After a day off on Thursday, the NBA playoffs resume with one semifinal from each conference. Basketball betting fans will see a couple of intriguing matchups with both series knotted at one game apiece. The upper hand is up for grabs as the venues change.
Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls
Odds: Heat -3
The Heat looked like the team that rolled through the regular season as they destroyed the Bulls 115-78 in a chippy Game 2 that featured six technical fouls and two ejections for Chicago. LeBron James had 19 points, nine assists and five rebounds, while Ray Allen hit 21 points off the bench for the Heat, who shot a blistering 60% from the field and made a normally stout Chicago defense look like a sieve. Marco Belinelli was the high man with 13 for the Bulls, who lost their cool in the second half and they can’t afford to do that again in this series or it’ll get out of hand like it did in Game 2.
However, the Bulls did manage to steal one in Miami and they’ve won three of their last five in the Windy City against the Heat, whose 27-game winning streak came to a screeching halt in Chicago on March 27th. The rumor is that Derrick Rose will return for this game, but the Bulls can’t think about that right now. They have to get back to what they do best, and that is, defend the basketball. However, Game 1 woke the Heat up and they’re definitely up for it now due to the fireworks in Game 2. Don’t poke the bear.
Pick: Heat -3
San Antonio Spurs @ Golden State Warriors
Odds: Warriors -2.5
After losing a big lead in Game 1, the Warriors hunkered down and showed a lot of poise for a young team in Game 2 as they defeated the Spurs 100-91 behind a massive game from Klay Thompson. Steph Curry struggled (by his standards) to a 7-of-20 shooting night, dropping 22 points, but Thompson picked up the slack with 34 points and 14 rebounds, while the Warriors rode a 14-point edge in the second quarter to the lead. Tim Duncan had 23 points and Tony Parker added 20 for the Spurs, who shot 39.3% from the field and 5-of-21 from beyond the arc, which makes it tough to beat a good-shooting Golden State team. The Warriors finally won in San Antonio for the first time in 30 tries.
Now, the Spurs head to Golden State, which is known for their wild crowds in the playoffs and the Warriors have won their last four games, including all three in their six-game win over Denver. The Spurs have won three of their last five at Golden State, but have dropped their last two and they’re in for a dogfight against the Warriors, who really feed off their home crowd and could jump out to another lead. Can they hold on like they did in Game 2? This says they can, and that means a 2-1 series sports betting lead for the Warriors.
Pick: Warriors -2.5