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As the NHL and NBA playoffs move on, the second round series become more clear. Last night we saw the Tampa Bay Lightning wrap up their series against Detroit. The Red Wings gave them quite a scare in the series, but home ice won out in the end as the Lightning advance to play the Montreal Canadiens. In the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies were able to secure their own place in the second round defeating the Trailblazers. Their reward? The Golden State Warriors, the best team in the league. Good luck with that one, Memphis.
Tonight brings us a couple of great NBA games as the Bulls try to eliminate the pesky Bucks and the Spurs attempt to send the Clippers packing at home. For my money these have been the best two series in all of the playoffs thus far and have highlighted an otherwise boring first round. The Bucks with Jason Kidd as their coach look like they are here to stay with a young core that has been giving the Bulls fits. While the Spurs and Clippers series will probably go down in history as the greatest first round series of all-time. So, pretty great night for basketball.
That’s not all though as the second round of the NHL playoffs is also kicking off and MLB has a full slate of games. Let’s take a look at what we have going to night and pick some winners:
MLB Betting Tips:
With so many big-time playoff games it’s often easy to forget about MLB during this time of the year. The games simply don’t have the same meaning of an NHL or NBA playoff game, but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t value out there.
Today I really like over 7.5 runs in the Cardinals/Phillies game because of the young pitching match-up. David Buchanan goes for the Phillies and he has given up 3+ runs in every start this season while Tim Cooney makes his major league debut for the Cardinals. Cooney is a solid prospect, but he’s not Strasburg-level and first start jitters are to be expected.
NHL Playoff Betting Tips:
Two playoff series kicking off tonight. The first is Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames. The Ducks are a pretty big -200 favorite here so I can’t see a lot of value in picking a winner for this one. However, I can definitely see this one going over 5.5 goals. In their last three regular season meetings these two teams averaged nine goals a game. While I know that the playoffs are a different animal than the regular season, that type of scoring seems indicative of how well these teams play each other.
The other big series tonight is the New York Rangers taking on the Washington Capitals. The Rangers are entering this one with some rest as they finished their series early while the Caps had to go a full seven games. The Rangers also dominated the Capitals in the regular season. This one seems like a gift that it’s not higher as the Rangers are not only the better team, but also well rested. Bet Rangers -165.
NBA Playoff Betting Tips:
Spurs versus Clippers thus far has been the best series the first round has ever seen. Almost every game has been a coin flip and more than one has been decided by a few plays. The Spurs are looking to close it out at home and the sportsbooks see them as -5.5 favorites to do so. In this series, home court doesn’t matter. The best team wins, the team with the lucky breaks wins. It’s hard to say if that will be the Clippers, but I don’t expect them to go quietly in the night. Give me the points, Clippers +5.5.
For the past two (and arguably three) games of the Bucks/Bulls series, the Milwaukee Bucks have looked like a much better team. Part of that could be the Bulls overlooking their opponents with a 3-0 lead, but a lot of that is the Bucks just outplaying their opponents. The Bulls have the talent, but right now the Bucks have the heart. Teams up 3-0 in a playoff series are 113-0 in winning the series. It’s hard to imagine the Bucks winning this series, but this game? I can definitely see that. Milwaukee will be loud. I’ll take the home dog, Bucks +3.5.