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The second round of the NBA playoffs continues Tuesday with just one game. Yahoo Sports’ Jared Quay has the advice that you need for a huge Game 5 between the Bucks and Nets.
All odds via BetMGM.
Milwaukee Bucks (-2.5) at Brooklyn Nets, Total: 220.5
The Bucks get the status of road favorites entering Game 5 because of a couple factors. The Bucks have won the last two games in the series to even it at 2-2. And, most importantly, the Nets are entering Game 5 without Kyrie Irving and James Harden likely won't play.
Harden has a hamstring injury, and Irving injured his ankle in Game 4 on Sunday and is out for Game 5 — and maybe longer. That leaves Kevin Durant as the only star available for the Nets as they try to stop the Bucks from taking a 3-2 series lead and getting one win away from being the second team in the 2021 playoffs to come back from a 2-0 deficit.
Milwaukee is 5-10 against the spread in its last 15 games, however. So either Milwaukee is bucking a trend — no pun intended — or the Nets are keeping this close if they don’t win outright. Brooklyn is 8-0 in its last eight games against the spread at home. Brooklyn last failed to cover the spread at home on April 30 when it lost 128-109 to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Yahoo Sports’ Jared Quay doesn’t think the Nets will move to 9-0 against the spread since that Portland game.
“I’m backing the Bucks on the road,” Quay said.
Prop we like: Blake Griffin over 10.5 points (-130)
New York Islanders (+165) at Tampa Bay Lightning (-200), total: 5
The NHL features a suddenly compelling series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders. The Islanders have been disrespected all playoffs, but they keep winning. The Islanders won Game 1 as +165 underdogs, and they're +165 at BetMGM for Game 2 as well. The Islanders are now just -105 underdogs to win the series and advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
But the Lightning might be value at -115 to win the series. They are the defending champs and have turned it on in the playoffs.
Basically, the Lightning know how to recalibrate. And maybe they're due for a couple of losses in a row, but it's hard to buy into that kind of variance, especially with this team. We would never bet on a -200 favorite straight up; there's just too little value there, even though it seems so secure. But we do think there's value in taking the Lightning on the puck line, where they're +140. That heavy juice reflects how good the Islanders' defense is, but is it so hard to believe the Lightning can win this game 3-1, or maybe even 2-0? With Andrei Vasilevskiy in net, we think it's worth a small wager, especially considering how well the Lightning have fared after a loss (and they're at home, which means something now as opposed to last season's playoffs).
Again, we won't argue with anyone who once again takes the Isles in this spot. They're a great team and as long as oddsmakers don't respect their ability, there will be value in betting on them. But we have to side with the defending champs in Game 2.
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