Savvy NBA Picks For Tonight's High Tempo Eastern Matchups

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 4:09 PM GMT

NBA playoffs are off to a cracking start. We look at tonight’s Eastern Conference matchups in this column with a view towards the totals: which way should bettors line their NBA picks for Game 2?

Charlotte vs. Miami: O/U 199
Series: Miami Leads 1-0
The Hornets lost the opening game of this first round series 123-91, with the Heat easily covering the -4.5 spread trading on the NBA odds boards and the game well and truly cracking the 199 total at closing doors. Predictably, the Heat open once again as the firm home favourites to win outright at -200 NBA odds or thereabouts, a price that is currently available with The Greek, William Hill and BetCRIS. NBA bettors looking to bet money line markets can find the Heat priced slightly better at -195 with Pinnacle and BetOnline, amongst a few others.

In any event, it’s clear the market favours the Heat to win outright but, intriguingly, at the same time, they expect a much closer encounter this time around. The Heat are hanging on a 5-point spread, but prices vary across the board with some sportsbooks hanging the Heat on -101 to cover as the 5-point home chalk while putting up the Hornets to cover as the 5-point underdogs at -109. What’s also interesting to note is the game’s totals opened around the 202.5 mark on account of the result in the first game but that total has been bet down already to 199 at most betting exchanges, mirroring game 1 totals. Some sportsbooks have gone down to 198.5 (Heritage and Bookmaker, to name a few). Curiously, 60.8% of bets coming down the wire have gone towards the Under in this market.

To be fair, the first game of the playoffs isn’t always defining. These two sides have split the regular season series 2-2 SU and ATS and the O/U has gone 2-2 as well. For our money, we’re banking on the OVER particularly if the total continues to shrink down. Regular season stats: Heat average 100.3 points per game and concede 98.3 points per game while Hornets average 103.3 points per game and concede 101.00 points per game.

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NBA Picks: OVER 198.5 (-105)
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

 

Detroit vs. Cleveland O/U 200.5
Series: Cleveland leads series 1-0

The Cavaliers are coming off a narrow 106-101 win over the Detroit Pistons to take the 1-0 lead in the series. The Eastern Conference champions came through for their backers in money line markets but the Pistons covered as the hefty 11-point road underdogs, and the OVER bettors cashed as the game cracked the 200-point total at closing doors.

Game 2 of the series looms tonight and it’s more of the same really with the Cavaliers favoured in a big way – anywhere from -570 to -625 NBA odds in money line betting all while hanging on a 10-point spread almost unanimously. Game totals opened on 201-points but have crept up as high as 202.5-points at some sports betting exchanges. As far as public betting is concerned, opinion seems to be split down the middle with 46.7% of bets coming down the wire going towards the OVER and 53.3% of bets going towards the UNDER.

Admittedly, we’re on the fence here as both sides are capable of cracking 100-points according to their regular season stats – Cavs averaged 104.3 PPG while the Pistons averaged 102.0 PPG. Defensively, the Cavs are slightly better with 98.4 PA to the Pistons with 101.4 PA. What makes this series all the more intriguing is the fact that the Pistons got the better of the Cavs during the regular season, emerging with a 3-1 SU and ATS edge. As well, the OVER cashed in three of the four meetings.

One of the main talking points surrounding those stats is the fact that the Cavs Big Three were fit and healthy for just one of those four meetings, which is significant. If anything there is an argument to be had about their absence skewing those results towards the Pistons. As such, for our money, we’re inching towards the OVER on our NBA picks here, essentially going against the public betting trends that are dipping towards the UNDER, and we’ve found the best total line of 201.5 at The Greek.

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NBA Picks: OVER 201.5 (-110)
Best Line Offered: at YouWager