The Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns are back in action on Tuesday night as both look to assume dominance in their respective series before heading out on the road for Game 3.
The Memphis Grizzlies will be hoping to at least salvage a 1-1 split before doing the same in their series against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Let’s take a look into the NBA Playoffs Betting Analysis for tonight’s games.
Atlanta Hawks vs Miami Heat: Game 2 Analysis
The Miami Heat were comfortable in their Game 1 win against the Atlanta Hawks and it’s difficult to see much changing in Game 2.
After a comfortable wire-to-wire cover by the Heat as 6½-point favorites in Game 1, we get a slight adjustment to a -7.0 for Miami here, but it’s hard to see what Atlanta can do to better themselves in this matchup.
Miami’s defense does a fantastic job of switching its schemes mid-game and that puts a lot of strain on Trae Young to work things out on the floor depending on what type of set defense he’s facing.
Without Clint Capela on the floor the Hawks lose a lot of their pick-and-roll offensive sets and Onyeka Okongwu, for all his upside, doesn’t have the same experience or impact for Atlanta that is needed to help fill the void here.
The Heat shot terrifically well in Game 1, but they were sloppy in a lot of other areas offensively, so even with the three-point dominance they had, don’t necessarily expect a drop-off in terms of their scoring or offensive efficiency.
That Game 1 win didn’t do much to alter the game-to-game markets as yet, but it did go a long way to having an impact on the series markets. Miami was +145 on the series handicap of -2½ games, but are now sitting at -125 to have this series wrapped up in five games or less.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Memphis Grizzlies: Game 2 Analysis
The Minnesota Timberwolves were the only play-in team to secure a Game 1 win as they stole home-court advantage from the two-seed Grizzlies.
Memphis was unable to slow down the Timberwolves, although a lot of its defensive breakdowns seem to be simple fixes rather than issues that are likely to present themselves with regularity in this matchup.
Bookmakers haven’t blinked when it comes to overreacting to that outcome. Memphis opened as 6½-point favorites for Game 2, the same number the Grizzlies closed at in their outright loss.
The Grizzlies are also still market favorites to win the series, currently sitting at -142 as the consensus price.
Coach Taylor Jenkins did receive some criticism for his player usage in Game 1 and we should get a tighter rotation in this one as he relies on his starters to be more effective in extended minutes.
The big question is whether the Timberwolves can find ways to be effective offensively outside of just their perimeter scoring. While we finally got a more dominant showing from Karl-Anthony Towns in the postseason, we’ve yet to see how this team will work itself out in half-court sets when the perimeter shots aren’t falling.
This still remains the highest full game total on the board across all first-round matchups, with the Game 2 market sitting at 240½ points. It was also the only Game 1 matchup that saw the majority of the game played in transition sets rather than half-court basketball.
If the Grizzlies can do a better job of establishing its defense and forcing the Timberwolves to beat them when set, they’ll go a long way to not only ensuring they take Game 2 but also regaining home court before the series returns to Memphis.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Phoenix Suns: Game 2 Analysis
The Phoenix Suns coasted through their Game 1 matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans, who looked completely outclassed despite making a run in the fourth quarter and barely failing to cover the spread.
Chris Paul had little trouble picking apart any weakness the Pelicans had and that will likely continue for the duration of this series.
On the other side of the floor, the Pelicans have no real offensive advantage and their primary method of scoring is completely nullified by this Phoenix defense.
New Orleans was both frequent and effective all season in its use of mid-range scoring and ability to beat a defender off the drive to create space for the rest of its offense, but none of those advantages exist against Phoenix.
What is interesting, though, is the Suns have dipped from -10½ favorites in Game 1 to -9½ on the opening number for Game 2.
That’s less a reflection of New Orleans being projected to be competitive and more about the inflated number for a team that can still do enough to hang around even if its being blown out in the early stages.
The Suns are down to +185 to sweep this series, although a 4-1 scoreline remains the favored market, currently sitting at +135.