Tuesday's NBA Playoff Tip Sheet

Tuesday's NBA Playoff Tip Sheet

Tuesday's Playoff Tip Sheet
By Josh Jacobs

Moving right along, Tuesday continues the adrenaline pumping pace of playoff basketball when Dallas and New Orleans kickoff the evening.

Let’s take a glance at the three games on tap and where the money is and should be moving given the specific dynamics of each matchup.

Game 2: Dallas at New Orleans – 7:00 p.m. EDT

It was all about Hornets’ point guard Chris Paul. Appearing in the first playoff game of his new born career, Paul posted a game-high 35 points with 10 assists and four steals in a 104-92 win over the Mavericks.

Most books closed out New Orleans as a 4½-point home favorite, while the total saw love on the ‘over’ 192 points (total points scored was 196).

So now bettors are faced with this common question; does Dallas use its veteran roster effectively and can this squad use eight straight years of playoff experience in its favor?

Bodog.com has adjusted the total for Game 2 to a current 3½-point spread.

The Mavericks have been through this same scenario before. It was only a year ago that Dallas lost Game 1 of the Conference Quarterfinals versus Golden State by the score of 97-85. Bettors backing the Mavs found themselves out in the cold with the spread closing at a high 10½ points.

But a 112-99 win in Game 2 served as a comeback victory for Dallas. Mavericks’ backers also rejoiced with a comeback ATS win which closed the books at 9 ½-points. Since the 2002-03 season, Dallas is 5-2 when losing Game 1 of a series only to come back and snatch up a win in Game 2.

The Hornets have been able to overcome the odds in five contests versus the Mavs this season (counting Saturday’s win). New Orleans was only favored twice out of those five but a 3-2 SU and ATS record speaks for itself.

In all three wins this season, the Hornets where able to top the Mavericks in field goal shooting. New Orleans averaged 46 percent from the field, while Dallas has floundered, shooting a low 40 percent in all three defeats.

Bettors get you pen and pad out because a betting angle once again favoring the Hornets stems from their 9-2 ATS record when coming off of two days rest. Supporting this clubs ability to once again cash money at the window is the Mavs deplorable 4-8 ATS fall when coming off the same two days of inactivity.

Returning to the Chris Paul topic, it’s not hard to see that his phenomenal shooting has directly resulted into big wins. When New Orleans’ Paul has eclipsed the 30-point mark, the team is 9-4 SU this season. In games played after Paul has shot lights out (30 points or more), the Hornets have chalked up an 8-3 SU performance.

Continue to monitor Dallas forward Josh Howard, who scored 17 points and claimed eight rebounds. Howard has been listed as ‘probable’ for Tuesday after sustaining a possible ankle sprain late in the second half. In five games that the Wake Forest product has missed this season Dallas has amassed a 3-2 SU and a 2-3 ATS record.

Side Stats

-- Dallas was held to shooting just 28.1 percent from the field for the final three quarters in Game 1.

-- The Mavericks where dominated in the paint. The Hornets accounted for 36 points inside versus Dallas’ 16 points.

-- The Mavs’ Jason Kidd was held to 11 points and nine assists. New Orleans’ David West and Peja Stojakovic combined to score 37 points.

-- The one department that the Hornets did struggle with free throws, hitting 18-of-26 shots from the charity stripe (69.2%). The Mavs where much more effective, hitting 33-of-38 attempts from the free throw line (86.8%).

-- Dallas is 7-8 ATS when installed as the dog this season. New Orleans is 37-21 ATS when placed as the favorite. The Hornets have seen ‘over’ hit 12 times in 19 games when books have installed the total 190-194 ½.

Game 2: Toronto at Orlando – 7:30 p.m. EDT

The Raptors continued their poor play on the road when the Magic scored a 114-110 win on Sunday. Toronto increased its financial losses to a 1-10 ATS report in the last 11 road games.

Orlando’s Dwight Howard placed his names inside the history books by registering 25 points with 22 rebounds and five blocked shots, only the 12th time that a player has rocked the 25-20-5 club in NBA playoff history.

One doesn’t have to look far in search of the Raptors cry for help. Shooting 38 percent from the field, and getting out rebounded 42-35 is good reason why Toronto found it so hard to jump back into the contest (not to mention the 43 points sacrificed in the first quarter).

Most books have opened the spread in relatively the same neighborhood as (most head-to-head contests have ranged from 9½ to as little as 3½) games past. Sportbetting.com currently has the Magic listed as 5½-point home favorites, with the total up to 199 points (‘over’ 196 was the play in Game 1).

Books may have realized that Orlando has been crushing the 6½-point spread this season (the number which was handed out in Game 1). The Magic have gone 7-2 ATS when the spread has been 6½, thus the minor change. To dwell on this further, Orlando is only 3-2 ATS when favored by 5½.

The Magic have also made short work of teams with a losing record, accounting for a 12-6 ATS record at home.

If Orlando continues to shoot lights out at home (104.8 PPG), while protecting the other end of the basket for 99 PPG allowed (plus-5.8 PPG difference), there’s no doubt who has the clear cut edge. Toronto is averaging 93 PPG in its last four (1-3 SU and 0-4 ATS) and has seen the ‘under’ cash in four times in the last five.

Game 2: Phoenix at San Antonio – 9:30 p.m. EDT

In what was a heart wrenching contest until the final buzzer sounded in double-overtime, the Spurs began their trek to consecutive championships with a 117-115 victory over the Suns on Saturday.

Both teams posted some impressive numbers from the hardwood. For San Antonio, shooting 50.5 percent from the field helped buffer a 65.2 percent success rate from the free throw line (15-for-23). The Spurs All-Star center Tim Duncan led the team with a blistering 40 points and Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined to produce 50 points.

Focusing on Game 2, most books have now changed their strategy, slightly. Where San Antonio was installed as a 4 ½-point favorite over the weekend, lines are now opening this club as 2½-point home faves. We can say that the current total (191½) hasn’t changed much in comparison to Game 1 (192½).

The Spurs will enter Tuesday’s melee with a 2-7 ATS record when coming off two days of rest and a 2-6 ATS slide in their last eight overall.

Phoenix has had great success against San Antonio during the regular season with a 3-1 SU and ATS performance a total of four head-to-head contests. In the last 10 meetings together, most books have posted the Suns as underdogs eight times. With that said, Phoenix has done fairly well as the dog, registering a 6-3-1 ATS report.

What could possibly the most intriguing wager on the evening is the low 192-point total. The Suns have only seen a total this low once over the coarse of the season (club is 1-0 on the ‘over’ in this spot). The Spurs are a bit more versed in lower totals, building up bettors’ bank rolls with a 7-6 record on the ‘over’ when set in the range of 190-194 ½-points.

But if adjustments are made to the total before tip-off begins at 9:30 p.m. EDT, make sure to verse yourself with San Antonio’s previous track record. When the total has been set at 195-199½, the Spurs are 5-3 on the ‘under’ versus Phoenix’s 2-1 ‘over’ record.

Phoenix has been the top scorer in its last five head-to-head meetings, averaging 97.2 PPG. For San Antonio, 92.4 PPG (in the last five meetings versus the Suns) has typified the team’s philosophy of defensive focus as compared to the run-and-gun tactics out West.

The road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five head-to-head contests, while the underdog has gone 5-0 ATS in the last five. Phoenix is 22-14 in its last 36 games when Steve Nash has worked for double-digit assists.

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NBA PLAYOFFS

WESTERN CONFERENCE

(7) Dallas (51-32, 35-44-4 ATS) at (2) New Orleans (57-26, 51-30-2 ATS)


The Hornets will look to build on their Game 1 victory in this first-round best-of-7 series when they once again host the Mavericks at New Orleans Arena.

In Saturday’s opener, New Orleans trailed 52-40 at halftime, then stormed back to outscore Dallas by 24 points in the second half to win 104-92 and easily cover as a 4½-point home chalk. That continued the Hornets’ trend of avoiding back-to-back ATS losses – a streak that dates to Feb. 25 – although it also continued a recent streak of alternating pointspread wins and losses in their last five starts.

With New Orleans’ win Saturday, the home team has gone 5-0 SU and ATS this season in this series, and the favorite is 5-1 ATS in the last six clashes, including a current 4-0 ATS streak.

Dallas, which had won and covered against New Orleans at home in the regular-season finale, dropped to 1-5 ATS in its last six starts and is on additional negative pointspread runs of 9-23 on the highway against teams with a winning home record, 1-4 on two days’ rest, 2-8 following a non-cover and 0-5 in first-round playoff games. On the positive side, the Mavericks are on pointspread streaks of 6-1 as a playoff underdog of less than five points, 14-3 as a playoff pup of any price and 37-16-1 against Southwest Division rivals.

The Hornets, who sported the league’s third-best ATS mark in the regular season, are on a 23-8 ATS spree at home and carry additional positive pointspread runs of 39-19-1 overall, 13-3-1 laying points, 10-2 as a home chalk, 5-0-1 as a favorite of less than five points and 38-18-1 on two days’ rest. All that said, they are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven after a spread-cover and 2-5-1 ATS in their last seven after scoring more than 100 points.

With Saturday’s contest barely clearing the 192-point posted total, the over is now on runs of 10-1 when the Mavericks are on the road, 6-1 with the Mavs a playoff ‘dog, 5-1 for the Hornets in the playoffs, 16-6-2 with New Orleans as a home chalk and 25-8 with the Hornets playing on two days’ rest. On the flip side, the under is 4-0 for Dallas in its last four after a SU loss, 5-2 in the Mavs’ last seven overall, 4-0 for New Orleans after a SU win and 8-3 for the Hornets against the Western Conference.

Finally, even though the under is 11-4-1 in the last 16 clashes in this series, the over has cashed in all three meetings at New Orleans this year.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER


(6) Phoenix (55-28, 40-40-3 ATS) at (3) San Antonio (57-26, 37-44-2)

The Spurs and Suns have a tough act to follow after their Game 1 double-overtime thriller, with San Antonio looking to take a commanding 2-0 series lead with another victory at the AT&T Center.

Phoenix blew several opportunities to win Game 1 in regulation and in the first overtime period, and San Antonio – thanks in part to an improbable Tim Duncan 3-pointer to cap the first OT session – took advantage of the multiple chances and pulled out a 117-115 victory. However, the Suns cashed as a 4½-point underdog, giving the Spurs a 2-6 ATS mark in their last eight outings (5-3 SU).

San Antonio took out Phoenix in last year’s conference semis, winning the series 4-2 (3-2-1 ATS). But Phoenix is 4-1 ATS this season in the heated rivalry between these two, with the underdog taking the cash in all five meetings. Furthermore, the Suns have covered in all three meetings this season in San Antonio (2-1 SU), and they’re 4-1 ATS in their last five trips to the AT&T Center – all as an underdog.

Furthermore, the Suns are on pointspread streaks of 12-4-1 against the Western Conference, 6-0 on two days’ rest, 4-0 after a SU loss, 6-2 against the Southwest Division and 7-3 in first-round playoff games. Also, even though Phoenix is 2-5 ATS in its last seven as a road underdog, both of those spread-covers came at San Antonio (Saturday’s loss and a 96-79 win on April 9). Finally, the Suns are 1-6 ATS in their last seven starts after a spread-cover.

The Spurs are on ATS slides of 4-10 as a home chalk of less than five points, 4-10 after a pointspread setback, 0-4 against the Pacific Division, 1-7 on two days’ rest and 1-4 after a SU win. On the positive side, San Antonio is 13-4-1 ATS in its last 18 as a playoff favorite, 4-1 ATS in its last five first-round games and 4-0-1 in its last five on Tuesday.

Saturday’s clash was headed toward an “under” before going to double OT and ended up easily soaring over the 192½-point posted price. The over is now on a 7-1 tear with the Suns as a road ‘dog, 7-2 in their last nine conference quarterfinal contests and 4-0 with Phoenix as a road pup of less than five points.

For San Antonio, the over is on runs of 4-0 overall and is 5-1 against the Pacific Division, but the under is still 21-9 with the Spurs favored by less than five points and 20-9-1 in San Antonio’s last 30 conference quarterfinal games. Finally, before Saturday’s double-OT affair, the under had cashed in all four regular-season meetings between these squads.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PHOENIX


EASTERN CONFERENCE

(6) Toronto (41-42, 39-43-1 ATS) at (3) Orlando (53-30, 51-29-3 ATS)


The Magic, who are looking to get beyond the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs for the first time in 12 years, won their first playoff game since 2003 by taking Game 1 and now will aim to take a 2-0 series lead back to Canada when they host the Raptors at Amway Arena.

Orlando rolled to a 114-100 victory Saturday in the series opener, putting up 43 first-quarter points and covering the 6½-point spread with ease. Stan Van Gundy’s squad picked up where it left off in the regular season by posting its fourth consecutive SU and ATS win, and the Magic are 7-3 SU and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 starts. Conversely, Toronto is mired in a 2-7 ATS funk dating to the regular season, including four consecutive non-covers in the last four.

The Magic have won and covered the last two meetings in this series – both in Orlando and both by double digits – and are now 3-1 SU and ATS in the last four clashes following a 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS run by Toronto. In fact, despite the Game 1 setback, the Raptors are still 7-4 SU and 8-3 ATS against the Magic since 2005, including 4-2 ATS in Orlando.

The Raptors are 1-10 ATS in their last five on the highway, including five straight losses and non-covers in the last five on American soil. They’re in additional ATS funks of 7-20 overall, 8-21 catching points, 2-7 against the East, 5-16 on one day’s rest and 0-9 as a road pup. The lone positive note is Toronto’s 36-16-2 ATS mark in its last 54 games against the Southeast Division.

Conversely, the Magic are on a plethora of positive ATS runs, including 38-18-3 against the Eastern Conference, 12-4-2 at home, 4-0 as a chalk of any price, 13-3 as a favorite of five to 10½ points and 10-3 on one days’ rest.

Although Game 1 cleared the posted total of 196, both teams have been involved in low-scoring affairs lately, with the under 6-1-1 in Toronto’s last eight overall and 7-2 in the Raptors’ last nine on the highway. The under is also 8-2 in the Magic’s last 10 overall, 6-2 in their last eight as a favorite, 7-2 in their last nine against the Eastern Conference and 14-4 in their last 18 following an ATS win. In this series, however, the over is on a 4-1 run, and the over is 6-1 in the Magic’s last seven first-round games and 4-1 in the Raptors’ last five first-round outings.

ATS ADVANTAGE: ORLANDO

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NBA Gameday

The Hornets, Magic, and Spurs will all be looking to take 2-0 leads in their first-round series when they host playoff games on Tuesday night. Here is your NBA Gameday -

Dallas Mavericks at New Orleans Hornets

The Hornets ended the regular season as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, and they are looking to prove that lofty standing was not a fluke with a win over the Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs. Well, so far so good for Chris Paul and company, as they surged to a 104-92 home win over the Mavs in Game 1 on Saturday.

New Orleans was actually down 52-40 at the break in that contest, but strong play in the second half led them to the victory. Paul poured in a team-high 35 points in the win for New Orleans, and also chipped in with 10 assists. David West picked up 23 points in the contest, while Tyson Chandler had 10 points and 15 rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki led the way for Dallas with 31 points and 10 boards that day, while Josh Howard had 17 points.

The oddsmakers like New Orleans' chances of going up 2-0 in this series on Tuesday night, as they were opened as 3.5-point favorites. The total was opened at 193.5 points.

Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic

The Magic had no trouble winning the Southeast Division this season, but would the upstart club also be able to make any sort of run in the playoffs? Getting a first-round matchup with the fading Raptors seems to have helped that cause, as Orlando cruised to a 114-100 home win in the first game of the best-of-seven series Sunday afternoon.

Orlando was up 43-23 at the end of the first quarter in Game 1, and Toronto never got back into the game. Dwight Howard scored 25 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in a dominating performance for the Magic, while Jameer Nelson scored 24 points and Hedo Turkoglu added 21 points. Anthony Parker had a team-high 24 points in a losing cause for the Raptors, while Chris Bosh had 21 points and Jason Kapono tossed in 18 points.

The Raptors will now try to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole with a win on Tuesday, but the oddsmakers opened them as 5.5-point road underdogs. The total opened at 199 points.

Phoenix Suns at San Antonio Spurs

Before the season began, followers of the NBA would've guessed that a Suns/Spurs series would be taking place in the Western Conference Finals. Instead, Phoenix and San Antonio are meeting in the first round, which means one of the title favorites will be out of the playoffs fairly quickly. And with a Game 1 loss the Suns have the first deficit.

Tim Duncan poured in 40 points and grabbed 15 rebounds on Saturday to guide the Spurs to a 117-115 double-overtime victory over the Suns at home. Tony Parker scored 26 points for San Antonio in the win, while Manu Ginobili was good for 24 points. Amare Stoudemire led the Suns' attack with 33 points in the loss, and Steve Nash contributed 25 points and 13 assists. Shaquille O'Neal was held to 11 points in the Game 1 defeat.

San Antonio will be looking to take a 2-0 lead in the series on Tuesday night, and they were opened as 2.5-point home favorites for Game 2. The contest's total opened at 191.5.

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