About time we had a 2-0 night! The Celtics managed to win the first quarter for the fourth time in their series against the Bucks, despite falling into a 3-1 hole. Also, Houston evened its battle with the Warriors, as the home team continues to dominate that series.
Tuesday’s NBA card only has one play that really intrigues me, but it’s also the perfect time to look at locking in a future bet on a particular team’s title odds (Odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook).
Denver Nuggets vs. Portland Trail Blazers: POR +1.5 1Q (-113)
It’s been a tough NBA Playoffs for me thus far, but if there’s one area that I’ve been able to capitalize on, it’s riding these first-quarter trends. This series highlights what’s been the most extreme 1Q trend, as Portland’s been red hot out of the gates, while Denver takes its time to get into the game.
The major trend we’re focusing on here is how poor the Nuggets have been to start games, and it dates back into the regular season — they’re just 2-13 ATS in their last 15 first quarters.
In this series, the Blazers have covered the 1Q spread in all four games — they led by four after the first quarter in both home outings, led by five in Game 2, and were tied in the series opener.
Averaging just over five points per game more than the Nuggets in the first quarter in this postseason, I’m very comfortable continuing to ride a trend that’s grown even stronger during this series.
Championship Winner: GSW (-121)
I don’t have a play in the early game on Tuesday, but Houston evening the series against the Warriors at 2-2 gives us as good an opportunity as ever to bet on Golden State to win the title. As exciting as this series has been, and as encouraging as Houston’s performances were at home, we know how this story ends with a Kevin Durant-led Warriors squad.
Golden State’s currently favored by six points at home in Game 5 in a classic bounce-back spot. The Warriors closed out the Rockets in Houston in a Game 7 last season, and have what it takes to do that again in a Game 6 that figures to be something in the neighborhood of a pick ‘em.
If this series goes seven games, you’d have to feel comfortable having the Dubs at these odds. While Portland and Denver have had exciting seasons, the Rockets are the true team that can test the Warriors out west. I don’t think the Western Conference Final puts much pressure on this bet.
The only other difficult test would likely be a NBA Finals against a balanced Milwaukee team that presents a player that’s as big of a mismatch as KD, that being Giannis Antetkounmpo. Advantage Warriors, as always.
Bottom line: Entering this series, the Warriors were -200 to -250 in most places to win the title. Houston simply protecting home court shouldn’t cut those odds in half.
Julian’s pick records for MajorWager:
NBA: 3-5 overall, 2-0 last night.
NFL Draft: 6-1