The NBA Playoffs semi finals are set to begin this afternoon. I’m 19-11 so far in the playoffs for my NBA Picks after a great first round, so let's hope that the second round is just as profitable.
Wizards vs. Hawks
Washington has had plenty of time to rest up for this series, and now they finally get a chance at another upset this afternoon, as they head into the Dirty South. The NBA odds makers have the Hawks as -5 favorites in this one, with a total of 198 points. This being an early afternoon game likely won’t favor anyone, but with the extra rest, it’s going to be interesting to see how it affects a young team like the Wizards.
The Hawks cruised to victory against the Wizards in three of their four meetings this season, and in the only one the Wizards were victorious, the Hawks had already clinched the number one overall seed, while Washington still very much needed that home game. However now down in Atlanta, the Hawks present some problems for the Wizards. While Washington does have the size advantage, the frontcourt advantage definitely goes to the Hawks. Paul Millsap is starting to look more like himself after he sprained his shoulder in the final weeks of the regular season, and Marcin Gortat is good, but Al Horford is still better. However the key to this series will ultimately be the battle between the point guards. John Wall and Jeff Teague will be the reason their team wins or loses in this series, and while I still think Wall is the better player, even if he is beating Teague, the Hawks present a number of different matchup issues for the Wizards.
However with the extra rest, I see the Wizards covering in this game. They might not win SU, but they turned around their season series against the Raptors, and they could do the same against the Hawks if they play well. The Wizards are an incredible 9-0 ATS in their last nine-playoff games as underdogs, and dating back to the last eight games of the regular season, they are 9-1-2 ATS.
NBA Playoffs Pick: Wizards +5 at Pinnacle
Grizzlies vs. Warriors
Mike Conley looks doubtful to play in this game for the Grizzlies, however Memphis’ camp seems optimistic that he could return to play sometime in this series. However the sportsbooks recognize his importance, because Golden State is a -10 favorite in this one tonight, with a total of 196 ½. There are a lot of people probably laying the points with the Warriors in this one because of their home dominance and the lack of Conley in this one, but here in Game 1, even likely without their floor general, the Grizzlies are simply way too undervalued.
Memphis still owns the battle down low, and as long as Zach Randolph can give them more of what we saw in Game 5, Memphis should win both the rebounding and paint points battle. The difficulties will come at the defensive end for the Grizzlies, who will have to matchup Randolph onto Draymond Green to start the game. Both of these guys are going to give one another fits, but in the end as long as Memphis slows down the Warriors guards enough in this one, I think they can cover.
Jeff Green, Courtney Lee and Tony Allen are all very accomplished defenders, and I think all three of them will play an important roll tonight. While the Splash Brothers played well against Memphis in the regular season, no one else really did for the Dubs.
Furthermore, it’s a bit concerning that the Warriors are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games dating back to the final three in Oracle in the regular season. On top of that, the Warriors are 0-6 ATS in their last six Sunday matinees, and they’re only 1-6 ATS in their last seven games as favorites. While I don’t think they’ll win, I do think Memphis is slightly undervalued & worthy of NBA picks here.
NBA Playoffs Pick: Grizzlies +10