Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 12:00 AM
THE NBA PLAYOFFS –
CHECKING OUT SOME GAME #2 TILTS
BOTH TONIGHT & TOMORROW …
NFL DRAFT REPORT:
HERE’S THE BEST CORNERS & SAFETIES
Among the past weekend’s bigger Game #1 surprises in the NBA Playoffs were Orlando’s stunning win North of the Border along with San Antonio’s stirring upset win in the Mile High City and so now the $64,000 question is this …
Will the Toronto Raptors and/or Denver Nuggets “get even” tonight?
We’ll examine those best-of-seven series along with Wednesday’s Utah at Houston Game #2 showdown but first this key reminder …
Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are revving things up with this year’s NBA Playoffs with action each/every night this week, so make sure you’re cashin’ all playoffs long plus get all the daily Major-League Baseball action too here at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
Tonight, it’s … EASTERN CONFERENCE
ORLANDO at TORONTO – 8 p.m. ET, TNT / Magic leads series 1-0
Don’t look now but the Orlando Magic – the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs this year – now have covered 11 of their last 14 games dating back to the middle of March and there’s growing karma on their side to boot. How else to explain that Toronto’s multi-time All-Star G Kyle Lowry went scoreless in Orlando’s 104-101 win in Game 1 or that Raptors’ mates Kawhi Leonard and Marc Gasol got “confused” on that late-game switch that allowed the Magic’s D.J. Augustin to drain his top-of-the-key triple with 3.5 seconds left? Toronto may not officially be in a do-or-die game here but bettors best beware ‘cause the Raptors – now up to a 10.5-point game-day favorite -- are just 5-9-1 ATS (against the spread) in their last 15 home games.
SAN ANTONIO at DENVER – 9 p.m. ET, NBA TV / Spurs lead series 1-0
Hey, we warned you prior to the start of this opening round that the San Ant Spurs were looking at this whole playoff season as “house money” because nobody thought this edition of Gregg Popovich’s crew would be around for very long – remember that Denver was priced at nearly a 3-to-1 betting favorite in this series (- 275, actually). Well, one game into the post-season and the Spurs – fresh off a 101-96 win at 6-point fav Denver in Game 1 – have sent fright waves through the Nuggets and do keep in mind San Antonio star F LaMarcus Aldridge shot a putrid 6-of-19 for 15 points in that Game 1 upset. Consider the Spurs have won five-of-six past playoff series against the Nuggets plus “Pops” and Company are a solid 44-37-2 ATS overall this year. Might the Nuggets be feeling some severe heat here?
On Wednesday, it’s …
UTAH at HOUSTON – 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT / Rockets lead series 1-0
Here’s the facts, Jack: The Houston Rockets – flying high following last Sunday night’s 122-90 win/cover against 6.5-point underdog Utah – are now a collective 10-3-1 spreadwise since mid-March and so maybe this wasn’t the best time for the Jazz to catch up with scoring champ James Harden (29 points / 10 assists / 8 rebounds in Game 1) and Company, after all. The Jazz, for its part, has covered seven of its last 10 games when placed in the dog role but how ‘ya going to cover the Las Vegas number when you shoot 7-of-27 from beyond the three-point stripe? Utah needs a stat-sheet stuffing game from Donovan Mitchell – for starters – and for Harden to miss some of those fallback-baby jump shots.
NFL DRAFT REPORT
The 2019 NFL Draft is set for April 25-thru-27 and we’ll be bringing you position-by-position looks for the next several days and next Thursday it’s our annual NFL Mock Draft. Note that in today’s column, we highlight the top cornerbacks and safeties:
GREEDY WILLIAMS, CB, LSU – Gotta go some 20-to-25 picks deep into this coming NFL Draft to see the “experts” tab a defensive back and this 6-foot-2, former Bayou Bengal is considered the pick of the litter. Williams is a lock-down corner but NFL folks want to know if he’ll shy away from tackling. Let’s project ‘em to go at pick #23 with the Houston Texans (subject to change, of course!).
BYRON MURPHY, CB, Washington – Athletic cover corner who plays with great anticipation but he’s coming out after his sophomore campaign and there’s some thought that he needed more seasoning on the collegiate level (and we’d agree with that sentiment). We’ll tentatively put ‘em at pick #24 with the Oakland Raiders.
NASIR ADDERLEY, S, Delaware – A potential late first-rounder who stands at six-feet, 207 pounds with a penchant for laying on the big hit. Good genes as one-time Green Bay Packers great Herb is a cousin. Looks like perfect fit with the Kansas City Chiefs at pick #29.
DEANDRE BAKER, CB, Georgia – At 5-feet-11, this former Dawg scares off some NFL teams that want 6-foot-3 type guys covering those long/lean wide receivers but good shot this kid slips into latter part of Round I after showing off plenty of good characteristics in rough-and-tumble SEC. Let’s have ‘em finishing up Round I with pick #32 and the New England Patriots who love drafting kids from Georgia.
TAYLOR RAPP, S, Washington – Sports great instincts and projects to many folks as a hybrid type defensive back. Rapp figures to be the first D-back to go in Round II, perhaps with Tampa Bay.
NOTE: Lots more NBA Playoff News & Note plus NFL Draft goodies too all next week here at Jim Sez – so don’t miss out!