2017 NBA Playoffs: Thursday, May 4th Betting Tips

May 3, 2017 by Posted in NBA Tips

NBA Thursday May 4th
The 2017 NBA playoffs continue tomorrow as we take a look at the two match ups and offer our NBA Playoffs Thursday May 4th Preview and Betting Tips below.

Toronto Raptors at Cleveland Cavaliers (Thursday 9am AEST)

The Cavaliers cruised to victory in the series opener against the Raptors and at times mocked their opponents. Lebron James was seen grabbing a beer off a spectator and pretending to drink it – something rarely see in a playoffs series between two rivals. The disrespect could be a trigger for the Raptors to dig deep and steal a valuable road win.

The 116-105 defeat came with DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry struggling to get going. They combined for 39 points and the two will need to play a more dominant role if they are to pick up the win in this one. The big key will be for DeRozan to get to the line. He made only five free throws in their opening exchange and he will need to take at least 10 free throw attempts in this one to put the opposition into foul trouble, earn easy points and to slow down the tempo of the match. Serge Ibaka will need to protect the paint more as he didn’t notch a block in the opening game and the Cavaliers were finding their way to the basket far too easily. He will need to play a bigger part on the boards too, as Tristan Thompson won that battle. Lowry played a big part in distributing the basketball on his way to 11 assists and if he can maintain those numbers while continuing to add 20 points, the Raptors will put up a challenge in the Eastern Conference semi-final.

The Cavaliers were a dominant force in the opening game. They never looked like losing the match as Lebron James notched 35 points and grabbed 10 boards. Kyrie Irving scored 24 points while Kevin Love added 18 as the big three were too strong in this one. However, we are expecting the side’s cockiness to come back and bite them in game 2 as the Raptors have more experience and depth in their team from the one that lost the series 4-2 last season against the Cavaliers.

TIP: Raptors to win at the margin (1-10) – $4.40 at William Hill

Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs (Thursday 11.30am AEST)

Who saw that one coming? The Rockets handed the Spurs a massive 27-point defeat on their home court in the opening game of the series and scored 126 points against one of the best defensive sides in the NBA. However, we won’t be writing the Spurs off just yet as they have the best coach in the league and a strong core group of players lead by one of the best two-way players in the league, Kawhi Leonard.

The Rockets play a fairly simple style of basketball – they live and die by the three point shot. In game 1, they definitely lived. They took an incredible 50 shots from behind the three point arc and they made 22 of those shots for a strong 44%. It is a great percentage for a player to be knocking down 44% from behind the three point line and for a whole team it is incredible. However, it was arguably their defence that was the most impressive part of the match as they were able to keep the Spurs to just 39 points in the opening half. It did fall way as they conceded 60 points in the second, but the match was pretty much sealed at the halftime break. James Harden scored 20 points and only got to the line on three occasions, however it was his distribution that separated him as he notched 14 assists. His ability to find the open man lead to a lot of points and the away side earning the victory.

We are expecting the Spurs to come out with a stronger game plan in the second game and we won’t be expecting them to shoot at such a low percentage. The Spurs are notorious for bouncing back and there is a reason they are still short priced favourites heading into game 2, despite the 27-point loss. We believe the home side will bounce back and earn a narrow victory in this Texas battle.

TIP: Spurs to win at the margin (1-10) – $2.38 at Sportsbet

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