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NBA And NHL Playoff Preview And Picks For April 23

Favorites are where the money is in Round 1 of the NBA and NHL playoffs so far. 

Whether you like the moneyline or against the spread bets, both have been profitable in both leagues if you’d bet $100 on every game so far on the chalk. 

Take a look: 

NHL: 26-14 SU (+$214.34)
16-24 ATS (+$247.01)

NBA: 22-8 SU (+$159.13)
19-11 ATS (+$641.94)

In other profitable news, I am also on fire in the NHL so far with my picks. I could use a little work in the NBA. My playoff record with my Periscope plays: 

Now 11-6 in the NHL after a 3-1 Friday night. Up $356 (based on $100/gm bets)
NBA 6-8 ATS after a 1-2 night Friday. 

Tune in to Ninja and I every weekday throughout the playoffs on Periscope on @OddsShark for our daily playoff breakdown and picks at noon ET. My picks for tonight are below also.

NBA: 

Rockets at Timberwolves +5.5, 219 

  • Timberwolves are 21-5 SU their last 26 games at home. Also 14-6 ATS last 20 games as home dogs. 
  • Last game was the first time in seven games a Rockets game went OVER 
  • Timberwolves went 15 of 27 (56%) from 3-point land in Game 3. Not sure we’ll see that again. Houston the No. 6 team at defending the three this season; Wolves the No. 19 team in 3-point shooting. 
  • Rockets are focused on tougher defense this game. When James Harden was asked what Houston needs to improve on, he said: “It’s pretty simple; play hard the entire game. … Defensively as long as our focus level is there every possession, it doesn’t matter about the offense. Defensively we’ll be good enough.” 
  • Rockets haven’t been in “rhythm” for a while, as coach Mike D’Antoni pointed out. Only covered the spread in two of their last 10 games. 
  • Rockets 112.2 points per 100 possessions in regular season, second-best in the NBA.  
  • I think we’ll see a much tougher Houston team from the start tonight. 

Pick: UNDER (also like Houston) 

Thunder at Jazz -5.5, 208.5 

  • Jazz have been a far better bet overall than the Thunder this season. 45-39-1 ATS vs 35-49-1 ATS. 
  • OKC second-worst bet in the NBA this season, ahead of only the Cavs. 
  • Ricky Rubio destroyed the Thunder last game. Rubio had a triple-double. Russell Westbrook says he’s going to “shut that s--- off” for Game 4. 
  • Things I didn’t like from the Jazz: 19 turnovers last game. Sub-70 percent free-throw shooting last two games. 
  • Thunder need to hit shots because they’re getting badly out-rebounded last two games, 104-79. 
  • UNDER is 14-5 in the last 19 meetings and 8-1 in the last nine in Utah. But the defense hasn’t been fabulous this series. Home team also 20-9 ATS in the last 29 meetings. 

Pick: Thunder 

NHL: 

Bruins at Leafs +105, 6 

  • I feel like the Leafs have hung on for dear life in the third period in their two wins in this series
  • The return of Nazem Kadri has been a lift for the Leafs. Need to stay out of the box, though. Lucky to escape last game with a win with one power play vs Boston’s six. 
  • Bruins start slower on the road with 0.70 goals per first period. If you like Boston, you may want to wait in-game and look for a better price.
  • Bruins need more from their second and third line in this series, though.  
  • Bruins are 1-5 in their last six games in Toronto. OVER is 4-1-1 last six meetings overall.
  • Bruins are 4-0 when ref Francois St. Laurent did their games this year. Leafs coach Mike Babcock made some comments about the officiating last game so worth keeping in mind.  

Pick: Bruins -120 

Capitals at Blue Jackets -110, 5.5 

  • If playoffs are about goaltending and special teams, it’s no wonder the Caps have won three straight
  • Washington has won three straight since Braden Holtby took over as starter in nets. 
  • Blue Jackets are 0-for-12 over the last three games on the power play. Caps are 3-for-11. 
  • Capitals have won seven straight road games. Could become first team to win an NHL playoff series after losing the first two games at home in overtime. 
  • Four of the five games in this series went to OT. Game 6 to go to OT is paying +250. 

Pick: Capitals

Follow me on Twitter @JonnyOddsShark

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