Like yesterday, we have both a Game 7 and a Game 1 today.
LAC (LA Clippers) @ Memphis, Game 7, will be a blowout for Memphis. The Clippers have skated so far this series; Game 7 in Memphis will show the true dominance of the Griz. As discussed in the previous LAC-Memphis games, the Griz are a phenomenal home team. Barring their 27-point meltdown in Game 1, they have destroyed the Clippers at home so far this series. Thus far, their average home margin of victory is +6.0, and that’s including the Game 1 loss. Without that meltdown, the Griz would probably be in the +10 to +14 range this series at home.
Of course, it’s also important to count in the Clippers’ injury woes. Stars Blake Griffin (knee) and Chris Paul (hip) were forced to sit on the bench and watch for a combined 12 minutes of 4th quarter action in Game 6, allowing the Grizzlies to build up momentum that ultimately dashed all of Clipper Nation’s hopes of winning the series on their home court. The injuries aren’t serious, but they definitely could hamper Griffin and Paul enough to secure a comfortable Game 7 win for the Grizzlies. Look for Memphis to close out the series tonight by 10 or more points.
Indiana @ Miami, the second game today, is Game 1 of their second-round Eastern Conference series. The game is in Miami (or the more LeBron-ian term, “South Beach”) tonight and should be really exciting. The Heat are favored by 8.5 points; that’s too high in my opinion.
The Pacers will keep this game close throughout. Anyone remember the first-round Chicago-Indiana series from last season? The Pacers nearly knocked off the Bulls, losing by an average of only 5 points per game from games 1-3 (two of which were in Chicago). The Pacers should be able to build on that experience–and their recent domination of the Howard-less Magic–in their second-round series against the Heat.
Although the game will be close, there is little chance the Pacers will win Game 1. The Heat have two amazing closers in Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Moreover, the Heat have an array of three-point shooters (looking at you Mike Miller, Mario Chalmers, and James Jones) that will be able to win/tie a close game if the situation arises. And trust me, this game will be decided in the 4th quarter.
Look for the battle-tested Pacers to keep up with the Heat until the end of the 4th. Heat by less than 7.
Computer Predictions by DynamicPicks:
LAC @ Memphis
Projected win: Memphis, 70.0% – INCORRECT
Projected ATS win: LAC +7.5, 53.9% – CORRECT
Memphis has a 7-in-10 chance of winning this game, and although the computer system says take LAC +7.5, the reality is that they will win this by more than 7.5 points. However, Griz -7.5 is not a great line, so don’t put your life savings on this game.
Indiana @ Miami
Projected win: Miami, 71.2% – CORRECT
Projected ATS win: Indiana +8.5, 53.9% – INCORRECT
I really like Indiana +8.5 to hit tonight. I also really like Miami to win straight up tonight; however, the odds are pretty terrible (roughly -500) for Miami. The best move is to lay off the straight-up pick and bet moderately on Indiana +8.5.