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Eytan Shanders previews Tuesday's NBA playoff games

We have amazing value on the board as Milwaukee plays with their backs to the wall, once again, against the Heat. The later game should give us a clear indication of how well this Rockets team can play, and if the Lakers simply took Houston for granted in game 1. Let’s get it!

Milwaukee Bucks vs Miami Heat Predictions

The series closes out this evening as the Bucks simply don’t have enough left in the tank. Khris Middleton finally came alive – despite losing Giannis to the ankle injury – and helped keep Milwaukee alive. That also was combined with a poor shooting effort from Jimmy Butler. Without Giannis or even with a depleted big man, the Heat will have plenty of scoring opportunities. From Butler and Tyler Herro outside to Bam Adebayo – who was huge in game 4 – down low. Too many weapons right now and the Bucks spent all of their energy trying to stay alive. They don’t have the consistent outside shooting to stick with Miami, which is why I don’t mind laying the points here. Was tempted to just throw the ML out for you, but why lay extra juice on a team that should win by 6-8, rather comfortably. Goran Dragic could be a big help here too for Miami. There’s a ton to look at from how the Heat can beat the Bucks, so let’s make it really simple. No Giannis, Milwaukee loses by 10+ points. If the Greek Freak plays, even hurt, they lose by 6-8 points. Brutal ending for Milwaukee’s season, so let’s make some money off their misery

PICK: Heat -3.5 @ -104

Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers Predictions

The Lakers bounced right back from their opening game loss to outlast the Rockets. The game hit anything under 225.5 and should be a great indication of what’s to come tonight. Big day from Anthony Davis last time out, as the Lakers don’t have to slow the tempo getting him the ball down low. Houston is still dealing with reacclimating Russell Westbrook into the lineup. He’s been a key reason why the offense seemed jolted at best in game 2. If that even remotely keeps up tonight, you can expect the Lakers to capitalize off turnovers. There’s a solid chance tonight is a Lakers blowout - with the dangers of letting a Houston team hanging around a series – as getting their own issues together should be a major theme for LA. Rajon Rondo is back off the bench, which continues to be a weapon the Lakers have in securing overs. Tonight will be a perfect example. LA will keep a healthy lead later in the game, but the scoring won’t stop, or even slow down. The Lakers bench will push the tempo as fast as Houston wants, which will be insanely fast when they are down 16 with 5 minutes to go.

I do like Houston winning the fourth quarter as I’m expecting a pretty big deficit. But even a close game favors them, simply needing to close out the Lakers. Looking specifically at a bigger Lakers lead, we know Westbrook and James Harden aren’t going anywhere. The coaching and execution, basically jack up as many long balls as possible, aren’t changing despite how much they trail. Houston will be forced to fire off more 3’s later in the game, either to hold the lead or simply avoid even further embarrassment. Take the Rockets to win the 4th and enjoy watching them sit back and launch. Look at it like a nice way to tie the two bets together.

Pick: Over 222.5 @ +107

Pick: 4th quarter winner HOU @ +120


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