Sunday's NBA Tip Sheet
Sunday's NBA Tip Sheet
(6) Toronto (41-41, 39-42-1 ATS) at (3) Orlando (52-30, 50-29-3 ATS)
The Magic, who haven’t advanced to the second round of the playoffs since 1996, are favored to end that drought as they kick off their first-round Eastern Conference series against the Raptors inside Amway Arena.
Orlando took two of three SU and ATS against Toronto in the regular season including a 102-87 win at home back on March 4 as a 9½-point chalk. But dating back to 2005, the Raptors are 7-3 SU and 8-2 ATS against the Magic, including 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS in Orlando.
Orlando hasn’t reached the second round since Shaquille O’Neal led the Magic to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1996 and they haven’t won a playoff game since 2003. Orlando was swept out of last season’s playoffs by top-seeded Detroit, though it did go 2-1-1 ATS.
Stan Van Gundy’s team finished the season on a three-game SU and ATS winning streak and won six of its last nine overall (6-2-1 ATS). The Magic blew out Washington 103-83 as eight-point home favorites on Wednesday, and went 23-15-3 ATS in front of the home fans this season.
Toronto lost its season finale 107-97 in Chicago in a meaningless affair, falling as 5½-point ‘dogs, it’s third straight non-cover and sixth ATS setback in its last eight contests. Furthermore, the Raptors went 17-23-1 ATS on the highway this year and lost their last four away from home both SU and ATS. Toronto is back in the playoffs for the second straight year, having suffered a first-round, six-game loss to New Jersey last season.
The Raptors have gone 36-15-2 ATS in their last 53 against the Southeast Division, but otherwise they are on ATS slides of 7-19 overall, 8-20 as an underdog, 2-6 against the Eastern Conference, 0-8 as a road ‘dog and 0-6 on Sundays.
The Magic are on ATS runs of 37-18-3 against the Eastern Conference, 11-4-2 at home, 4-1 as a favorite and 5-2 on Sundays.
Both teams have been involved in low-scoring affairs lately, with the under 6-0-1 in Toronto’s last seven, 11-5 in the Raptors last 16 on Sunday and 6-2 in their last eight on the highway. The under is also 8-1 in the Magic’s last nine, 6-1 in their last seven as a favorite, 7-1 in their last eight against the Eastern Conference and 14-3 in their last 17 following an ATS win.
ATS ADVANTAGE: ORLANDO and UNDER
(8) Denver (50-32, 44-38 ATS) at (1) L.A. Lakers (57-25, 47-34-1 ATS)
After fighting their way into the playoffs, the Nuggets’ reward is a best-of-7 matchup with the Western Conference’s top-seeded Lakers that begins inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
The Lakers swept the season series 3-0 SU and ATS and they’re 6-4 SU (8-2 ATS) against Denver dating back to 2005. What’s more, Los Angeles is on a 7-1 SU and ATS run against the Nuggets in the Staples Center, and the home team is 12-5 ATS in the last 17 series clashes.
Denver won four of its last five overall (3-2 ATS) to earn the eighth seed in the playoffs, including home wins over Houston on Sunday (111-94 as a 6½-point favorite) and Memphis on Wednesday (120-111, failing as a 15-point home chalk). Denver was just 17-24 SU on the road this season (19-22 ATS).
Los Angeles won eight of its last nine down the stretch, but struggled to cover the number, going 4-5 ATS. Additionally, the Lakers went just 2-7 ATS in their final nine home games, all as a favorite. However, Phil Jackson’s team clinched the top seed in the West by blowing out the Kings in the season finale 124-101, cashing as a 17-point home favorite for its sixth straight win at Staples.
After stealing Game 1 in the first round last year in San Antonio, the Nuggets lost the next four to the Spurs (0-4 ATS). This is Denver’s fifth straight postseason appearance, but it failed to get out of the first round in the previous four. In fact, the Nuggets haven’t made it to the second round since 1994. Meanwhile, The Lakers have been bounced in the first round of the playoffs each of the last two years, both times falling to Phoenix.
Denver is 6-2 ATS in its last eight Sunday games but just 1-5 ATS in its last six following a victory. Meanwhile, the Lakers are on ATS slides of 1-6-1 in the playoffs, 1-4 following a spread-cover and 2-5 on Sundays.
For the Nuggets, the under is on streaks of 5-0 overall, 14-3 as a playoff underdog, 7-2 on Sundays and 5-2 on the highway. On the flip side, for L.A., the over is on runs of 5-2 at home, 5-2 on Sundays, 6-2 against teams with a winning record and 36-15 as a favorite of 5 to 10½ points.
ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. LAKERS
(7) Philadelphia (40-42, 43-36-3 ATS) at (2) Detroit (59-23, 45-36-1 ATS)
The heavily favored Pistons host the young Sixers in Game 1 of this best-of-7 Eastern Conference first-round series inside the Palace of Auburn Hills.
These teams split four games this season, with Philadelphia cashing in three of the four. Each squad split its home games, and the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five series clashes. Also, the favorite is 12-5-1 in the last 18.
Detroit won four in a row SU and ATS to close the regular season, including Wednesday’s 84-74 road win in Cleveland, getting the cash as an 8½-point favorite. Going back further, the Pistons won nine of their last 11 overall (7-4 ATS) and they went 13-1 in their last 14 home games (10-4 ATS).
While Detroit sprinted to the finish line, Philadelphia struggled at the end of the regular season, ending on a four-game SU and ATS losing skid, including a 115-109 loss in Charlotte on Wednesday as a 1½-point road chalk. Maurice Cheeks’ squad went 18-23 SU on the road this season (21-17-1 ATS).
The Pistons, who are back in the postseason for the eighth straight year, made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season and had a 2-0 lead on the Cavs before dropping the final four games. The Pistons were just 5-10-1 ATS in the postseason a year ago, including 1-2-1 ATS in an opening round four-game sweep of the Magic.
The Sixers haven’t been in the postseason since 2005 when they lost 4-1 to the Pistons (1-3-1 ATS), and Andre Iguodala is the only remaining player from that Philadelphia team.
Philadelphia is on ATS streaks of 9-3 on the road, 6-2 as a road ‘dog, 7-2 against the Central Division and 13-6-1 as a pup, but it is just 4-9 ATS in its last 13 on Sundays.
Detroit is on ATS runs of 10-3 on Sundays, 5-1 at home and 6-2 against the Eastern Conference. On the downside, the Pistons are 0-6 ATS in their last six as a playoff favorite, 2-6 ATS in their last eight against the Atlantic Division and 0-5 ATS in their last five when playing on three days’ rest.
The under is on streaks of 5-2 in series meetings in Detroit, 9-3 for the Pistons overall, 11-2 for the Pistons against the Eastern Conference and 5-1 for the Pistons as a favorite. Meanwhile the over is 7-3-1 in the Sixers’ last 11 as a road ‘dog.
ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE
(8) Atlanta (37-45, 37-44-1 ATS) at (1) Boston (66-16, 52-28-2 ATS)
The Hawks return to the playoffs for the first time in nine years when they open their best-of-7 first-round Eastern Conference playoff series against the top-seeded Celtics inside TD Banknorth Garden in Boston.
Doc Rivers’ Celtics swept the three-game season series against Atlanta (2-1 ATS), easily winning both games in Boston by double digits. These teams squared off just eight days ago in Atlanta, with the Celtics getting the 99-89 road win as three-point ‘dogs. In the last 10 series clashes, the underdog is 7-3 ATS.
Boston, which started its magical season with an 11-1 record (9-3 ATS), also closed the year by winning 11 of its last 12 (10-2 ATS). The Celtics finished with four straight wins, including Wednesday’s 105-94 home win over the Nets as 9½-point favorites. Finally, they dominated in front of the home fans this year, going 35-6 at home (25-15-1 ATS).
It’s been three years since the Celtics were in the postseason when they lost a seven-game opening-round series to the Pacers (3-4 ATS).
Atlanta hasn’t seen the postseason since 1999 and doesn’t come into this one with any momentum having lost three straight and five of seven overall SU and ATS. The Hawks closed the season with a 113-99 loss in Miami as five-point favorites.
Boston is on ATS runs of 19-7 overall, 8-2 as a favorite, 6-0 at home, 4-0 against the Eastern Conference and 6-2 on Sundays.
Atlanta is 6-14 in its last 20 as a road ‘dog, but is on positive pointspread streaks of 4-1 on Sundays and 4-1 when playing on three or more days’ rest.
The under is 6-1 in the last seven head-to-head meetings in Boston. Also, for Boston, the under is on runs of 7-3 overall, 10-3 against the Eastern Conference, 4-1 against the Southeast Division and 6-1 at home against teams with a losing road mark. For the Hawks, the over is on runs of 9-3 overall, 25-9 on Sundays, 8-3 against the Eastern Conference, 7-3 on the road, 10-4 on the highway against teams with a winning home record and 6-2 against the Atlantic Division.
ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON