Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, May 7, 2018 at 7:00 AM
THE NBA PLAYOFFS:
IS IT BROOM TIME TONIGHT
IN PHILLY, CLEVELAND? …
THE BASEBALL REPORT:
GEARING UP FOR MONSTER-SIZED
RED SOX AT YANKEES SET IN THE BRONX
If truth be told, the first round of this year’s NBA Playoffs really featured just one big-time upset – see New Orleans (+ 180) dusting off Portland in four straight games – while Utah’s six-game series win against dysfunctional Oklahoma City (a -135 betting favorite) was a mild surprise but here we head into Monday’s NBA Playoff Eastern Conference action on the hardwood and both the #2 seed Boston Celtics and #4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers each are a mere victory away from nabbing sweeps in their respective second-round post-season series versus Philadelphia and Toronto … c’mon, nobody saw that coming, right?
The brooms are out – now let’s see if the visiting Celtics and the host Cavaliers get to use ‘em.
Note that Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers continue to rock with NBA Playoff and MLB winners, so make sure you cash in big right here at www.jimhurley.com or via our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
There’s great NBA playoff action right at the start of this week with tonight’s aforementioned tilts between Boston at Philadelphia followed by Toronto at Cleveland and then on Tuesday it’s a pair of NBA Playoff Western Conference Game 5’s as Houston is at Utah (8 p.m. ET, TNT) followed by New Orleans at Golden State (10:35 p.m. ET on TNT).
Tonight, it’s …
BOSTON at PHILADELPHIA – Celtics lead series 3-0; 6:05 p.m. ET, TNT
It’s been a series of stunners so far for these long-standing playoff rivals – yes, this marks the 21st time Boston v. Philly has been a post-season matchup – as the Celtics have won all three of the games in outright upset fashion with last Saturday’s shocker (Boston by 3 in overtime) just about deflating the 7ers once and for all. Hey, the seven-minute confetti clean-up delay at the end of regulation following Marco Belinelli’s corner deuce didn’t cause Philly to lose momentum but utter sloppiness with the ball in the extra session was a killer – and nobody takes advantages of a break, of an opportunity like these 2017-18 Celtics.
If Boston’s gonna close things out this evening – note Philly’s a 6.5-point betting fav – then getting Jayson Tatum and Terry Rozier (combined for 42 points / 12 rebounds / 7 assists in Game 3) out on the break is key plus any bench scoring here from Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris (a combined 25 points in Game 3) is a major boon … hey, Joel Embiid, you’re not getting fouled on every play, so stop whining!
Here’s the 2018 playoff head-to-head matchups between the Celtics and the 76ers (all home teams in CAPS):
DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
4-30 BOSTON + 5 Philadelphia 117-101
5-3 BOSTON + 3.5 Philadelphia 108-103
5-5 Boston + 9.5 PHILADELPHIA 101-98 (ot)
TORONTO at CLEVELAND – Cavaliers lead series 3-0; 8:35 p.m. ET, TNT
Long live “The King” … indeed!
The latest LeBron James salvo against the get-no-breaks Toronto Raptors was an athletic running bank shot from the left side of the floor at the buzzer that gave the Cavaliers a momentous three games-to-none series lead last Saturday.
In Toronto’s head?
You better believe it ‘cause now Cleveland’s won 11 of 13 post-season games against Toronto and it’s not always been just about Mr. James (see 38 points / 6 rebounds / 7 assists in Game 3) because F Kevin Love (21 points / 16 rebs in Game 3) has been fantastic and the defense against Toronto guard DeMar DeRozan has been special.
The Las Vegas oddsmakers have placed the Cavs as 6-point home favorites here to wrap up this set in four straight – can you make a case for playing a Raptors’ team that’s mentally shot?
Here’s the 2018 playoff head-to-head matchups between the Raptors and the Cavaliers (all home teams in CAPS):
DATE WINNER SPREAD LOSER SCORE
5-1 Cleveland + 7 TORONTO 113-112 (ot)
5-3 Cleveland + 6.5 TORONTO 128-110
5-5 CLEVELAND - 4.5 Toronto 105-103
In the West …
Golden State slammed 5.5-point pup New Orleans 118-92 in Game 4 of that series on Sunday afternoon and the off-the-beaten-track key stat there was the entire Warriors’ starting five registered + 20 or better in the plus/minus category that we love to check out with yakky F Draymond Green’s +28 the best of the bunch) …
While Houston overpowered 6-point home dog Utah 100-87 last night as birthday boy PG Chris Paul registered a snazzy stat line of 27 points / 12 rebounds / 6 assists but how about all those late-game blocked shots by C Clint Capela (6 blocks in all) as he rejected shot-after-shot in the final three-plus minutes – amazing stuff!
Hey, we told y’all prior to the start of this second round that the Warriors/Pelicans and Rockets/Jazz “smelled” like five-game series and unless there’s a real live dog out there on Tuesday night we can – finally – get ready for that much-anticipated Golden State vs. Houston hoedown … cam’t wait!
NBA PLAYOFF POINTSPREAD CHART
(thru Sunday, May 6)
TEAM WON LOSS TIE PCT
Indiana 6 1 0 .857
Boston 8 2 0 .800
New Orleans 6 2 0 .750
Houston 6 3 0 .667
Golden St. 5 4 0 .556
Toronto 5 4 0 .556
Oklahoma City 3 3 0 .500
Philadelphia 3 4 1 .429
Utah 4 6 0 .400
Minnesota 2 3 0 .400
San Antonio 2 3 0 .400
Washington 2 4 0 .333
Milwaukee 2 5 0 .286
Cleveland 3 7 0 .300
Miami 1 3 1 .250
Portland 0 4 0 .000
** Take note that NBA Playoff Betting Favorites enter this week at 33-24-1 ATS (against the spread) with One Pick ‘Em game – a .579 winning percentage.
THE BASEBALL REPORT
Ready, aim, fire!
It’s another installment of the Boston Red Sox versus the New York Yankees but – let’s face it – this three-game set in The Bronx beginning Tuesday night figures to be the best series of the year since, well, last week’s four-game set in Houston where the scorching-hot Yanks copped three-of-four against the defending World Series champion Astros.
Just consider the Yankees have won 15 of their last 16 games en route to this sizzling 24-10 record; while you’ll recall the Red Sox (25-9 and one full game ahead of the Bombers) started off the ’18 season at 17-2.
Both the Bosox and Yankees have been piling up the profits this year … make sure you’re on the winning side here in this great NYC series plus get all the MLB winners all week/all month long!
NOTE: Catch more NBA Playoff and MLB action in the next edition of Jim Sez.