, this game could be very physical and lower scoring. The total suggests that, and I think I’m following the trends and going with the under for this Game 1 Eastern Semi Finals.

The under has cashed in four of the last six times these two teams have met up, and the under is 4-1 in the Bulls last five playoff games. On top of that, in the last 28 games the Cavs have played in the East semis, the under is 20-8. The under is also 4-0-1 for the Bulls in their last five games with three or more days rest. For Game 1, take the under and add it to your NBA picks.

NBA Pick: UNDER 194  at BetOnline

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Clippers vs. Rockets
Unlike the series above, these two teams are going to push the pace against one another, and try to out-run the opponent. The concerns over Chris Paul’s hamstring injury are valid, but after his performance on one leg in that Game 7 against the Spurs, I have no doubt that the Clippers can still put up points against the lesser defense of the Rockets. The NBA odds have the Rockets as -6 favorites after all of their rest, with a total of 212 points. While I am tempted to take the Rockets here after all the time they have had off, that could be the wrong move. Instead, I’m going with a safer wager; the total.

Even though these two teams cashed the under against one another in all four of their meetings this season, the sportsbooks could not get the total right. The total was 213-218 points in their last three regular season meetings, but in this one with a slightly lower total, the over still looks like a solid play.

The over cashed in eight of the Rockets last 11 games dating back to the regular season, and the over has cashed in four of the Clippers last six playoff games. The over is 10-4 for the Rockets in their last 14 games as favorites, and it’s 8-2 in their last ten home games. Take the over and expect an up and down battle between these two teams tonight.

NBA Pick: OVER 212 at Pinnacle

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