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NBA And NHL Playoff Preview And Picks For April 18

Every day, @chalkninja and I hit Periscope on @OddsShark at noon ET to break down every NBA and NHL playoff game. 

Game 3s have been a big topic of discussion the last couple of days and it has paid off handsomely. Teams down 2-0 in their NHL series went 4-2 in Game 3s for some nice underdog payouts.  

Now 4-3 in the NHL after a 1-2 night last night. Up $191
NBA 3-2 ATS after a 2-1 night last night.  

Reminder that Game 2 is a bigger deal in the NBA playoffs than it seems to be in the NHL 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.  

On to tonight’s picks and check out today’s video above for more great info on tonight’s action... 

NBA: 

Indiana vs Cleveland -8, 209 

  • Pacers are 4-1 SU and ATS vs the Cavs this season. O/U 3-1-1 in those. 
  • Cavs worst bet in the NBA this season. 32-49-1 ATS (40%)
  • Pacers have had success vs Cavs keeping it low-scoring and playing great defense. Not a great matchup for Cavs. 
  • Cavs have second-worst FG defense and points against defense of any team in the playoffs. 
  • LeBron teams have covered the spread at 58% in his career in the playoffs (123-90-5 ATS)

Pick: Pacers 

Utah vs OKC -4, 206.5

  • OKC has won four straight, covered four of the last six. OKC 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings. 
  • Paul George expected to play. Maybe worth 4 to 5 points to the spread. Set OKC franchise record with 8 3-pointers in Game 1.
  • George averages 22.7 ppg in 50 playoff games
  • Donovan Mitchell thinks he’ll play despite soreness in his foot and odds suggest he will. Probably worth 4 points to the spread. 
  • Jazz have lost 15 straight on the road to OKC by an average of 14.4 points. This season (3 games): 14.0

Pick: OKC -4

Timberwolves vs Rockets -10.5, 214.5 

  • Since 1994, double-digit dogs are only 19-141 SU, 74-83-3 ATS (47%) 
  • Minnesota had center Karl-Anthony Towns playing Game 1 on the perimeter to open the floor but he only had 9 points. Rockets center Clint Capela had 24 points. May see a change in game plan here tonight. Not sure it helps them cover, though. 

Pick: Rockets

NHL: 

Penguins vs Flyers +125, 6 

  • Sean Couturier’s status up in the air after a lower-body injury in practice. Maybe Flyers’ most important player right now as points leader (three points) and playing huge minutes, including 27 minutes in Game 2.  
  • Pat Hornqvist out for Penguins. Big contributor for them also.  
  • Flyers have been outshot in eight of nine periods so far.
  • Not sure how Flyers can hang with Pens offensively. 13 of last 19 Pens games went OVER. 
  • Flyers short-handed 15 times in the series.

Pick: Penguins   

Lightning vs Devils +130, 6 

  • Special teams are a massive part of this series. Lightning 5-for-9 on the PP in the series. Devils had seven power plays in Game 3. 
  • Think we’ll see a much more disciplined Bolts team in Game 4. 

Pick: UNDER

Preds vs Avalanche +149, 6

  • Avs scoring quick goals in this series. Scored on first shots in Games 1 and 2 and second shot of Game 3. If Preds can hold off the Avs for the first period, we’ll see another Preds victory. 

Pick: Nashville 

Ducks vs Sharks -180, 5 

  • Not a lot to love from the Ducks in this series. Have been the far less disciplined team and Sharks are 6-for-17 on the power play. 
  • Anaheim has lost five straight to San Jose and 11 of the last 15 in San Jose. 
  • If you think the Ducks can play a disciplined game, the underdog value is tempting

Pick: OVER 

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