2017 NBA Playoffs: Thursday, April 19th Betting Tips
The 2016-17 NBA Playoffs haven’t let fans down and have provided a lot of excitement with the majority of the games going down to the wire. We take a look at the three NBA Round 1 Playoff Games on Thursday, April 20th and provide our Preview and Betting Tips.
Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards (Thursday 9am AEST)
The day begins with the Hawks heading to Washington looking to turn things around after a 7 point loss in game 1. It was a third quarter surge from the Wizards that saw them get over the line, after they headed into half time trailing by three points.
Dennis Schroder was leading the way for the Hawks with a big game but it wasn’t enough with centre Dwight Howard adding little on the offensive end. Paul Millsap also had a fairly quiet game, despite scoring 18 points. The advantage the Hawks should have is inside and they will need bigger contributions from Howard and Millsap if they are to level the series.
Meanwhile Bradley Beal had an off night shooting and was 2-11 from behind the three point line. It is a good sign for the Wizards that even when Beal is struggling they can still manage to earn the victory. The Wizards have been strong on home court all season and we predict they will hold home court advantage and we can’t see Shroder putting together another big performance.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets (Thursday 10am AEST)
In the battle of the MVP candidates, James Harden landed the first blow on Russell Westbrook. Harden put together a terrific performance on home court on the way to Houston’s big win while Westbrook struggled with his turnovers and shooting.
However, Westbrook has bounced back strongly his entire career and we won’t be surprised if he has a monstrous night in this one. The man who averaged a triple double all season has proven near impossible to contain and we can’t see him struggling in back-to-back games to start this series.
The biggest talking point when comparing Harden and Westbrook has been their supporting casts. Harden has more shooters around him which allows the floor to be spread and creates space for him to drive to the basket, which is where he excelled the most in game 1. They will need to block his lane to the basket without creating open shots for teammates which is easier said than done. The Thunder will make this match closer, but ultimately the Rockets will hold on for victory.
Portland trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors (Thursday 12.30pm AEST)
The Warriors pulled away in the fourth quarter to start the playoff series with a victory over the Blazers. The sides two MVP’s had big performances with Kevin Durant scoring 32 points and Stephen Curry grabbing 29 points. However, it was Draymond Green who was the star of the show as he put in 19 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 blocks and three steals in a historic performance. He means business.
The Trail Blazers were carried by Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and a lot will be put on their shoulders again in this one. The two combined for 75 of the teams points and they are clearly missing Jusuf Nurkic who suffered an injury at the end of the regular season. We are predicting them to put up another fight, but ultimately the Warriors are too classy and will pull away for an even bigger win in this one.
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