NBA Playoffs Betting: April 29

NBA Playoffs Betting: April 29

NBA fans who revel in drama should be loving the 2014 playoffs. Only one series is over, thanks to the Heat, while four others are locked in 2-2 ties, a pair sit at 3-1, and finally there’s Atlanta — the sole postseason participant with a losing record who has somehow managed to push the top-seeded Pacers to the brink of elimination. The Tuesday slate of matchups features the inspired Wizards, the dangerous Grizzlies, and the extremely distracted Clippers. Here’s a breakdown of the night’s action, including the latest point spreads.

WASHINGTON AT CHICAGO -4

Have oddsmakers even bothered to watch this series? The Bulls don’t resemble a playoff team at all. When guys like Mike Dunleavy have to score 35 points to get a W, that’s a problem. They aren’t playing defense, can’t stop turning the ball over, and seem to be starting the wrong players. This being an elimination game for the Bulls lends credence to backing them at home. However, John Wall and Bradley Beal have been the best players in the series and neither will be fazed by a rabid road crowd (see Games 1 and 2). Like Indiana, Chicago is difficult to trust. Miracle efforts from Dunleavy can’t be relied on. Washington is 5-0 ATS in their last five road games. Too many points here.

Bet Washington +4

MEMPHIS AT OKLAHOMA CITY -6.5

Three consecutive overtimes? Now that’s the definition of drama. Can these two Western powers possibly make it four in a row? Maybe. Toss out the Game 1 rout by the Thunder and this series has been nothing short of nip-n-tuck fantastic. Reggie Jackson bailed OK City out in Game 4, making up for poor scoring efforts from both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Serge Ibaka did a much better job defending Zach Randolph in the paint, and Mike Conley bricked all six of his three-point attempts. Neither of those things can happen tonight if Memphis wants to grab a 3-2 lead. The Thunder are getting nothing from Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha, the latter of whom might be the league’s worst starter. Jackson won’t drop 30 every night, but he needs to be on the floor more than 20 minutes. Memphis is too big and defensive-minded to get blown out again.

Bet Memphis +6.5

GOLDEN STATE AT LA CLIPPERS -6

The Clippers were obviously distracted in Game 4. The firestorm surrounding owner Donald Sterling might be too much for his team to endure. Beating the Warriors on the court is hard enough without the added media uproar that is enveloping the entire franchise. Steph Curry finally delivered a performance reminiscent of what he did last April and May, and Andre Iguodala awoke from his lengthy slumber. If Iggy, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes continue to complement Curry and the post players keep battling on the glass, Golden State could be poised to spring the upset. It will be very interesting to see how the LA crowd reacts given the circumstances. Through no fault of their own, the players may have trouble focusing on the task at hand. Steering clear of this game is the smart play, but backing the Warriors wouldn’t be insane.

Bet Golden State +6