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NBA And NHL Playoff Preview And Picks For May 3

I hate to be a Mr. Braggy Pants but boy these pants fit nicely right now. I’m now 7-0 over the last two nights. 

Hope you’ve been watching us at noon ET on Periscope Monday to Friday on @OddsShark for my analysis. Here’s a look at where I sit now for the playoffs: 

Now 20-12-1 in the NHL after a 2-0 Wednesday. I’m up $700 (based on $100/gm bets)
Now 16-16 ATS in the NBA after a 1-0 Wednesday. 

Cavaliers at Raptors -6.5, 212.5 

I got asked twice on Wednesday if this series is over. Clay Travis asked me on Outkick and Ninja asked me on Periscope. My answer is no, though the Cavs are now -145 faves to win it. You can’t win a series in one game. I double-checked.  

But I’ve been saying I thought the Raps looked bad in Round 1 and the first game against Cleveland was a stinger. I think they bounce back tonight with a win but this spread? Feels too big. These teams are way closer right now than this number suggests. 

Cleveland has played some of its best team basketball the last two games. J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson have finally arrived. Kyle Korver is hitting threes. The Cavs compiled 25 assists last game. 

The Raptors have to continue to clean up their turnovers and they need to hit more three-pointers. They rank second in the NBA postseason from beyond the arc at 39.7 percent but they’ve had two awful games in a row from long range at 32 and 28 percent. 

Pick: Cavaliers +6.5 

Sixers at Celtics +4.5, 205.5 

I wondered on the show ahead of Game 1 if this youthful Sixers squad used its rest wisely or spent it playing video games. I now think it was video games. 

The Sixers were sloppy on defense while the Celtics hit everything. The Celtics’ hot shooting is one reason we’ll see the Sixers move to bigger faves before tipoff (line has already moved from 3.5 to 4). Philly bettors simply won’t believe the Celtics can shoot 48.2/48.6/84.7 on field goals/three-pointers/free throws again. 

Maybe they’re right. I assume the Sixers defense will get better. They ranked first in field-goal percentage defense and second in three-point percentage defense. But how is the Sixers’ mentality against Boston? They’ve lost 15 of the last 17 meetings with the Celtics. 

Pick: Celtics +4 

NHL: 

Capitals at Penguins -180, 6 

Boy, this line is high. I would’ve had the Pens at more like -130. 

The Caps have won six of their last seven games and they only have one game these playoffs where they haven’t scored a power-play goal. I think the suspension of Tom Wilson (three games) and history between these two teams are influencing the line too much here. 

Pens have only had one power-play goal in their past five games. They just look a little tired to me, leading to too many team defensive breakdowns. 

Pick: Capitals +160

Predators at Jets -150, 6 

Jets are now the favorites to win the Stanley Cup after Game 3’s insanity. If you missed it, you missed everything. Amazing game. 

I called the Jets to win this series and I’m sticking with them. Best home bet in hockey now with a profit of $1,412 if you bet $100 on every game there this season. Rinne just hasn’t been good enough for the Preds in nets and this team is giving up too many chances. We didn’t see that in last year’s playoffs. 

Pick: Jets -150 

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