A big Friday night is on the horizon for NBA fans as there are four Game 6’s on the betting lines. That means four teams could be moving on to the second round…or four series could be getting ready for a deciding Game 7.
New York Knicks @ Boston Celtics
Odds: Knicks -2
The Knicks are up 3-2, but they’re on the ropes as the Celtics have shown their veteran poise to claw back from an 0-3 deficit. New York may have been overconfident, but they should know that they’re in a dogfight now and the Celtics have been in these types of situations before. Can the Knicks battle not only a tough Boston team, but a rowdy crowd that will be ready to go well before tip-off? The Celtics send this back to the Big Apple.
Pick: Celtics +2
Indiana Pacers @ Atlanta Hawks
Odds: Hawks -2
This has been a homecourt series as the home team has won the first five games, and the games haven’t been close either as the smallest margin of victory has been 11 points. It hasn’t been the prettiest series, but both teams try to minimize their mistakes and obviously, they feed off the home crowd. The Hawks have been playing above their head against the Pacers, and Indiana should show up in the fourth quarter of this game to put Atlanta to bed and move on to the next round. The Hawks won’t go down without a fight, though.
Pick: Pacers +2
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets
Odds: Rockets -1
The Thunder have had to do a lot of retooling since Russell Westbrook went down with a knee injury, piling a lot of pressure on Kevin Durant and turning Oklahoma City into a bit of a one-dimensional team on offense. Meanwhile, the Rockets have really turned up the heat in a tight series where the largest margin of victory has been seven points, outside of a 29-point romp for the Thunder in Game 1. Houston stole a game in OKC in Game 5, powered by a magnificent performance by the flu-stricken James Harden on his old court, but Durant will rise to the occasion and send his former teammate packing as the Thunder progress to the next round and cover on the NBA betting lines.
Pick: Thunder +1
Los Angeles Clippers @ Memphis Grizzlies
Odds: Grizzlies -6.5
The Clippers are reeling after three straight losses, which means they’re on the hot seat after losing the last three. The Grizzlies just seem like a tougher team, almost like the Western Conference version of the Celtics in that they’re a mentally strong team that doesn’t back down from anyone. The Clippers seem to only have Chris Paul when it comes to not shrinking from late-game situations, and they’ve already lost both games in Memphis, where the crowd will be hostile and unless someone else steps up for the Clippers besides CP3, they’re going to be on their way back to Los Angeles. Can they do it? It says here that they can’t.
Pick: Grizzlies -6.5