NBA Playoffs Betting: May 12

NBA Playoffs Betting: May 12

A pair of critical Conference Semifinals matchups highlight the Tuesday night NBA Playoffs schedule. In the East, the Cavs and Bulls look to snap a 2-2 series’ tie, while out West the Rockets hope to avoid elimination by defeating the red hot Clippers. Injuries are mounting in both series. Already without Kevin Love, the Cavs will have to endure Kyrie Irving’s left knee tendinitis, although he’s expected to suit up. Chicago is still without Pau Gasol, who will be forced to sit Game 5 with a hamstring strain. Not so much an injury, but James Harden has “scratches” on his arms because of the Clippers’ fouling. On the positive side, Chris Paul appears to be fully recovered from the hamstring strain that kept him sidelined the first two games of the series, even though his minutes have been reduced. Here’s a preview of the night’s action.

CHICAGO AT CLEVELAND -5.5

It’s no secret that the Cavaliers are relying in LeBron James to carry them to the Eastern Conference Finals. Kevin Love is done, Kyrie Irving is hobbled, and Iman Shumpert can’t find his shot. James’ clutch play, and solid team defense is keeping them afloat. Continued bench production from J.R. Smith is needed from here on out, especially if Irving is limited. If Chicago is going to spring the upset, the backcourt of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler will be the catalyst. Rose has racked 30 points in back-to-back games and is averaging 6.5 assists in the series, and Butler has scored at least 18 in all four games and has totaled 13 steals in the series. Joakim Noah and and Taj Gibson are holding their own, but they clearly miss a healthy Gasol patrolling the paint. The Cavs are 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings overall. Chicago is 8-3 ATS in its last eleven trips to Cleveland. The Bulls blew a chance to take command in Game 4. This feels like a comfortable Cavs win, despite being banged up.

Bet Cleveland -5.5

LA CLIPPERS AT HOUSTON +2.5

Having home court for an elimination tilt should provide the Rockets a little extra motivation to leave it all on the floor. Problem is, they have been thoroughly dominated in consecutive games, losing by 33 and 25 points. Dwight Howard has been a bust, scoring 21 points in the last two defeats, and fouling out in Game 6. If he doesn’t raise his level of play in this one, Houston will start summer vacation plans early. It will probably take a combined effort from Howard and James Harden to keep the score close. Since they don’t play defense, the Rockets must win a shootout similar to Game 2. That will be a tall order considering how fast the Clippers are rolling. The spread here should be higher, but Houston is 8-2 straight up in its last ten at home, and 6-2 ATS at home in the last eight. However, Los Angeles is 5-1 ATS in its last six visits to Space City.

Bet LA Clippers -2.5