NBA Picks: Top ATS Plays for Wednesday's Playoff Games

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, April 28, 2015 7:42 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2015 7:42 PM UTC

It's a pair of Game 5s in the NBA playoffs on Wednesday night, with both on TNT and having live betting at sportsbooks. The Nets can take a 3-2 lead on the Hawks and the Grizzlies can finish the Blazers. Here are my ATS picks with WagerWeb odds.

Nets vs. Hawks (-9)
Not to ruin the intrigue, but I don't understand this spread at all. The No. 8 Nets have just beaten the No. 1 Hawks in back-to-back games and nearly stole Game 2 in Atlanta; and they're currently listeed on the NBA odds as underdogs. The Hawks' largest margin of victory has been eight points in Game 1. So why the nine points? Remember when Brooklyn's Deron Williams once was in the argument as the NBA's best point guard? That seems like forever ago from Williams' Jazz days, but he had a flashback-type performance in the Nets' 120-115 overtime victory in Game 4 on Monday. After shooting a combined 2-for-15 with a total of five points in the previous two games,  Williams tied his career playoff high with 35 points Monday, including hitting 7-for-11 from 3-point range. In fact, his 11 first-quarter points were more than he had in seven of the previous eight full games. He added 16 more points in the fourth, including a clutch tying 3-pointer late in regulation at the end of the shot clock. It was the most points scored by any Net in the playoffs since 2007 (Vince Carter with 37). Perhaps Williams was fed up with the criticism from all corners. Or maybe it was simply a fluke. The Nets' five starters all scored in double figures and totaled 103 points, tying a season high. Brook Lopez also was great with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

All five Atlanta players also scored in double figures but if you are looking for a scapegoat, I suppose you could point to Kyle Korver. The Hawks trailed by three points with the ball and 45 seconds left in OT. He would miss three 3-poniters over the next 24 seconds. Korver led all NBA regulars by hitting 49.2 percent from long range during the season but was only 4-for-13 in that game. The Hawks bench also was a problem area as the four guys who played were a combined minus-34 when on the court.

NBA Free Pick: Take the Nets with your NBA picks. Oh, Hawks should win but too many points to give. The Hawks have failed to cover their past seven games overall. The Nets are 5-1 ATS in the past six in Atlanta.

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Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies (-5.5)
When people consider the best point guards in the NBA these days, often the Grizzlies' Mike Conley is overlooked. Maybe it's because he plays in small-market Memphis. He shouldn't be overlooked. And if you need  proof, I give you Game 4 of his team's series vs. Portland. Conley was injured in Game 3 and had surgery on Monday to repair a facial fracture that could keep him out for weeks (no official timetable yet). The Blazers avoided the four-game sweep with a 99-92 victory and reason No. 1 was the play of All-Star point guard Damian Lillard. In Games 1 and 2 while he was hounded and vastly outplayed by Conley, Lillard was just 10-for-37 from the field and averaged 16.0 points per game. In Game 4 he was 12-for-23 for 32 points as Portland won for the first time in eight games against Memphis this season.

Other than Lillard, the Memphis defense did a good job on the Blazers starters. LaMarcus Aldridge was 6-for-22 from the field. Nicolas Batum 3-for-13. Robin Lopez 2-for-4. Arron Afflalo 0-for-5. What also killed the Grizzlies was the 13 points and 13 rebounds off the bench by Meyers Leonard and 18 points and five rebounds off the bench from C.J. McCollum, the guy who inadvertently elbowed Conley in the face in Game 3. The Grizzlies bench was totally outplayed; former reserve Nick Calathes went into the starting lineup fro Conley and had 12 points in 24 minutes. Even with all that, Memphis still led by 10 in the fourth quarter on Monday. "We just didn't finish it off well," Tony Allen said. "Transition defense, not boxing out."

NBA Free Pick: Grizzlies end the series. They will make anyone but Lillard beat them. The Blazers are 0-6 ATS in their past six road games. Memphis has covered five straight at home against Portland.

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