Wednesday, April 20, 2022 Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors

Apr 18, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard
James Harden (1) is fouled by Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) while dribbling the ball during the fourth quarter in game two of the first round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Playoff basketball continues on Wednesday night when the Toronto Raptors host the Philadephia 76ers in Game 3 of their first-round Eastern Conference series. After covering the spread with two double-digit home victories, the 76ers have a 2-0 lead.

Is this the year Philly competes the process?

The 76ers have been dominate through the first two games of the series, winning the opening game 131-111 and the second game 112-97. As a team, the 76ers have shot 51.6% from the floor and an NBA playoff-high 48.4% from three-point range. The 76ers now hit the road with a chance to go up 3-0. During the regular season, Philadelphia was 27-14 straight up in road games, and 21-19-1 against the spread.

Tyrese Maxey has broken out as a star this postseason, averaging 30.5 ppg, due to a 38-point Game 1, and 23 points, nine rebounds, and eight assist performance during Monday’s Game 2. MVP finalist Joe Embiid is averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds, and Tobias Harris has put up an average of 23 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks in the series. James Harden is averaging a team-high 40.5 minutes, and also leads the team with 10 assists and two steals per game to go along with his 18 ppg.

On the injury report, the 76ers are mostly clean. Matisse Thybulle (5.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg) is out for personal reasons, and Charles Bassey (2.3 ppg, 2.7 rbg) is out with a shoulder injury.

Do or die for Toronto

The Toronto Raptors beat the 76ers in three out of four games during the regular season. Due to the prior success, the Raptors came into the series as an attractive underdog with +165 odds to upset the 76ers in the first round. This series isn’t over yet, but if the Raptors cannot make some distract changes on Wednesday, it basically will be, as no NBA team has ever climbed back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.

Toronto is not as healthy as Philadelphia. Rookie Scottie Barnes is listed as doubtful for Game 2, and Gary Trent Jr is questionable. During the regular season, Barnes played 74 games, averaged 15.3 ppg, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. Barnes had 15 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in the 20-point Game 1 loss. Gary Trent Jr. played in 70 regular-season games and averaged 18.3 ppg. Trent was held to nine points in Game 1 and did not score in Monday’s loss in a little under 10 minutes of action.

The Raptors shot 45.6% from the floor and 37.1% from the three-point range in the first two games in Philly. Individually, OG Anunoby has led the team with 23 ppg, followed by Pascal Siakam with 22 ppg, and Fred VanVleet with 19ppg.

Best Bets for this Game

Prediction: Toronto Raptors +2

Rating: 5 out of 5

The 76ers have had the Raptors’ number in the first two games, and from the eye test looks like they are on their way to sweep, but as the old saying goes, “a series doesn’t start until a home team loses.” I’ll admit, I’ve never been a huge fan of that overused line, but it has some merit here, especially when considering that the 76ers have failed to cover the spread in five of their last six trips to Toronto.

The Raptors covered the spread in all four regular-season games against the 76ers, and even though this is the playoffs, the evidence is there; Toronto is capable of beating Philadelphia. The Raptors have a championship coach on their side and are tough to beat in Canada, as they have covered the spread in their last four games as a home underdog. I understand that Doc Rivers is a championship coach as well, but he has also struggled to close out several series’ as a favorite with the lead in the past. The 76ers have failed to cover the spread in their last five road games and I expect to see a drop-off in this game from Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris. To what extent James Harden shows up will also be interesting.

The season is basically over for Toronto if they don’t win this game, and as a small underdog, they can’t win this game without covering. Expect the North to rise up on Wednesday, with their role players playing better at home, and turn this into a series.

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April 7 Orlando Magic at Charlotte Hornets Preview

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The Charlotte Hornets (40-39) will host the Orlando Magic (21-59) on Thursday. In three head-to-head meetings this season, Charlotte has beaten Orlando twice, but the Magic have managed to cover twice. The last meeting took place on January 14, when the Magic upset the Hornets in Charlotte 116-109 as an 11.5-point dog.

Magic last in the Eastern Conference

Orlando is 36-44 against the spread this season and has a 40-39-1 over/under record.

With two games remaining, you have interest in the Magic if you bet the over or under on their wins total before the regular season, which was set at 22.5 by BetMGM. Otherwise, the last two contests are relatively meaningless, as Orlando is one game ahead of the Rockets in the race to avoid the worst record in the NBA.

The Magic snapped a six-game losing streak on Tuesday by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 120-115. Mo Bamba led the Magic with 21 points and 12 rebounds in the victory. For the game, Orlando outshot Cleveland 50.5% to 48.8% from the field, 45.7% to 44.4% from three, and overcame making five fewer free throws. Ignas Brazdeikis added a season-high 20 points off the bench.

This season, the Magic have been abysmal on offense, ranking 29th in scoring and 28th in field goal and three-point field goal percentage. The team’s leading scorer and assists man, Cole Anthony (16.3 ppg, 5.7 apg), is out for Thursday’s game with a toe injury. The following two leading scorers, Franz Wanger (15.2 ppg) and Wendell Carter Jr. (15 ppg), are also out with injuries. Amongst the healthy players, rookie Jalen Suggs is averaging 11.9 ppg and 4.4 assists.

Charlotte has been embarrassed in last two games

The Charlotte Hornets are on their way to the play-in tournament, but their fate has not been decided. With three games left, the Hornets are 10th in the East and trail the Nets and Hawks by 1.5 games for the 8th and 9th spots. If the season ended today, Charlotte would need to win consecutive road games in the play-in tournament for the right to face the Miami Heat.

The Hornets’ last two games have been ugly. They were blown out at Philadelphia 144-114 on Saturday and at Miami 144-115 on Tuesday. Miles Bridges, who scored 29 points on Tuesday, has led the Hornets in scoring in each of the last four games and leads the team with 20.4 ppg for the season. LaMelo Ball averages 19.9 ppg and leads the team with 7.6 assists and 1.6 steals per game, followed by Terry Rozier with 19.2 ppg.

The only player on the Hornets’ injury report is Gordon Hayward (15.9 ppg in 49 games), who is doubtful with a foot injury.

Unlike Orlando, the Hornets have shined on offense, ranking fifth in the NBA in scoring and ninth in three-point percentage. The defense has been more of a struggle. Charlotte ranks 28th in points allowed, 20th in field goal percentage, and 23rd in three-point field goal percentage allowed.

 Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Rating: 3 out of 5

The biggest question coming into this game is what is the motivation on both sides. The Hornets did face Eastern Conference contenders on the road in their last two games, yet still, the effort was pathetic. After losing consecutive games in such embarrassing fashion and having two full days off to sit on it, Charlotte should be motivated to bounce back, even though the odds of them moving up higher than 10th in the East are not favorable. On the other side with their top three scorers out with injuries, the Magic have a young group of players who have a lot to prove right now when it comes to their futures in the NBA.  Still, the Magic “should” get annihilated “if” the Hornets bring a strong effort.

When it comes down to it, I am going to back the Hornets. The last two losses were on the road, and home cooking against a bad team should be a recipe for Charlotte to get its confidence back. The Hornets are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 homes games against a team with a road winning percentage of under .400. Laying the 13.5 points is a lot, but three of Orlando’s last four road losses have been by at least 16 points or more. With Bridges, Ball, Rozier, and Kelly Oubre Jr. all healthy, the Hornets’ offensive skill and athleticism will be too much for the Magic.

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Prediction: Charlotte Hornets -13.5

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Dallas Mavericks at Detroit Pistons Preview for Wednesday April 6, 2022

This article is featured here: https://winnersandwhiners.com/games/nba/4-6-2022/dallas-mavericks-vs-detroit-pistons-prediction-6548/

The Detroit Pistons will host the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday as the NBA regular season continues to approach the finish line. Dallas is preparing for a playoff run, and the Pistons are rebuilding mode with the lottery in their future. Dallas protected its home court beating Detroit 116-86 in the only head-to-head match-up this season on February 8.

Dallas is in the playoffs, but final seeding has not been settled

There are three games left on the regular-season schedule, and Dallas is fourth in the Western Conference. The Mavericks are just one game behind Golden State for the third spot and two games ahead of the fifth-place Denver Nuggets.

Against the spread, Dallas is 44-34-1, and their over/under record is 29-49-1.

Dallas is has won four of its last five games and is coming off a 118-112 road win against the Milwaukee Bucks. Luka Doncic led Dallas with 32 points and 15 assists and grabbed eight rebounds. He has now led the team in scoring in the last six games and averages 28.3 ppg, which is fourth in the NBA, and 8.7 assists which ranks fifth.

The Mavs are 26th in scoring averaging 107.2 ppg, 20th shooting 45.8% from the floor, and 23rd making 34.5% from three. On defense, Dallas is second holding opponents to just 104.8 ppg. Opponents are shooting 45.8% against them which ranks 5th, and 34.1% from three which is fifth.

On the injury report, Maxi Kleber (7 ppg, 5.9 rebounds) is questionable for Wednesday.

Pistons going for 4th straight win

Detroit has the third-worst record in the NBA but has not given up. The Pistons are on a three-game winning streak after beating the 76ers 102-94, Thunder 110-101, and Pacers 121-117 on Sunday. Saddiq Bey led the victory over the Pacers with 31 points. Bey is the only Piston player who has played in all 79 games this season and is averaging 16.3 ppg.

Straight up, the record is not impressive, but the Pistons have performed very well against the spread with a 45-34 record, which includes coverage in their last five games in a row. The team’s over/under record is 37-39-3.

The Pistons are 28th in scoring averaging 104.8 ppg, and 29th shooting 43.1% from the floor and 32.8% from three-point range. They are 13th making 78% from the free-throw line. Jerami Grant (19.2 ppg), the team’s leading scorer, is out of the rest of the season with a calf injury, and the team’s second-leading scorer Cade Cunningham (17.3 ppg), is questionable for Wednesday. The Pistons also have three other role players who are questionable: Luka Garza, Cory Joseph, and Marvin Bagley III.

Full-Game Side Bet

Rating: 4 out of 5

Detroit has lost alot of games, but they are 20-12-1 against the spread as a home underdog this season. Detroit has also been sensational down the stretch, regardless of the situation covering the spread in 19 of their last 22 games overall. Expect the Pistons to keep this game competitive as well and cover.

Tuesday October 23 NBA FREE PICK

Los Angeles Clippers at New Orleans Pelicans Pick

I think this is a goodAnthony_Davis_Pelicans_2018_AP time to jump on the UNDER. After the Pelicans have combined for 243 points with the Rockets and 278 points against the Kings. The Pelicans are on fire, but this pace can not continue forever.

The Clippers have combined for only 205 points with Denver, 200 with Oklahoma City, and 227 with the Rockets.

The Clippers are currently 24th in points scored and 27th in three point percentage.

The Pelicans are hot offensively, but I expect enough of a cool down here for less than 122 points. On the other side, I don’t see the Clippers surpassing 118 points in regulation.

In order to go over this game would have to be the highest scoring between these two teams in their 22 game history.

Let’s take UNDER this huge number.

MY PICK: UNDER 239

 

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Are the Warriors Really Unbeatable in Game 1?

NBA FINALS GAME 1-  Thursday 5/31, 9:05 PM EST

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Convert?w=60&h=60&fit=clip Cleveland Cavaliers +13.0 +734.0 214.5
Convert?w=60&h=60&fit=clip Golden State Warriors -13.0 -734.0

 

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Free NBA Conference Finals Teaser

Yesterday we cashed in on the UNDER 219 points in Game 5 on the Western Conference Finals.

Today’s free play comes in the NBA and is a two team 6 points teaser.

Part 1: Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers – May 25, 2018 8:30 PM EST

Cleveland Cavaliers -1.0 

Teased 6.0 points

      Part 2: Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors – May 26, 2018 9:00 PM

      Golden State Warriors -6.0

      Teased 6.0 points

       

       

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      Western Conference Finals Game 5 Pick Against the Vegas Line

      The play in the Western and Eastern Conference Finals has been inconsistent from game to game which has led to us taking a conservative approach. We do however have a pick for tonight.
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      Tuesday May 15 Free Picks MLB & NBA

      Our only play yesterday was a +6 point teaser on the Golden State Warriors-Houston Rockets game. We had the Warriors +7 and the UNDER 231 which was a winner.

      Today I have three different Major League Baseball games on my board and a pick for the Eastern Conference Finals Game 2.
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