The Utah Jazz may be in a 0-2 hole against the Golden State Warriors in their Western Conference semifinal series, but they’ve got hope of getting a win in Game 3 against the Dubs on Saturday and for good reason.
Over in the Eastern Conference, the Washington Wizards will look to even their suddenly physical semifinal series against the Boston Celtics at 2-2 when they host the C’ in Game 4 of matchup on Sunday. If you’re looking to add to your annual NBA betting bankroll, look no further…I’ve got a pair of expert picks on both intriguing matchups.
Betting Predictions For The NBA Weekend Action (May 6th – 7th)
Golden State at Utah
When: Saturday, May 6 at 8:30 PM ET
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City
NBA Odds: Utah +5.5 / Total: 209
Analysis: Golden State (73-15 SU, 43-42 ATS) handled Utah (55-36 SU, 43-44 ATS) in their 115-104 win in Game 2 as Kevin Durant scored 25 points, Steph Curry 23 points and Draymond Green 21 points, but the Jazz should have plenty of hope after outscoring the Dubs by seven points over the game’s final three quarters.
“It wasn’t easy,” Warriors coach Mike Brown said. “We know we can play better. We broke down in a lot of areas where we should have been better.”
The Jazz got a game-high 33 points from forward Gordon Hayward and 16 points and 16 rebound from center Rudy Gobert in the narrow loss.
“Once we settled in, we kind of figured it out a little bit,” Hayward said of the Utah offense. “We figured out how to get into the paint and get some shots for ourselves, some better looks. Our spacing was a lot better. We’re going to have to take that and move forward with it.”
The Jazz were down 109-102 with just over two minute to play but came up just short down the stretch.
“What it shows us is Utah has some confidence,” Brown said of the fifth-seeded club. “They’re going to be even more confident playing at home.”
While the Warriors are undoubtedly the ‘better’ team in this matchup, I like the way the Utah Jazz competed in Game 2 and believe they are more than capable of getting at least one win in this series. The Warriors are just 1-4 ATS in their last five Conference Semifinals games and a winless 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games against a team with a winning record.
Conversely, the Utah Jazz are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 games playing on 1 days’ rest, 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following an SU loss and 5-1 ATS in their last ix games against their Western Conference counterparts. Last but not least, the Jazz are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against Golden State. After covering the spread in Games 1 and 2, I say the Jazz cover again, by winning outright!
Pick: Utah 108 Golden State 105
Boston at Washington
When: Sunday, May 7 at 6:30 PM ET
Where: Verizon Center
NBA Odds: Washington -4.5 / Total: 215
Analysis: After getting lit up by lightning-quick point guard Isaiah Thomas in Games 1 and 2, the Washington Wizards almost literally punched the Boston Celtics in the mouth in their 116-89 Game 3 win on Thursday night. John Wall scored 24 points and the Wizards took control of the game with a 22-0 run in the first quarter. Otto Porter Jr. and Bojan Bogdanovic both added 19 points in the win.
Thursday’s matchup featured a whopping 52 personal fouls, eight technical fouls and saw Washington’s Kelly Oubre Jr. get ejected in the first half for a Flagrant 2 foul on Boston’s Kelly Olynyk.
“I guess just two teams that really don’t like each other,” Wall said afterward.
“We don’t like them and they don’t like us,” Boston’s Thomas added after being held to just 13 points following hi 53-point performance in Game 2. “They did a really good job tonight,” Thomas said of the Wizards. “They set the tone.”
Washington backup point guard Brandon Jennings and Boston reserve floor leader Terry Rozier were both ejected in the fourth quarter after receiving two technical fouls. Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Wizards coach Scott Brooks were also hit with technical fouls.
For Game 4, I’m going to advise you to back the Washington Wizards to get another emphatic home win to even up their series against Boston at 2-2 while getting the ATS cover with just a bit of room to pare. Washington has gone 3-1 ATS at home this postseason while Boston has gone 2-5 ATS over their last seven playoff games. Back the Wiz to win and cover.
Pick: Washington 115 Boston 105