Top ATS NBA Picks of the Day For Thursday's Playoff Games

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, April 30, 2015 2:53 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 30, 2015 2:53 PM UTC

2 Game 6s in NBA playoff action tonight, with both having live betting at sportsbooks. The Bulls and Spurs look to finish things off. Will they? Here are my ATS picks with WagerWeb odds.

Bulls at Bucks (+3.5)
Interesting NBA odds here because Milwaukee has been the better team for the past three games and has won two of those to force a Game 6 that no one expected. Perhaps on Monday night the Bulls were too focused on early scouting reports for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals? They played with no energy in a 94-88 home loss. It has been statistically proven that Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is a vastly better player this season when he has more than one day of rest before a game so maybe that bodes well here. Because in the previous two losses, both on one day of rest, he wasn't good. On Saturday: 5-for-13 from the field with eight turnovers and allowed the game-winning layup. On Monday: 5-for-20 (0-for-7 from 3-point range) with six turnovers. Rose's two best games by far in this series were Game 1 and Game 3, both with more than one day of rest. Rose's backcourt running mate Jimmy Butler also had a bad game Monday, shooting just 5-for-21 from the field, although he did have 10 rebounds and six assists. But when your starting backcourt shoots 10-for-41 you aren't going to win much. The Bulls' bench other than Taj Gibson also was invisible with Nikola Mirotic, Tony Snell and Aaron Brooks combining for eight points.

The Bucks, meanwhile, got great games from their backcourt of Michael Carter-Williams and Khris Middleton. MCW played maybe his best game in a Milwaukee uniform, hitting 10-for-15 from the field (not bad for a guy who can't shoot at all) for 22 points with nine assists and eight rebounds. Middleton had 21 points, four rebounds and four steals. That's one thing the Bucks can do: steal the ball. They led the NBA in steals during the regular season and had 10 in Game 5 -- they have had double-digits in every game of this series. Milwaukee also outrebounded the Bulls on Monday and was a perfect 16-for-16 from the free-throw line. This team could be pretty good next year with a healthy Jabari Parker.

NBA Free Pick: Give the points as I can't see Chicago losing three straight to this team. The Bulls (i.e. Rose) are 7-1 ATS in their past eight playing on two days of rest.

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Clippers at Spurs (-5.5)
This hasn't exactly been a first round to remember in the NBA playoffs but this series has been fantastic and probably everyone but Spurs fans would like to see a Game 7 on Saturday (as if that incredible sports day of the Kentucky Derby, Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, NHL playoffs, final rounds of NFL draft and typical MLB schedule needs any more reasons to never leave the couch). I find it hard to believe the Clippers could lose three times at home in one series so no doubt the Spurs will have a sense of urgency here to finish it out. They won Game 5 111-107 in L.A. on Tuesday. Is Tim Duncan 39 or 29? He was easily the best Spur on the court again with 21 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals and one key late block of Blake Griffin. Kawhi Leonard added 18 points and nine rebounds as those two carried the starting five. Tony Parker has admitted he's just not 100 percent and it's pretty evident. He was only 5-for-15 from the field. The key for San Antonio was its deep bench Tuesday as three guys -- Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw -- had at least 10 points and that unit combined for 48.

As for our NBA pick for this game let's go through some stats first, The best overall player in this series has been the Clippers' Griffin and he had another monster night with 30 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and four steals. Can't blame him. DeAndre Jordan had 21 points and 14 rebounds but he stupidly tried to tip in a shot with under five seconds left that would have given L.A.  a one-point lead. It was obvious basket interference -- the ball probably was going in if Jordan hadn't messed with it. He also was just 7-for-16 from the line. Two things need to happen for the Clippers to force a Game 7. The first is Chris Paul has to dominate a hobbled Parker.  Paul was solid with 19 points and 10 assists in Game 5 but with how limited Parker is, he should be doing more. Second, the bench has to be better. Doc Rivers only played three reserves Tuesday and they combined for 17 points. Jamal Crawford can't go 0-for-6 from 3-point range again.

NBA Free Pick: Clippers. The Spurs are 1-4 ATS in their past five after a win. L.A. has covered 12 of its past 16 road games.

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