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Game 2: Bulls/Celtics + Mavs/Spurs Trends + Odds


The NBA playoffs started off with a shocker Saturday afternoon and were later followed by another only because of the circumstances.

Could Boston or San Antonio really be in danger of losing two home games to open series and have to travel into enemy territory search for two wins?

Based on opening game performances, the answer is yes, but will bettors take the line-makers bait on new numbers?

See where your colleagues are leaning for tonight’s NBA playoff tilts on the BETTING TRENDS page.

Coach Doc Rivers saw early signs about his team in 105-103 overtime loss he didn’t like, the first was lack of defensive energy and the other was his players making personal decisions about Kevin Garnett’s absence.

“It just looked like everybody decided that they were going to be ‘the guy’ tonight. They were going to, you know, replace Kevin for whatever reason,” Rivers said. “And then all of a sudden we got into a fight. And one thing I’d say about our guys, they join in. But, at home, you’re supposed to start it.”

The Celtics work better on offense when they move the ball and don’t dribble just for the sake of it. Chicago is no defensive juggernaut, especially on the road, where they allow 104.7 points per game on 46 percent shooting and Boston shot 39.4 percent in 53 minutes of basketball at home and will have to quickly refocus. The Celts are 17-7 ATS after a loss by six or less points.

If there is any question who the next great point guard in the NBA will be, the speculation has ended. Derrick Rose’s 36 points tied a NBA playoff record for points scored, previously held by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and he also dished out 11 assists. That was the most points scored by a Chicago Bulls player in the postseason since Jordan was in the Windy City.

The win raised the Bulls record to 13-3 ATS playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season. Oddsmakers refused to act positively or negatively against the spread and Sportsbook.com has Chicago receiving 8 ½ points for Game 2.

The total is down considerably from the last contest to 196 from 199. Boston is 31-13 ATS revenging a home loss and 11-3 OVER in home games where the total is between 190 and 199.5 points this season. Chicago has not flourished in this spot with 7-21 ATS record off an upset win and are 14-6 OVER as an underdog.

Out West, early in the second quarter in San Antonio, it looked like the Spurs were going to hand Dallas its 10th consecutive road playoff loss. Instead, the Spurs started playing horrible defense and squandered the lead and the game in 105-97 shocking loss.

What was particularly appalling to Spurs backers, who had given the four points, was the ease in which Dallas scored. Led by gutty Josh Howard’s 25 points, the Mavs scored 60 points in the second half and shot 57.9 percent in the final 12 minutes to salt Game 1 away. The underdog is now 18-6 ATS when these teams meet.

Even though fans might be a little nervous, don’t expect a veteran Spurs team to buckle. San Antonio is 13-3 ATS after surrendering 100 or more points and oddsmakers like their chances to even up the series.

The Spurs are listed as 6 ½-point favorites, up a point and a half, with the total also rising to 189. Coach Greg Popovich usually has his team turn up defensive intensity with such a contest and they are 21-7 UNDER when trailing in a series, though brutal 2-9 ATS at the AT&T Center in last 11 outings.

Dallas raised record to 16-5 ATS as postseason underdog with its opening game win and is 5-1 OVER in same role.

This NBA doubleheader starts at 7:05 Eastern on TNT with two home teams in desperate need of win.

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  1. While this is after the fact since both teams won, but I think Boston is in for a struggle in this series and could end up getting knocked out in the first round if they do not tighten up their shooting.

  2. This is looking like a great series, I’ve got $20 to pay $100 on the Bulls winning the series so my fingers are crossed!