Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat
It's not looking good for the Nets.
From the get go, you could tell LeBron was in the groove in Game 4, and he single-handedly dragged the Heat to a massively important victory at the Barclays Center on Monday night. He dropped 49 points, a franchise playoff record, and made it look easy.
We're still wondering why Paul Pierce came out and said he wanted to guard LeBron. It hasn't worked out well for him the past and it certainly didn't pan out the way he wanted in Game 4 either.
Now Brooklyn finds themselves in a 1-3 hole, with the series shifting back to South Beach. Miami is favored by seven points in the NBA betting lines for Game 5, while the total is hovering around the 189 area.
It's clear the Heat are the better team and we predict they'll prove it true once again tonight. They're so close to etching out their spot in the conference finals and they don't want this series to drag out any further. Surely they looked on with smiles on their faces as Indiana blew a chance to secure a series win over Washington last night and it could be just the warning the defending champions needed.
Instead of LeBron carrying the load offensively, however, we think he'll get the supporting cast much more involved this time around. D-Wade and Chris Bosh were happy to let LeBron do his thing in Game 4, but we think they'll be itching to contribute much more offensively.
As one of our NBA picks for the night, we're sticking with Miami. They've been good to us in this series so far and we're not jumping off the train just yet.
NBA Pick: Heat -7 (and lean UNDER)
Portland Trail Blazers vs. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs couldn't keep up their blistering offensive efficiency in Game 4, but perhaps they'll get it back now that they return home.
Game 5's NBA odds show San Antonio favored by eight points. The total has opened near the 208.5 mark, though 209 is also there for the taking if you think the UNDER is the right side.
Despite scoring 92 points on Monday, San Antonio has still averaged a ridiculous 111.3 points over their last six games, which dates back to their first-round series with Dallas. This is a team that's been executing brilliantly all season long and have carried it over into the playoffs.
The second unit has been instrumental to that success too, as Manu Ginobili, Boris Diaw, Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills have all had their moments of excellence. Portland has found it hard to cope with that level of depth, which is why they find themselves in a huge hole.
When push comes to shove, we feel good about the OVER tonight. We doubt the Spurs will hit only three threes back on their home court – they were a miserable 3-of-18 from beyond the arc in Game 4 – and that's one reason to think we'll revert back to a high-scoring contest in Game 5.
The Trail Blazers may not be playing nearly as well as they did against Houston, but they still have enough weapons to put some pressure on the home team and help keep this total high.
Our betting spread lean is on San Antonio to close out the series and cover in the process, but let's add the OVER to our collection of NBA picks.
NBA Pick: OVER 208.5 (and lean Spurs)