The Semi Finals should be intriguing, particularly the series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies, and the one between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers. My thoughts of the series can be found here
Memphis Grizzlies @ Oklahoma City Thunder Game 1 Pick: What a series is in prospect between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Memphis Grizzlies and the higher seeded team certainly look vulnerable having gone 2-2 against the Houston Rockets without Russell Westbrook.
The layers don't really know what to expect from this series to begin with and I am of the same feeling. It will be a physical series and I think both teams will find their groove early in this series, simply as the defenses are playing catch up when it comes to making the necessary adjustments.
Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks Game 1 Pick: Both are off tough Game 6 wins and both teams will be feeling a little tired with a couple of games to be played at Madison Square Garden in the next three days before a trip to Indiana for Game 3 next weekend.
The New York Knicks are the better team offensively, but Indiana can play stifling defense and this looks a low-scoring series. However, I think there is a very heavy trend leaning towards home teams in Game 1 of the Conference Semi Finals and I like the Knicks to get off to a decent start.
Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat Game 1 Pick: The Chicago Bulls are off an emotional series and could be short handed for this opening game of the Semi Finals and that doesn't bode well against the well rested Miami Heat.
While I think this will be a competitive series, albeit one that Miami can win fairly comfortably, I expect Game 1 to be dominated by the home team and the Heat to cover a lot of points.
Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs Game 1 Pick: If the Golden State Warriors get hot from beyond the three point line, they can certainly be a match for any time on any given day. However, I think the Spurs will have too much Play Off experience and they also have the players that can take over a game, something that Denver couldn't really rely on in the First Round or all season.
The games between the teams were close in the regular season, but I do think the Spurs can pull away in this one and record a double-digit win to hold serve in Game 1.
Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks Game 2 Pick: The New York Knicks have to become more efficient on the offensive side of the court if they are to pull this series around, particularly Carmelo Anthony and JR Smith who have struggled the last few games.
It has given Indiana the impetus in this series and makes Game 2 a must-win for the Knicks, although they have to defend better and also force Roy Hibbert out of the lane. Both teams showed enough offensively in Game 1 to make my suggestion this is a tight, defensive series look foolish and backing the over looks the call in this one too.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Oklahoma City Thunder Game 2 Pick: A 30 point first quarter, combined, killed the over pick in the first game of this series, but I think both teams can do something consistently when in the offense to see the over come in this time.
Both teams did go on long stretches without scoring in Game 1, but the way they play the game means the teams can sit in the bonus when it comes to free throws and extend the game and also provide a chance for easy points. I think the Grizzlies can upset the Thunder in the game, but I like the points to be scored in this one.
Any Manchester United fan will tell you this has been a long day so I haven't really been able to sit down and write anything in regards to the NBA Play Off games tonight. However, you can see both picks from the Game 2's to be played tonight in the 'My Picks' section below.
Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls Game 3 Pick: It has been two contrasting games in this series so far, but I think the Miami Heat certainly look like they have their eye in and can re-take control of this series by taking back home court advantage.
Miami look like they will be able to take advantage of the short-handed Bulls and I do think they can win this one by double-digits, although not by the 35 + point beat down we saw in Game 2.
San Antonio Spurs @ Golden State Warriors Game 3 Pick: The Golden State Warriors have outplayed the San Antonio Spurs in both games in this series so far, but you have to think the Spurs will find some way to respond and the trends suggest this will be the best time for them to do so.
I just don't believe that the Spurs will play as badly as they have in the first two games and I think they can find a way to keep this one close at the very least and possibly sneak the win.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Memphis Grizzlies Game 3 Pick: The Thunder are definitely the underdog in this Semi Final series as they can't seem to consistently win the battle against the Memphis bigs, while Mike Conley is the best Point Guard on the court.
Kevin Durant is capable of carrying the Thunder somewhat, but I am focusing on the points in this one as both teams are finding their way to the free throw line and also shooting the three pointer effectively.
New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers Game 3 Pick: The first two games has seen plenty of offense, barring the twelve minute stretch in Game 2 for the Indiana Pacers, and I think Game 3 will follow a similar direction.
The Knicks could be missing JR Smith for this one, but the return of Amare Stoudemire may give them a boost and I think the Pacers are definitely more productive at home. Both teams can get going from the three point line and that should help trying to get this one over the total points.
I didn't make a pick from the Golden State-San Antonio Game 4, although I won't lie and say I did favour the Spurs to pick up another win. However, I was unsure on too many issues and felt glad I gave it a miss as the Spurs blew a decent lead and then struggled to score in overtime as the series was tied up 2-2.
Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls Game 4 Pick: The extra day between Game 3 and Game 4 will help the Chicago Bulls, but it is a big ask for them to get something going in this series now they are down 2-1 and still missing some key components of their rotation. Chicago certainly have the heart to give Miami all they can handle, but I think we could see something similar to Game 3 and Miami's depth being too much for the Bulls down the stretch.
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Memphis Grizzlies Game 4 Pick: The Memphis Grizzlies say they have learned from two years ago when they blew their chance against the Oklahoma City in Game 4 of the Semi Finals and I do believe them. The Thunder have struggled for consistent scoring and the Grizzlies certainly feel they can play better than Game 3, even though they recorded a six point win.
There is a small sample that says the Thunder are in a bad spot here and I think Memphis will pull away to a 3-1 series lead and one foot in to the Western Conference Finals.
New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers Game 4 Pick: The New York Knicks are dealing with illness and injury, while the offense just can't find a way to get going consistently and that doesn't bode too well as they get set for Game 4.
Indiana are focused, they are a much better team at home than on the road and if they get hot from the three point line, I think they will win this game and cover the spread.
Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs Game 5 Pick: This has been an incredible series to watch and it really isn't easy to guess which of the teams will get through to the Western Conference Finals. Golden State fought back to win Game 4 after it looked like the Spurs were going to move into a 3-1 lead in the series.
The underdog has covered in all 4 games so far in the series, while a team getting more than 6 points has gone 23-14 against the spread since 1991 in this game. With the way Golden State can score, I like them to keep this close at the very least.
Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat Game 5 Pick: Both teams didn't have the best time offensively in the last game, with Chicago particularly struggling as the patched up roster might finally have hit the wall.
However, the Bulls have found a way to recover from a number of blow out losses this season and I expect them to put in one final big effort, while I expect both teams to hit the open shots they were missing in Game 4.
Memphis Grizzlies @ Oklahoma City Thunder Game 5 Pick: Every game in this series has been close and that is probably the only thing that Oklahoma City can hold on to as they look to get out of a 3-1 hole they find themselves in.
With both teams beginning to hit their shots and both finding their way to the foul line, there is every chance this will be another one of their games that goes over the total.
Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks Game 5 Pick: It has been tough for the New York Knicks to find any sort of consistency through their offense, but you know that they are clearly capable of turning that around in front of their own fans on Thursday night.
However, Indiana have really upped the pressure through their defense and. although the Pacers are not as good on the road as they are in front of their own fans, the 4.5 point headstart could be too many.
San Antonio Spurs @ Golden State Warriors Game 6 Pick: The Golden State Warriors looked a little tired and worn down in the Game 5 loss on Tuesday, but I am not quite ready to put a fork in them just yet.
Golden State should get fired up thanks to the raucous home crowd and I can see them taking the game to San Antonio. The Spurs have definitely looked the better team in the last three games, but there are some trends that favour the Warriors in this one.
For example. if the road team had won Game 5 both straight up and against the spread, they are just 5-14 against the spread in Game 6. Also, if the road team won Game 5 by 10 or more points, that team is 3-13 against the spread in Game 6.
New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers Game 6 Pick: Too many missed free throws and a concussion to their starting Point Guard meant the Indiana Pacers couldn't put away the New York Knicks in Game 5. The pressure will certainly be building on the Pacers as they won't want to go back to the Garden for a Game 7, and they will be confident having continued to limit the Knicks offense since Game 2.
I am relying on that defense to give the Pacers a chance in this game, although New York are beginning to get some more production from players not called Carmelo Anthony. With both teams not exactly firing offensively, I would take the under total points in this one.
MY PICKS: 05/05 Oklahoma City Thunder-Memphis Grizzlies Over 186.5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
05/05 New York Knicks - 5.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
06/05 Miami Heat - 12 Points @ 1.92 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
06/05 San Antonio Spurs - 9 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (1 Unit)
07/05 New York Knicks-Indiana Pacers Over 183 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
07/05 Oklahoma City Thunder-Memphis Grizzlies Over 188 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
08/05 Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls Over 186.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
08/05 Golden State Warriors + 7.5 Points @ 1.92 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
10/05 Miami Heat - 8 Points @ 1.92 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
10/05 San Antonio Spurs + 2 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
11/05 Memphis Grizzlies-Oklahoma City Thunder Over 187.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
11/05 Indiana Pacers-New York Knicks Over 183 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
13/05 Miami Heat - 7.5 Points @ 1.92 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
13/05 Memphis Grizzlies - 5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
14/05 Indiana Pacer - 5.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
14/05 Golden State Warriors + 7 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
15/05 Miami Heat-Chicago Bulls Over 181 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
15/05 Oklahoma City Thunder-Memphis Grizzlies Over 185 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
16/05 Indiana Pacers + 4.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
16/05 Golden State Warriors + 2 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
18/05 Indiana Pacers-New York Knicks Under 179.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
Play Off Semi Finals: 10-11, - 1.49 Units
First Round Play Offs: 21-18, + 2.19 Units
April Final: 6-9, - 3.40 Units
March Final: 20-16-1, + 3.08 Units
February Final: 6-3, + 2.61 Units
January Final: 5-14, - 9.31 Units
Season 2013: 88-75-3, + 12.39 Units
Season 2012: 79-53-1, + 27.48 Units