NBA And NHL Playoff Preview And Picks For April 17

Turns out my strategy for taking every dog that was down 2-0 in Game 3 in the NHL was genius. 

Went 3-1 for a profit of $261 if you bet $100 on each game. Hope you followed along. NBA wasn’t as sparkly at 1-1 ATS. 

On to today’s playoff action. (Check out the Periscope above in case you missed it or tune in every day on @OddsShark at noon ET. Ninja and I will go over every playoff game for the day Monday to Friday and we’ll give our picks for each.) 

Some notes for tonight’s action:  

Game 2 is big game in the NBA playoffs. Teams that go up 2-0 in an NBA series win the series 93 percent of the time compared to just 86 percent in the NHL.  

Game 3 is huge in the NHL playoffs. Teams win the series 86 percent of the time when up 2-0 but only win Game 3 52 percent of the time. That’s why I went with all four puck dogs last night and it profited handsomely.  

Wizards vs Raptors -7, 215 

  • Super Computer has the Raptors crushing the Wizards by 16 points 
  • Worry about the letdown factor here for Raps. Was a major storyline in Game 1 that the Raps had lost nine straight Game 1s and 1-12 overall. 
  • Raps shot the lights out from 3 in Game 1 (16-for-30, 53%) and 53% on FGs. 
  • Feel like Wizards perimeter defense is fixable but they give up 106 ppg. Allowing 109.5 ppg last six. 
  • Wizards don’t win a lot in Toronto but they cover. 6-13 SU last 19 there but 6-3 ATS last nine there. 
  • Lot of missed open shots for the Wizards in Game 1. Sloppy D that can be cleaned up plus maybe a bit of a letdown factor for the Raps. Think this game is closer

Pick: Wizards 

Bucks vs Celtics -2, 197.5 

  • Celtics the Sportsbook in the NBA this season at 51-30-2 ATS. 
  • Bucks fifth-worst bet in the NBA this season at 35-45-3 ATS
  • Four of the five meetings this season were within five points within the last five mins of regulation.
  • Celtics went 14-8 without Kyrie, 15-7 ATS. 102 points per 100 possessions in the 22 games
  • Celtics have won nine in row SU and ATS as a favorite in the playoffs but needed OT to scrape out the cover in Game 1 
  • Boston has the edge at the perimeter. Best 3-point defense in the NBA and Bucks rank 22nd from 3-point range and 25th at defending 3s. 
  • Bucks allowed a league-worst 38.9 points in the restricted area this season. 37 percent of opponent shots came from the restricted area, highest in the league. 
  • Al Horford, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris combined for 64 points and 29 rebounds. Not sure the Bucks can stop that with their bench. Aggregate net bench rating of minus-3.9, 22nd in the league this season. Jabari Parker’s first playoff game and the Bucks need more from him. Celtics scored 13 of a 15-0 run with him on the floor.
  • Celtics perimeter advantage. Celtics bench advantage. Celtics can handle Bucks in the paint.  
  • Feels like oddsmakers want you to take the Celtics here but I still think it’s the play

Pick: Celtics -2  

Pelicans vs Blazers -6.5, 214

  • Pelicans are hot at the right time. Won and covered six in a row.  Blazers have only covered three of their last nine. 
  • Pellies second-worst defense in the NBA this season with 110.4 points against per game. Hate betting on bad D in the playoffs. 
  • Teams that go down 2-0 at home are just 4-29 all time in the NBA playoffs. 
  • Blazers just shot terribly in Game 1. Second-worst FG shooting team in the playoffs. Pelicans are the second-best (48.3%). 
  • All these meetings have been close this season. Biggest win was by 10 points but games decided by an average of just 5.8 points this season. 
  • Blazers win in a close one 

Pick: New Orleans +6.5


Capitals vs Blue Jackets -120, 5.5

  • Caps are just the sixth team in NHL history to lose the first two games of a series in OT at home. The other five teams lost the series. 
  • Braden Holtby will start after Philipp Grubauer started in first two games and was pulled in Game 2. Think this could give the Caps a big lift. 
  • Blue Jackets 4-for-8 on the PP but they took 13 penalties through the first two games. If Capitals can stay disciplined, I like them a lot here. Like their series value at +375 also. 
  • Eight straight CBJ games have gone OVER. Five straight Caps games have gone OVER. 

Pick: Capitals +120  

Jets vs Wild -115, 5.5 

  • Tyler Myers injured? Huge factor for the Jets. No. 2 defenseman. No word on his status.
  • Think this is a series for the home side. Jets have lost five straight on the road in the playoffs. Minnesota is 11-1 in its last 12 vs the division at home. 

Pick: Wild 

Golden Knights vs Kings -125, 5 

  • OVER/UNDER is 0-5-2 in this season series. Knights won five of those games. 
  • South Point’s Jimmy Vaccaro said for the first time in a long time they needed the Knights in Game 3. Said the phones kept ringing to take more Kings. He said he was watching Columbo and fell asleep so he missed the end of the game. 
  • Only four teams have ever come back from 3-0. Kings vs Sharks in 2014; Flyers vs Bruins in 2010; Islanders vs Penguins in 1975; Leafs vs Red Wings in 1942 
  • Kings are just 2-5 against the Knights this year. 
  • I wonder about the physical toll over three games on Knights. Kings have thrown 193 hits through three games. Sometimes if fatigue sets in, we get a surge in scoring. 

Pick: OVER