Top ATS NBA Picks for Monday's Game 2's Short Schedule

Matthew Jordan

Monday, April 20, 2015 12:54 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 20, 2015 12:54 PM UTC

Two NBA playoff Game 2s on Monday night before those series switch cities. Both home clubs, Chicago and Golden State, look to take 2-0 leads. Here are my ATS recommendations on each with NBA odds from BetOnline.

Bucks vs. Bulls (-8)
This is the matchup the Bulls wanted in the first round instead of slipping to No. 4 and facing No. 5 Washington. Chicago took Game 1 103-91 as an 8-point favorite on NBA odds. As crazy as it sounds, it was the first playoff game for Bulls point guard Derrick Rose since he suffered his first major knee injury in Game 1 of the 2012 postseason against Philadelphia. Yes, the 76ers were actually a playoff-caliber team back then. Hard to believe, I know. I digress. Rose had 23 points and seven assists although he still hoisted too many 3-pointers (3-for-7). Jimmy Butler added 25 and both Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah, who had missed the final two regular-season games, had double-digit rebounds.  

Khris Middleton led Milwaukee with 18 points while Ersan Ilyasova had 15. Michael Carter-Williams had only nine points, was scoreless in the second half and missed all four shots he attempted. He vowed to be more aggressive in this one: "I'm looking to be more aggressive to the basket, getting into the lane and finding the open guy," Carter-Williams said. "We've got to look to move the ball better. That starts with me. Just be unselfish."

The Bucks are a young team for the most part and seven players were in their first playoff game. Milwaukee shot just 39.3 percent overall, missed nine free throws and was 4-for-16 from 3-point range. The Bucks had only 40 second-half points.

Bulls top reserve Taj Gibson suffered a hyperextended right knee while grabbing a rebound in the second half but said he could have returned to the game if needed so he will play in this one.

NBA Free Pick: Give the points. The Bucks are 1-6 ATS in their past seven meetings overall and haven't covered their past four in Chicago.

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SBR Newswire: Dramatic Movement in NBA Playoffs Betting Odds Market

Pelicans vs. Warriors (-12)
Golden State was a 12.5-point favorite for Game 1 against visiting New Orleans and failed to cover in a 106-99 victory. That score is a bit misleading as the Warriors had a big lead and then sort of took their foot off the gas. Steph Curry led Golden State with 34 points while Klay Thompson had 21. The Warriors outscored the Pelicans by 20 points when Curry was on the floor and were outscored by 13 points when Curry was on the bench. The five Warriors starters, which also includes Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut, had 94 of the 106 points. They all scored in double figures for the fifth time this season.

In his first career playoff game, Pelicans star Anthony Davis scored 20 of his 35 points in the final quarter to make the score respectable. He became the fourth player in league history with at least 35 points and five rebounds in a postseason debut, joining Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Julius Erving. Pretty good company.

New Orleans may be without starting guard Tyreke Evans for Game 2. He hurt his left knee in a first-half collision with the Warriors' Andre Iguodala. The good news was that an MRI showed no serious damage. He has been diagnosed with a bone bruise and is listed as questionable. Evans had one point in 12 minutes before leaving. If he doesn't play that normally would mean more minutes for guard Jrue Holiday, but he's still on a minutes restriction after recently returning from injury. Holiday played 21 minutes off the bench Saturday and had five points. Thus Norris Cole might have to play big minutes again. He played 34 in Game 1 and had eight points and six assists.

The Pelicans lost their two regular-season games at Golden State by 27 and 16 points.

NBA Free Pick: Give the points here as well with your NBA picks. The home team has covered four of the past five meetings. The Pelicans have covered just one of their past six on the road overall. 

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