Tuesday Trifecta in the NBA Playoffs
Only two games on the NBA docket tonight, and I have three plays I'm liking.
Since Golden State and Denver are up first, that's where we begin. The Warriors are up, 3-1, as the series swings back to Pepsi Center in Denver. Golden State has committed to playing smaller and faster without F/C David Lee, and it's working. They're averaging 118 points in the three games without Lee, going with a three-guard lineup. They've also won all of those games. So, going with the "if it aint broke, don't fix it" theory, why would the Warriors do anything other than keep up the pace and try to outrun Denver for a fourth straight game? Bovada has the total at 212, and I think these two run right by it again.
That leads us to the side that has Denver laying 7½. I wouldn't at all be surprised to see the Nuggets bounce back as they return home (where they lost three times all regular season) having lost three straight in the series. But covering 7½ is a completely different question. If the Nuggets are leading late, they will have to have a huge lead to be safe; that's a very tall task when considering Stephen Curry has a playoff-record 18 three-pointers through the first four games of his post-season career. But contrary to much of the Warriors' media coverage, there is quite a supporting cast in Golden State, and Jarrett Jack, Draymond Green, and Andrew Bogut are also playing very well in the series. Picking a winner here is a tough call, but with Golden State getting 7½ and Curry and company playing the way they have, it's very hard to resist the Warriors when it's getting that many points.
Finally, the nightcap has Memphis at the Clippers, which has been an entertaining series in its own right. It's nowhere near the high-flying running and gunning of Golden State vs Denver, but it's a pretty evenly matched series that's tied at two games apiece and has the makings of one that could go to a seventh game. Bovada's total in this tilt is 180, and that's a number I also think is slightly low, based on recent history. As you can find in the Bovada data tool on our Home page, these two have hooked up four times in Los Angeles during the regular season and post-season combined. The lowest scoring game of the four was 181. Memphis does like to play very slow and patient offensively, which makes opponents work a good chunk of the shot clock at the other end. But at Staples Center, the Clippers have been able to play more to their style, which is up-tempo. The final in this one could be the end of the third quarter score at Golden State vs Denver, but if the Clippers or Memphis get to 92 points, this game should have a real good chance of going over. I'm betting it will.
Result ... Denver 107 Golden State 100 Warriors cover total points = 207 under covers
Result ... Memphis 103 Los Angeles Clippers 93 total points = 196 over covers