We crashed and burned again in our prop NBA picks for Tuesday night, but a couple of more lucky breaks and my playoff props record would be much better; I'm sensing a hot streak.
Nicolas Batum O/U 27 Points, rebounds and assists
I got burned by the Hornets not showing up for Game 1, and even though Nicolas Batum was on pace for a huge game against the Heat in Game 1, the blowout prevented him from getting some playing time in the fourth quarter, as he fell one rebound, assists or point shy of cashing our winning ticket.
However, if the Heat once again are beat up by Batum, but don’t blowout the Hornets, I am going back to the well for my prop NHL picks and going with the over for Batum’s points rebounds and assists.
Batum is a bad matchup for Joe Johnson, and even if they switch Luol Deng onto him some, I believe Batum can get the over on this prop still. He had 20 points in the first half of Game 1, and was literally the only Hornets player to have it going.
Batum has also been very good against the Heat this season, and is averaging well over 27 points, rebounds and assists against them. With that in mind, I am doubling down on Batum and hoping the Hornets can actually keep this one closer.
The Pick: 'Over' 27 (-105) at Bovada
LeBron James O/U 1 ½ 3-pointers
This season has been one of LeBron James’ worst shooting three-pointers. He is shooting just 30.9 percent from beyond the arc this regular season, and he missed all three of his attempts against the Pistons in Game 1.
That being said, I doubt that is going to change here tonight against the Pistons in Game 2. James is going to be attacking the paint and being aggressive all night, and I doubt he settles for many threes.
In fact he has been doing that all season. James’ three point attempt rate this season was just .199, which means that just under 20 percent of his total shots this season came from the three point line. That is his lowest number since 2012-2013, and I think he realizes that the Cavs have plenty of good three point shooting, and they are at their best when he is attacking the paint and setting up other three-point shooters.
His career three-point rate in the playoffs is just .217, and if Marcus Morris is guarding him against, Morris held players he defended to just 32.9 percent from beyond the arc this season, which was 2.2 percent under those players averages for the season. Don’t expect James to be hoisting to many threes tonight.
My Pick: 'Under' ½ (-135) at Bovada
Al Farouq Aminu O/U 15 ½ Points and rebounds
The Clippers have a very obvious strategy on defense in Game 1, and with how well it worked out I expect them to employ it again in Game 2. The strategy was let Al Farouq Aminu shoot as much as he wants, and Aminu did, putting up double digit shot attempts.
Aminu is also playing power forward for the Blazers, which means he is under the basket a lot more. With all of that sais, his points and rebounds total is way too low for how many shots he could get again, and with how many times he will be close to the basket for rebounds.
In Game 1 he had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds, and I expect similar numbers from him in this game. Aminu averaged 10 points and six rebounds in the regular season, but since making the move to power forward, he has been grabbing a lot more boards.
Aminu had at least seven rebounds in six of his last 11 games, and he scored in double figures in nine of his last 11 games. The move to power forward might have helped his scoring some too, so add the over on him tonight. Check out the NHL odds boards if you want to place a proper bet.
My Pick: 'Over' 15 ½ (-115)