1-star: (505) Miami +6.5 over PHILADELPHIA. 8:05pm ET. The 76ers' 16-game winning streak has made them a little overvalued in the market and we've seen that in their last 4 games as they have went 1-3 ATS after 10 straight covers. We've certainly seen some line inflation with this spread as Philly was laying 4 points vs Miami at home in the regular season meetings and in the 4 overall meetings during the regular season, Miami won the two most recent match ups. The Heat are 4-0 ATS vs Philly to this current 6.5-point spread and keep in mind 76ers center Joel Embiid is out for this game (23 ppg, 11 rpg). The Heat have significant playoff experience edge here over a Philly team making their first playoff appearance in six years. Miami's All-Star guard Goran Dragic should be a go here after missing the regular season finale with a knee injury. Also note that Miami was 23-15-2 ATS on the road this year and have the coaching edge. In the betting markets, Philadelphia right now is the most popular public side today (more than 60% of the tickets) but the line has dropped a 0.5 point since yesterday. Also one of the sharpest books (Pinnacle) is dealing -6 (-108) on the Sixers right now indicating Miami is the sharper side.
Lean: (501/502) San Antonio/Golden State UNDER 206. 3:05pm ET. Getting 8 points with San Antonio is enticing but the Spurs are just 3-16 ATS as a road dog this year and have failed to cover their last 7 road games. But on the other side, it's tough backing a Golden State team that without Curry went 7-10 SU down the stretch. Both teams have key players missing as both Kawhi Leonard and Steph Curry are out. I expect an increased effort and intensity from Golden State on the defensive end as the Warriors did struggle on defense late in the year. Meanwhile San Antonio was No. 1 in defensive scoring this year. This line is 206.5 here at the square shops in Vegas while the sharp overseas books are dealing 205.5. That tells me the UNDER is the sharper side here and that's where all the bigger money has been. Also I like playing UNDERS in unique Noon PT start times.
Lean: (503/504) Washington/TORONTO UNDER 211. 5:35pm ET. Washington limps in at 3-9 SU/4-8 ATS in their last 12 games but obviously the Wizards have far more talent and playoff experience than normal "8 seeds". The problem is can you trust their team chemistry especially with John Wall who missed half the season and never found his groove? The Raptors were certainly coasting down the stretch as they were just 3-10-1 ATS in their last 13 games. However unlike past seasons, DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry are healthy and rested. Toronto has amazingly lost 10 straight "Game 1's" in the post-season so it's tough wanting to lay 8 points with them here. However, Lowry did mention that the Raptors are treating this game more like a "Game 7". That means I expect increased defensive intensity here and it's worth noting the UNDER is 8-3 in the last 11 meetings between these two and the UNDER was 24-17 in Washington road games this year.
Lean: (507) New Orleans +5.5 over PORTLAND. 10:35pm ET. Portland certainly had trouble with New Orleans' size down low as DeMarcis Cousins had 39 and 38 points in the first two meetings (Anthony Davis was hurt) while Davis dominated the two recent meetings scoring 36 points in each game while going 31 of 47 from the floor. New Orleans finished the season strong at 20-8 SU/19-8-1 ATS in their last 28 games and obviously most of that was without Cousins. Meanwhile, Portland had that terrific run in February and early March where they were 13-0 SU/12-1 ATS but since became a bit overpriced at 5-7 SU/5-5-2 ATS down the stretch.