Wednesday’s NBA playoffs betting preview and odds

 

Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors (-4.5, 188.5)

Series tied 1-1

The Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat are not content with playing 48-minute basketball games in their Eastern Conference semifinal series. The teams will try to decide things in the allotted amount of time when the series, which is knotted at two wins apiece, shifts back to Toronto for Game 5 on Wednesday.

Dwyane Wade has been the best player in the series and was at it again with 30 points on 13-of-24 shooting in a 94-87 overtime win on Monday – the third overtime game in the series. “I worked my tail off to get my body to the point where I can play at an elite level and not worry about my age or anything,” Wade told reporters after logging 39 minutes in Game 4. “I know when I’m healthy I can play this game as good as anybody.” Wade’s success and the strong play of Heat point guard Goran Dragic in the series has been in direct contrast to Toronto’s All-Star backcourt of DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry. DeRozan slumped to nine points on 4-of-17 shooting in Game 4 and is shooting 35 percent in the series while Lowry went 2-of-11 in the loss before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT

LINE HISTORY: The Raptors opened as 4.5-point favorites and by Tuesday afternoon the spread had been reduced to -4. The total opened at 187 and was bet all the way up to 188.5 by Tuesday evening. Check out the complete line history here.

MATCHUP CHART:

ABOUT THE HEAT (54-39, 50-42-1 ATS, 37-55-1 O/U): Miami went 1-of-15 from 3-point range in Game 4 and trailed by nine points midway through the fourth quarter before Wade brought the team back and forced overtime on a driving layup with 12.6 seconds left. The Heat were playing without center Hassan Whiteside (knee) and had only three players reach double figures in scoring in an inconsistent offensive performance outside of Wade. “I’m shocked, at this point, that we haven’t been able to score 100 points, and that’s not at all to discredit Toronto,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “It’s actually the opposite. We have not been able to consistently get to our game.”

ABOUT THE RAPTORS (62-31, 48-45 ATS, 44-48-1 O/U): Lowry appeared to break out of a postseason-long slump with a 33-point effort in Game 3 but struggled to find his shot again in Game 4. DeRozan injured his thumb in Game 2 and was clearly off with his shot in the last two contests, though he was reluctant to place all of the blame for his struggles on the injury. “It’s the feeling of being uncomfortable and not doing the things that you normally do with gripping the ball and everything,” DeRozan told reporters. “It’s nothing I’ll ever make an excuse about, but like I said, I know for sure I’m not going to shoot like I did (Monday in our) next game. I know that for a fact.”

TRENDS:

* Heat are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
* Raptors are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games overall.
* Under is 8-1 in Heat last 9 overall.
* Under is 10-2 in Raptors last 12 overall.
* Under is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings.

Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors (-12.5, 216.5)

Warriors lead series 3-1

It took Stephen Curry about three quarters to shake off the rust before breaking the hearts of Portland Trail Blazers fans in Game 4. Curry, who played a total of two halves in the first eight games of the postseason, scored an NBA-record 17 points in overtime of Game 4 to give the Golden State Warriors a chance to close out the visiting Blazers in Game 5 on Wednesday.

Curry was not even assured of playing in Game 4 until making it through his pregame workout with no issues from an MCL sprain suffered in the first round against the Houston Rockets. Instead, the MVP logged 37 minutes off the bench and came alive in the fourth quarter before putting on a show in overtime and yelling, “I’m back” toward the crowd after draining one 3-pointer. “It took me awhile to get back in the flow,” Curry told reporters. “When you miss three weeks, it’s really weird to walk back on the court. Like, the crowd out there going crazy and that competitive atmosphere again. So, just trying to get my bearings straight, make some plays and try and get a rhythm. And it took 48 minutes and things finally clicked.” Curry’s heroics overshadowed another strong performance from Portland point guard Damian Lillard, who finished with 36 points and 10 assists in the loss and was not ready to concede the series to the Warriors.

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

LINE HISTORY: Following Steph Curry’s historic performance in Game 4 the Warriors opened as 11.5-point favorites for Game 5 and the public jumped all over that number and the books were forced to move the line up to -12.5 by Tuesday morning. The total opened at 215.5 and was bumped up a full point to 216.5. Check out the complete line history here.

MATCHUP CHART:

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (49-43, 48-44 ATS, 49-43 O/U): Lillard felt Portland had chances to win each of the last three games in the series and will go back to his hometown of Oakland, Calif., for Game 5 refusing to let the defending champions off easy. “We want to go out there and make sure they respect us, make sure they understand it’s not going to be what everybody thinks it’s going to be,” Lillard told reporters. “It’s not going to be no rolling over, it’s not going to be no out here being scared, it’s not going to be any of that.” The Trail Blazers got strong efforts from C.J. McCollum (24 points) and Al-Farouq Aminu (18 points, 13 rebounds) in Game 4 to support Lillard but had some coverage breakdowns on Curry that need to be cleaned up before Wednesday.

ABOUT THE WARRIORS (80-11, 52-37-2 ATS, 49-41-1 O/U): Curry was supposed to play 25 minutes or so on Monday but was pressed into extra duty when Shaun Livingston was ejected just before the half for arguing with officials. Curry ended up with 40 points and added nine rebounds and eight assists – the most important assist coming when he found Harrison Barnes on the wing for a tying 3-pointer in the final minutes of regulation after crashing the lane and dragging a host of defenders with him. “The guy’s played basically one basketball game in three weeks,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters of Curry. “I expected what I saw early, I expected a lot of rust. I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted the explosion. I figured that he’d find his stroke and make a few shots, but I mean, that was crazy.”

TRENDS:

* Trail Blazers are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
* Warriors are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 home games.
* Over is 9-1 in Trail Blazers last 10 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Over is 9-1 in Warriors last 10 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Over is 9-1 in the last 10 meetings.

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