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Monday's NBA Tip Sheet

Monday's NBA Tip Sheet

NBA PLAYOFFS

EASTERN CONFERENCE


(6) Toronto (42-44, 41-44-1 ATS) at (3) Orlando (55-31, 52-31-3 ATS)

The Magic try to close out their first-round best-of-7 series against the Raptors tonight when the two meet for Game 5 inside Amway Arena in Orlando.

Orlando put a stranglehold on the series with Saturday’s 106-94 victory north of the border, cashing as a 2½-point underdog. The Magic used a 33-point fourth quarter to seal the victory and had five players score in double digits, led by Rashard Lewis’ 27 points and 13 rebounds. Dwight Howard came up just short of a triple-double with 19 points, 16 rebounds and eight blocked shots.

The Magic have won six of their last seven overall (5-2 ATS) and five of their last seven against the Raptors, including a 14-point home win in Game 1 and a one-point home victory in Game 2. Toronto is just 4-8 SU and ATS in its last 12 overall, but despite the Game 4 result, the Raptors are still on a 10-4 ATS run against Orlando, including 5-2 ATS inside Amway Arena.

Stan Van Gundy’s Magic are on a plethora of positive pointspread streaks, including 6-2 against the Eastern Conference, 11-5 on one days’ rest, 11-3-1 at home against a team with a losing road mark, 12-5-2 overall at home and 9-4-1 on Mondays.

The Raptors are 38-17-2 ATS in their last 57 against Southeast Division opponents and 4-1 ATS in their last five as playoff underdogs of five to 10½ points. However, the ATS trends are all negative from there, including 9-21 overall, 3-9 against teams with a winning SU mark, 4-8 against the East, 5-16 on one days’ rest, 6-18 as an underdog, 2-10 on the road and 1-9 as a road ‘dog.

The under was the play in both games in Toronto, but the over is 5-3 in the last eight between these two, with the first two games of this series in Orlando hurdling the posted price. In addition, the over is 7-3 in Orlando’s last 10 first-round playoff games, 4-2 in Toronto’s last six first-round contests and 5-3 in the Raptors’ last eight against winning teams.

Conversely, the under is 10-3 in the Magic’s last 13 overall and 9-3 in their last 12 against the Eastern Conference. The under is also 8-2-1 in the Raptors’ last 11 overall and 27-9 in their last 36 when they tip-off on Mondays.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER


(1) Boston (68-17, 54-29-2 ATS) at (8) Atlanta (38-47, 38-46-1 ATS)

The Hawks showed they would not go quietly with a Game 3 victory over the Celtics and now try to draw even with the conference’s top seed when the two meet for Game 4 at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

Josh Smith put on a show Saturday, scoring 27 points to lead Atlanta to the 102-93 win as an eight-point home ‘dog. The Hawks won the rebounding battle 43-35 led by rookie Al Horford’s 14 boards to go with 17 points.

While the victory snapped Boston’s six-game SU and ATS winning streak, Doc Rivers’ Celtics have still won 13 of their last 15 games going back to the regular season, going 12-3 ATS.

The Hawks, who are in the postseason for the first time since 1999, snapped a five-game losing skid with Saturday’s win, but have still lost seven of their last 10, both SU and ATS. Also, the winner has cashed in each of the team’s last 12 games.

Boston is now 5-1 against Atlanta this year (4-2 ATS), with all five wins coming by double digits. Still, the underdog is 8-5 ATS in the last 13 clashes, and the home team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight.

Saturday’s upset loss aside, the Celtics are still on ATS runs of 21-6 overall, 16-6 as a favorite, 48-20-1 on the highway, 5-2 against the Southeast Division, 7-3 as a road chalk, 7-0 when playing on a days’ rest, 5-1 on Mondays and 4-1 following a SU loss. Meanwhile, the Hawks remain on ATS slides of 2-5 at home, 1-4 as an underdog, 1-5 overall, 1-4 when playing on a days’ rest and 1-5 against the Eastern Conference.

The first five meetings between these teams this season stayed under the posted price, but Saturday’s game soared over the total, and the over is now 10-4 in the last 14 clashes between these two in Atlanta. Also, for the Hawks, the over is on streaks of 10-5 overall, 9-5 against the Eastern Conference, 7-4 against the Atlantic Division and 7-1 at home.

On the flip side, Atlanta has stayed under the total in four of its last six against the Atlantic Division, and the under is 9-4 in the Celtics’ last 13 overall, 12-4 in the Celtics’ last 16 against the Eastern Conference and 6-2 in the Celtics’ last eight versus the Southeast Division.

ATS ADVANTAGE: BOSTON and UNDER


WESTERN CONFERENCE

(1) L.A. Lakers (60-25, 50-34-1 ATS) at (8) Denver (50-35, 44-41 ATS)


The Lakers will try to put the finishing touches on the Nuggets in Game 4 of their best-of-7 first-round series inside the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Los Angeles took a commanding 3-0 lead with Saturday’s 102-84 win and easy cover as a 1½-point underdog. The Lakers’ defense held Denver to 37.2 percent shooting and 5-of-20 from beyond the 3-point line. Kobe Bryant led the charge for Los Angeles with 22 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.

Saturday’s win improved the Lakers to 6-0 SU and ATS against Denver this season and 9-2 ATS in the last 11 overall. Also, Phil Jackson’s squad is 5-1 ATS in its last six visits to the Pepsi Center, although the home team is still on a 14-6 ATS roll in this rivalry.

The Lakers are on an 11-1 SU surge dating to the regular season, and they have covered the number in four straight after going 3-5 ATS in their previous eight. Meanwhile, Denver, which had to win four of its last five regular-season games to get into the playoffs for the fifth straight year, has now dropped seven consecutive playoff games both SU and ATS (all as an underdog) going back to last year’s opening-round, five-game loss to the eventual champion Spurs.

Los Angeles is on ATS streaks 20-7-1 on the highway, 21-9 following an ATS win, 6-1 on Mondays, 9-3 as a road favorite and 5-1 in conference quarterfinal matchups. Meanwhile, the Nuggets are still on positive pointspread runs of 19-9 following a SU defeat, 8-4 at home, 9-3 following a SU loss and 4-2 at home against teams with a winning road mark, but Denver is just 2-12 ATS in its last 14 as a playoff underdog and 3-14 ATS in its last 17 conference quarterfinal games.

The last two games of this series have stayed under the total and four of the last five between these two have remained low. The under is also 12-5 in the Lakers’ last 17 Monday tip-offs and 5-2 in their last seven on the highway.

Also, the under is 7-1 in the Nuggets’ last eight overall, 14-3 in their last 17 as a playoff underdog and 18-4 in their last 22 conference quarterfinal contests. However, Denver has still topped the total in 15 of its last 22 home games and 10 of its last 14 Mondays.

ATS ADVANTAGE: L.A. LAKERS and UNDER

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Re: Monday's NBA Tip Sheet

NBA Gameday

The Boston Celtics will be looking to bounce back from an unexpected loss when they take on the Atlanta Hawks in playoff action Monday night. Here's your NBA Gameday:

Toronto Raptors at Orlando Magic, 7:30pm ET

It could be the last game of the season for the Raptors on Monday, as they trail the Magic 3-1 in the best-of-seven series heading into Game 5 in Orlando. Toronto actually got back into this series last Thursday with a 108-94 win at home (with T.J. Ford scoring a team-high 21 points), but Orlando extended their advantage once again with a 106-94 road victory on Saturday. Rashard Lewis picked up 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Magic in their Game 4 win, while Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard poured in 19 points apiece. Howard also had a game-high 16 rebounds. Chris Bosh did everything he could for the Raptors in the loss, scoring a game-high 39 points and adding 15 boards.

The oddsmakers seem to like Orlando's chances of closing out this series on Monday night, as they opened as 7.5-point home favorites. The game's total opened at 202.5.


Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks, 8:00pm ET

Someone forgot to tell the Hawks that they were supposed to quickly go away in their first-round series against the mighty Celtics. After dropping the first two games of their best-of-seven series by large margins in Boston, the Hawks bounced back with a big 102-93 home win over the Celtics in Game 3 on Saturday. Josh Smith had a team-high 27 points to go along with nine rebounds for Atlanta in that win, while Joe Johnson was good for 23 points, and Al Horford picked up 17 points and 14 boards. Mike Bibby contributed 12 points and eight assists to the win. Kevin Garnett had a game-high 32 points and 10 rebounds in a losing cause for Boston, and Paul Pierce scored 17 points.

Despite the Game 3 loss the Celtics are still the oddsmakers' choice in this series, as they opened as 9-point road favorites to get a Game 4 victory. The total opened at 190.


Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets, 10:30pm ET

The Nuggets have been completely dominated by the Lakers so far in their first-round series, and Monday could be their final opportunity to show that they have some life in them. Denver lost the first two games of the seven-game set 128-114 and 122-107 in Los Angeles, and things didn't get much better when they returned home for Game 3 on Saturday as they fell 102-84. Kobe Bryant had a team-high 22 points for the Lakers in that win, while Derek Fisher and Pau Gasol each picked up 14 points. Lamar Odom tossed in 12 points and added seven rebounds on the night. Carmelo Anthony led the Nuggets' attack with 16 points, while Allen Iverson and Linas Kleiza had 15 points each.

Even though they're playing at home Denver hasn't been given much of a chance by the oddsmakers in this one; they opened as 4.5-point dogs. The total opened at 227.5.

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Re: Monday's NBA Tip Sheet

Monday's best NBA bets
COVERS.com

Toronto at Orlando -7½, 203

How can the Raptors be four games into the postseason and still seem like they have no idea what they’re doing with their point guard timeshare between Jose Calderon and T.J. Ford? That’s been a question burning at Raptors bettors all season. Ford disrupted the flow of the game again on Saturday by forcing up too many quick shots even though his 12 points and 13 assists look good in the box score, while Calderon scored just two points and five assists over 21 minutes.

The worst thing is, point guard play is a secondary concern for Toronto – Dwight Howard is the real problem. He basically put the Raptors out of the game with a huge first quarter on Saturday and it doesn’t look like Toronto has any answer for Superman in this series, especially when Rashard Lewis and Jameer Nelson are playing so well too.

Pick: Magic


L.A. Lakers at Denver 4½, 227½

The Denver Nuggets can talk all they want about showing up to battle now that they’re down 3-0 in the series, but they’ve done nothing to indicate they’ll walk the walk tonight in Game 4.

Instead of rallying the troops following Saturday’s game, Allen Iverson complained about not playing in the third quarter and Carmelo Anthony didn’t talk to the media at all, leaving Eduardo Najera, of all people, to face the music.

'It's not over yet. Just get one game, one game, that's all we need,” Najera told reporters. “And we need to do it - for ourselves. That's the right approach we need to have right now."

Nice try, Najera, but we’re not buying it.

Pick: Lakers

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