NBA Playoffs Betting: April 22

NBA Playoffs Betting: April 22

Home teams teams went 3-5 in Game 1 action over the weekend, including the top-seeded Pacers falling to the pesky Hawks. The Clippers rebounded in Game 2 on Monday by thrashing the Warriors 138-98, and tonight the Pacers, Raptors, and Bulls all look to follow suit by drawing even in their respective series. Oddsmakers appear to have little faith either of the three visiting teams will be able to seize 2-0 leads, because none is favored. In fact, all three home teams are giving as many points as they did in Game 1, and Toronto is actually giving more. Here’s a breakdown of the night’s matchups with the latest point spreads.

ATLANTA AT INDIANA -7.5

The Pacers worst nightmare came to fruition on Saturday night: They carried over their late season slide by losing Game 1 101-93. Atlanta’s dynamic inside-outside duo of Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague combined for 53 points and the team knocked down 11 three-pointers. As was the case down the stretch, the best Pacer on the floor was Paul George, aided to a degree by Lance Stephenson. Roy Hibbert continues to be a non-factor, especially on the defensive end (0 blocks). Perhaps Game 1 served as the necessary wake-up call Indiana needed, or perhaps Atlanta is simply the better team as this point in the season. One thing is clear: The Pacers have to do a much better job defending the perimeter. It would also help if someone besides George and Stephenson started making shots. Indiana has not lost back-to-back home games all season. For that reason alone, expect them to respond, but not cover.

Bet Atlanta +7.5

BROOKLYN AT TORONTO -4.5

It shouldn’t be all that surprising Brooklyn took Game 1. They have a wealth of playoff experience and Deron Williams is a special player when he’s not hurt or coughing up the ball. The Raptors won the battle of the boards and hit four more three-pointers, but 17 turnovers and a case of the playoff jitters did them in. Point guard Kyle Lowry was the biggest culprit with seven gaffes, despite leading the scoring with 22 points. On the flip-side, Jonas Valanciunas was a beast with 17 points and 18 rebounds, and sixth-man Greivis Vasquez chipped in 18 points and 8 assists. If Toronto can limit mistakes they should be in good shape to tie up the series before heading to Brooklyn for Game 3 on Friday. This is a tricky series to figure because the Raptors are more talented, but the Nets are the more complete team. Toronto wins a tight one.

Bet Brooklyn +4.5

WASHINGTON AT CHICAGO -5.5

This has 7-game series written all over it. It’s a contrast in styles between the defensive-minded half-court Bulls versus the push the pace Wizards. Both finished in the Top 10 in points allowed, with the Bulls ranking number one. It’s no secret Chicago is offensively challenged (D.J. Augustin leads them in scoring and he doesn’t even start!). Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson are fantastic rim protectors and rebounders, but neither is particularly gifted with their backs to the basket. John Wall receives most of the headlines, but he’s only one part of a balanced starting five that all manage to contribute on a nightly basis. Nene Hilario looked spry in Game 1, leading the team with 24 points. If he and Marcin Gortat continue to score in the paint, Washington will be tough to put away. By the way, the Wiz are 3-0 against the Bulls with Nene in the lineup. Chicago wins, but fails to cover.

Bet Washington +5.5