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NBA And NHL Playoff Preview And Picks For April 16

Playoffs should equal payoffs.  

So every weekday throughout the playoffs, Ninja and I will do a Periscope from the @OddsShark account previewing every game on the board with betting tips and picks. Tune in at noon ET each day and chime in with your questions and comments. 

Below are also my notes for each game on the board tonight along with some relative numbers to help you bet with bite. Good luck. 

Game 3 importance in NHL 

  • Teams up 2-0 in a series only win Game 3 52% of the time in the NHL. They go on to win the series 86% of the time.  

Game 1 importance in NBA 

  • NBA teams that won Game 1 win Game 2 57% of the time and they win the series 77% of the time. 
  • Last 10 years, Game 1 winner wins Game 2 61% of the time. 
  • At home they win Game 2 69% of the time and win the series 85% of the time. 

Heat vs 76ers -7, 215.5 

(Sixers -650, Heat +475)

  • No Joel Embiid. Philly 9-0 without Embiid. Sixers led the league in pace at 106.1 possessions per 48 minutes without Embiid. 
  • Miami was fifth-slowest team in the league in pace with 97.8 possessions per 48 mins. 
  • Home team has won the last 10 meetings in this series
  • Heat held Sixers to 56 points and 39% FG shooting in first half. 
  • Sixers won 17 in a row. 14-3 ATS in those. OVER is 11-5-1. 
  • Sixers second-best bet in the NBA this season
  • Heat have only covered 3 of their last 10 
  • Last time Sixers were held to fewer than 100 points was March 13 vs Indiana 
  • Sixers played small ball in Game 1. 18-for-28 on 3’s (64%). Most points Sixers scored in a playoff game since 1986. 
  • Heat 15th at defending the 3 this season. Most points and 3-pointers allowed by a Heat team in the postseason
  • Whiteside didn’t play the last 20 mins.  
  • Heat only had 9 screen assists to Sixers’ 24 in Game 1. Think we see that change in Game 2 and more Whiteside. 
  • Spoelstra said he believes Brett Brown will start Ersan Ilyasova at center instead of Amir Johnson

Pick: Heat +7 

Spurs vs Warriors -9.5, 205.5

Series price: (Warriors -3000, Spurs +1500) 

  • Warriors have covered seven of the last 10 meetings 
  • Spurs have only covered 3 of their last 10 games
  • Warriors have won 10 straight in the playoffs at home. Spurs 1-9 last 10 vs Warriors. 
  • Warriors showed way more energy in Game 1. Steve Kerr said they boxed out every play on Saturday and they didn’t do it for three weeks prior to that. 
  • Kerr is very worried about the letdown in Game 2. Warriors also 0-7 ATS last 7 after a win. 
  • Warriors had a 28-point lead at one point. Major mismatch in the paint. Out-rebounded Spurs 51-30 and had 34 points in the paint vs 22. 
  • Golden State shot the lights out. Huge miss having no Kawhi Leonard. 
  • Spurs lacked energy on D and Warriors played great defense. I expect a better defensive effort from San Antonio tonight. 
  • If this game goes to double digits – DD dogs don’t do great in playoffs. Since 1994: SU: 19-141, ATS: 74-83-3 (47%) 

Pick: UNDER 205.5

NHL: 

NHL strategy for tonight: I’m taking every underdog in the NHL with some added picks I like below. Parlaying underdogs on the puckline may not be a bad way to go here also. 

Bruins vs Leafs -110, 5.5

  • Odds tell a story here. Line opened with Leafs -120, down to -105 at one spot
  • Think we’ll see much tighter defense from the Leafs. They’ve been bullied in this series. 
  • Bruins are 5-for-10 on the PP. Leafs PK is 71% since March 1. Leafs are going to get the calls tonight. 
  • Bruins have lost their last four in Toronto
  • Pastrnak became youngest player in NHL playoff history with 6 points, passing Gretzky
  • Boston starts way more slowly on the road. They average 0.71 goals in the first period on the road vs 1 goal per first period in all games this season.

Pick: Leafs first period -115  

Lightning vs Devils +122, 6 

  • Big deficits have killed the Devils. Down 3-0 and 5-1 so being at home could help that. 
  • Devils likely making a change at goalie to Cory Schneider 
  • Bolts went 3-for-4 on PP and expect Devils to get some calls tonight. 

Pick: UNDER  

Predators vs Avalanche +144, 5.5 

  • Colorado is the best money team at home this season with $1,411 won if you bet $100 per game
  • Avs have scored on their first shot in each of the first two games. 28 wins at home ties the franchise record from 2000-01. That team went on to win the Cup. 
  • Depth is a problem for the Avs. Preds have won 12 straight vs Colorado. 
  • Won’t be surprised if Avs make a goalie change to Semyon Varlamov. Jared Bednar said Bernier was good but good isn’t good enough in the playoffs. 
  • Preds out-hit Avs 36-24 in Game 1 but only 25-24 in Game 2 and kept it much closer. I expect a really physical game. 

Pick: Avs 

Ducks vs Sharks -136, 5 

  • Lowest total for the playoffs 
  • Ducks only +435 to win this series, Sharks -570. Compare that to Lightning at -1600 vs the Devils and Preds -2100 vs the Avs. 
  • Ducks lost the first two games at home last year only to come back and beat Edmonton in the series.  
  • Ducks have out-hit the Sharks 65-42. We’ll see if that has an impact in the series. 
  • Game to go to OT +255. Ducks by one goal +575. 
  • Six of the last seven meetings in San Jose went UNDER. 

Pick: Ducks 

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