Friday's NBA Playoff Analysis & Bets
Friday night's NBA playoff betting action features a Game 7 between Boston and Toronto, while the Clippers, up three games to one, shoot to advance against Denver. How are we playing these games with our free NBA playoff picks?
Clippers -8/217 vs. Nuggets, 6:30 pm ET, TNT
Los Angeles leads this series three games to one following its 96-85 victory in Game 5 Wednesday night. The Clippers jumped out to an 18-point lead early in the second quarter, only to have Denver rally and tie the score at 48-48 early in the third. But LA then used a 21-5 run to take control and never led by less than nine points after that, on its way toward the win and the money as favorites of 7.5 points.
On the night the Clippers only shot 42 percent from the floor but held the Nuggets to just 40 percent shooting. Los Angeles also out-rebounded Denver 41-38 and won the turnover battle 14-9. Also, Wednesday's game played way under its total of 221. So the unders are now 3-0-1 in this series. With Wednesday's win/cover the Clippers are now 7-3 both SU and ATS in these playoffs. With Wednesday's loss the Nuggets are now 5-6 SU but 7-4 ATS in these playoffs. LA is also now 5-2 SU, 4-3 ATS vs. Denver this season. Free NBA Playoff Pick: We're 3-1 ATS picking this series, after backing the Clippers Wednesday night. Los Angeles probably notices that the Lakers are up 3-1 in their series with Houston, so it wants to put away the Nuggets as soon as possible, to keep pace on the rest heading into a likely Western Conference finals showdown. Also, of the Clippers' five wins over Denver this season four have come by at least 11 points. The Nuggets rallied from down 3-1 in the first round against Utah but they won't be able to pull that trick here. We're giving the points with the Clips again for Friday night.
Celtics -2.5/203.5 vs. Raptors, 9 pm ET, TNT
This series is tied at three games apiece, following Toronto's crazy 125-122 double-overtime victory in Game 6 Wednesday night. That game was close throughout, with neither team leading by more than 12 points. Near the end Boston grabbed a four-point lead early in the second OT but the Raptors used a 15-7 run to take their own four-point advantage and held on from there, staving off elimination.
On the night both teams shot 44 percent from the floor. And while the Celtics out-rebounded Toronto 58-46 the Raptors won the turnover battle 15-12. Wednesday's game was an under through regulation at 98-98, then played over its total of 210 in OT. So the unders are now 5-1 in this series, with an asterisk. With Wednesday's outright win as three-point dogs the Raptors are now 7-3 SU, 5-5 ATS in these playoffs. With Wednesday's loss Boston is now 7-3 both SU and ATS in these playoffs. Also, the Celtics are now 6-4 SU, 7-3 ATS vs. Toronto this season.
NBA playoff betting odds opened the total on this game at 205.5; early betting action then dropped that number to 203.5.
Free NBA Playoff Pick: We're just 1-5 ATS picking this series, after backing Boston again Wednesday night. The Celtics had their chances, with leads early in both overtime periods, but just couldn't put the Raptors away. However, we still believe Boston is the better team at this moment; the Celtics are +32 points for the series. We're taking the Celtics again for this Game 7.