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NBA PlayOffs 2024- Conference Semi Final Picks Game 5-7 (May 14-20)

We had a few comfortable First Round Series in the NBA PlayOffs, which is not going to be a massive surprise to fans, but the Conference Sem...

Monday 20 May 2024

NBA PlayOffs 2024- Conference Finals Picks Game 1-4 (May 21-28)

Four teams remain after a dramatic Conference Semi Final Round in the NBA PlayOffs 2024 and you could argue that only one of those remaining will have been tipped to get to the Conference Finals.

A huge increase in pressure is going to be on the shoulders of the Boston Celtics after the Number 1 Seed in the Western Conference and the defending Champions were both eliminated this past weekend.

And barring injuries, it is very difficult to imagine a situation where the Boston Celtics are not able to win at least four games out of seven against any of the teams left.

Take nothing away from a young, improving Minnesota Timberwolves team, or a hot shooting Indiana Pacers.

The Dallas Mavericks have a star player and some decent support around him, but for the majority of this season, the Boston Celtics have looked to have had the perfect balance and they are the strong favourites with a little over a month left of the NBA season.

A poor run for the Conference Semi Final Picks over the last four days has meant the positive returns have not been as great as they were looking before Friday evening. There is some frustration with that in mind, but the Conference Finals are a chance to bounce back.

Out of the four Rounds last season, this was the one with my worst results so this also feels like a personal opportunity to bounce back and look for a much stronger return all around.

The good news is that we do have a winning return from both the First Round and Conference Semi Final Rounds, but more work is to be done.

NBA Conference Finals Picks 2024- Games 1-4 (May 21st-28th)

Tuesday 21st May
Indiana Pacers @ Boston Celtics Game 1 Pick: The long time Eastern Conference favourites have made their way into the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Boston Celtics might be a little surprised about the opponent in front of them.

That was the case twelve months ago when the Number 8 Seeded Miami Heat had made their way through to the Conference Finals, but the Boston Celtics soon found themselves 3-0 down in that Series and ultimately were not able to complete the comeback in a 4-3 Series defeat.

It has fuelled the Boston Celtics season and they are not lacking for any motivation.

Out of the four teams remaining, the Celtics are strong favourites to win the NBA Championship, although that does mean the players have to show they can handle the pressure. They will be expected to be without Kristaps Porzingis in the first two games at home, but the Celtics are well rested after beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games and they will have been focused on preparing for whichever team made it through from the other Series.

In saying that, most would have expected that to be the New York Knicks, but the injury bug really hurt the Number 2 Seeded team and it is the Indiana Pacers who have surprised all by reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. The Number 6 Seeded Pacers have already beaten the Milwaukee Bucks and the Game 7 win on the road over the New York Knicks will have given them a huge boost in confidence.

However, beating an injury hit opponent as they have done in the first two Rounds and now being able to knock off the top Seed in the Conference is a very different test. The Pacers will feel they have the depth and the shooting to stick with the Boston Celtics, but there is going to be a natural comedown after the levels reached in the Game 7 win on the road, especially with just a day of rest between games.

Rick Carlisle will need to make some big adjustments ahead of this Conference Finals, the first time he is Head Coaching in this Round since leading the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA Championship in 2011. A lot of First Round exits or failing to reach the PlayOffs have been on his record since then, but Carlisle may feel his team have some destiny surrounding them having benefited from some of the uncontrollable factors like injury.

His team have given the Boston Celtics something to think about in the regular season, but Game 1 is at the TD Garden and a rested host might be able to control the Pacers.

We have become used to seeing Boston being asked to cover big spreads, but teams in the last couple of years in the Conference Finals have really struggled to deal with being asked to lay anything above 5 points. That was the case last year when those favourites were 0-7 against the spread in this Round, while home teams are 5-3 against the spread in Game 1 having seen both hosts fail to cover this time last year.

This should be a closer Series for the Boston Celtics than the last two have been, but they look rested and ready to open with a strong win.

MY PICKS: 21/05 Boston Celtics - 9.5 Points @ 1.85 Bet Victor (1 Unit)

Conference Finals Update

Conference Semi Final: 13-11, + 0.87 Units (24 Units Staked, + 3.63% Yield)
First Round: 22-17, + 3.27 Units (38 Units Staked, + 8.61% Yield)

Friday 17 May 2024

Boxing Picks 2024- Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk (Saturday 18th May)

One weekend after one Ukrainian reminded everyone of his greatness, another takes aim to potentially go down as the greatest Boxer to come out of that country.

The Klitschko brothers dominated the Heavyweight scene after Lennox Lewis retired, but neither was able to secure all of the World Titles and officially be known as 'Undisputed'.

Oleksandr Usyk has done that once at Cruiserweight, but there is no doubting that being able to do the same in the Heavyweight Division would cement his name in history. Surpassing the achievements of the brothers (Klitschko, just in case Steve Bunce is unsure) would be huge alone, but becoming the first Undisputed Heavyweight Champion since the days of Lennox Lewis will put Usyk's name right along all of the previous greats of the Division.

Of course Tyson Fury will have a lot to say about that and a fight that has been long talked about, but delayed and delayed, is finally about to take place.

Vasyl Lomachenko once again became a World Champion last week and he has long targeted becoming Undisputed in the Lightweight Division and will look to march towards that goal.

There is little doubt he is in the back end of his long, successful career, but there may still be a road to Undisputed for Lomachenko having come up just a little short in previous attempts.

It was a dominant display against George Kambosos Jr and one where The Matrix looked back to his best.

He will have options now- Shakur Stevenson is the obvious one, but the WBO World Title is going to be contested this weekend and Denys Berinchyk would love to upset Emanuel Navarrete and then potentially Unify against his countryman. The story will be there with the two compatriots not on speaking terms after both are seen in different lights by Ukrainians at the moment, but beating Navarrete will be far from easy.

Denzil Bentley was also back in action last weekend and comfortably beat Danny Dingum- the key is to be active now, and not wait for any rematch with Nathan Heaney, especially as Bentley is operating in a wide open Middleweight Division that is lacking the star power we have come to expect.

Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk

November 13th 1999... That is the last time we have had an Undisputed World Title fight in the most prestigious Division in Boxing.

Back then it was a three Belt era, with the WBO World Title very lightly regarded, but for the first time we will have all four major World Titles on the line when Tyson Fury puts his WBC Belt on the line with Oleksandr Usyk's Unified Belts.

Everything is on the line on Saturday- the Ring Magazine Belt, the Lineal Champion, and Saudi Arabia will be offering the winner a new Undisputed Belt.

Almost immediately we are going to expect the IBF World Title to be dropped by the winner of this one, but there will be no doubt for anyone that the winning fighter is the King of the Heavyweight Division and the best of this generation.

It has been a long time coming.

Even with the Saudi involvement, there have been two delays to the scheduled date for this Undisputed Bout, but we look to be there now and both Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk know how much is on the line.

After becoming the Undisputed Cruiserweight World Champion, it was clear that Usyk would be looking to move into the Heavyweight Division. Questions remained whether he had the size to take on the giants of the Division, but Usyk has taken the right steps and wins over Derek Chisora, Anthony Joshua (twice) and Daniel Dubois show a fighter that is well accustomed to the new Division.

This feels like another step upwards for the Ukrainian.

There have been some critics of the Tyson Fury resume, including the likes of Eddie Hearn, but the win over Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 is unmatched by any other fighter of this generation. Two wins over Deontay Wilder, and a controversial draw, shows that Fury is someone who can raise his game when he needs to and putting too much stock into the Francis Ngannou performance would be a mistake.

You do have to wonder if the miles have piled up on the clock considering the fluctuations in weight and a slightly less fleet of foot fighter that Tyson Fury has become, but he is still a very good Boxer and his size makes him tough to beat.

The reach and the weight could be key factors in favour of Fury, but you know Oleksandr Usyk is going to make him work, mentally and physically, for every second they are in the ring together. That is something that might be a little alien to Tyson Fury, but he may use all of his advantages to try and tie up Usyk, lean on him and see if he can sap some of the energy of the naturally smaller man.

Oleksandr Usyk will be moving, but he will not be running, and that is going to be important for him. Standing up to some of Anthony Joshua's biggest shots will certainly have given him confidence and trying to bait Fury into a mistake might be a key plan to try and steal some of the Rounds.

The feeling is that this is going to be a very tough to score fight- both are twitchy, both will be looking to pop and move and the suggestion is that we are going to see a real tactical battle.

This may actually favour Tyson Fury- with all of the talk from the organisers of this event about how keen they are to see Fury in with Anthony Joshua, the nagging feeling is that any close Rounds may see the judges lean to the 'home' fighter, in this case the one that makes the most money going forward.

I would hate for a controversial finish, but March 13th 1999 cannot be forgotten.

That was the first fight between Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield which was controversially ruled a draw and I think the Rounds will be close enough where you may end up seeing people make a case for either side earning the Decision.

A draw cannot be ruled out again, especially with a rematch already set, while tight, competitive, chess style Rounds certainly open the door for intepretation.

Ruling out Tyson Fury from finding a special performance after a poor one would be a massive mistake, while I have so much time for Oleksandr Usyk.

This honestly feels like it will be a close fight and one that you should sit back and enjoy from a technical stance and just for the history it is making.

Gun to the head, I think I might just finally be leaning on Tyson Fury to edge to the victory- it just feels he is the one that more people invested in the fight would want to see come out on top for future massive events, and so close Rounds may see Judges look his way.

It would just be fitting for the occasion for a fair result to be handed out, but it is Boxing and there are always other factors at play.

Much like the other events we have seen in Saudi Arabia, and now including the card that has been signed off in Los Angeles and the expected card at Wembley Stadium, we have a very solid undercard to the main event.

Jai Opetaia is considered a Cruiserweight who will soon be looking to move up to Heavyweight himself, but for now he will be looking to regain the IBF World Title that was controversially stripped from him in December when he took on Ellis Zorro on the 'Day of Reckoning' card in Riyadh.

It was a bizarre decision at the time and even more bizarre that the IBF will then ask the Australian to fight for the vacant Belt against Mairis Briedis.

For some reason the organisation believed being active was some sort of crime and Jai Opetaia would have been better waiting for Briedis, who had postponed a previous rematch through injury. We are finally getting that rematch after Opetaia upset the Latvian in July 2022, but Mairis Briedis has not had a single Round of action since that defeat.

The younger man has had two fights since then which have lasted a total of Five Rounds, but you do have to wonder what kind of motivation Mairis Briedis will be bringing to the ring on Saturday.

He has been busy chasing Jake Paul, which is bizarre enough on its own, and it does feel like Briedis has one foot out of the sport.

That is not good news against a hungry, hard hitting fighter like Jai Opetaia who came through a broken jaw in the upset over the former Champion.

Becoming the first fighter to Stop Mairis Briedis would be some achievement and it could push Jai Opetaia on the road to collecting all of the Belts in the Division before any potential move to Heavyweight. If the Latvian has just lost a bit of love for the sport, Opetaia may just break him down and it might even end with Briedis calling it a day on his stool at some point after halfway when the fight may seem beyond him.

Two Heavyweights who impressed on the 'Day of Reckoning' card in December meet with their unbeaten records on the line.

Agit Kabayel removed Arslanbek Makhmudov's unbeaten record in a Fourth Round Stoppage as the underdog and he is in the same spot against Cuban Flash Frank Sanchez.

Inactivity has been a real problem for Kabayel, but that last win has to be respected.

However, he is now facing a very good fighter in Frank Sanchez who has the Boxing skills to really frustrate his unbeaten opponent. The win over Efe Ajagba has only looked better and better and the suggestion is that Sanchez will be capable of negating some of the Agit Kabayel qualities to earn a Decision win.

One of the more surprising 'favourites' of the Saudi Arabian organisers is Mark Chamberlain and he gets another chance to impress on a card here.

He has showcased some real power in recent fights, but takes on Joshua Oluwaseun Wahab who took Liam Dillon to the cards and was only just beaten for the first time.

This is a step up in weight for the Nigerian and that may end up showing up on the night, although it may take Chamberlain a little longer to break him down.

It should be noted that Mark Chamberlain has not had a Stoppage after the Fifth Round with three fights that have gone beyond that Round all reaching the cards. You do have to wonder if the power carries, but being the naturally bigger man may just play a part and this is the first Twelve Rounder of his career so the British fighter may just warm into the bout and wear down an opponent coming up in weight and class of opponent.

The expectation is that Joe Cordina will defend his World Title against a tough opponent in Anthony Cacace, but it could be closer than anticipated.

Moses Itauma should continue to steamroll his way towards the top of the Division, although hopes of becoming the youngest Heavyweight World Champion of all time may be fading.

The one fight that did intrigue is the return of Sergey Kovalev who takes on Robin Sirwan Safar- the latter would have been the stronger favourite if he had been more active, especially as Kovalev is not the fighter he once was. However, this could be something of a shoot out and they say power is the last thing to go for any fighter.

He is also a quality Boxer when at his best, but backing him to earn the upset might be too risky.

Over in the United States, Emanuel Navarrete is expected to win another World Title in another Division as the feeling remains that his promoters are continuing to match him very well.

His hand has been fixed up after the draw with Robson Conceicao, one fight that some felt Navarrete had lost, and he is fighting an unbeaten Ukrainian Denys Berinchyk who will be motivated by seeing his compatriots doing so well.

It could be much closer than the odds suggest.

MY PICKS: Jai Opetaia to Win Between 7-12 @ 2.87 Coral (1 Unit)
Frank Sanchez to Win by Decision @ 2.62 Bet365 (1 Unit)
Mark Chamberlain to Win Between 7-12 @ 3.50 Paddy Power (1 Unit)

Boxing 2024: 21-30, + 18.17 Units (71 Units Staked, + 25.59% Yield)

Monday 13 May 2024

NBA PlayOffs 2024- Conference Semi Final Picks Game 5-7 (May 14-20)

We had a few comfortable First Round Series in the NBA PlayOffs, which is not going to be a massive surprise to fans, but the Conference Semi Final Series have perhaps been more competitive than imagined.

At the time of writing, we have two guaranteed Game 6s to be played and by Monday evening there may be a situation where all four Series are going to head into a Game 6 no matter the outcome of the upcoming Game 5.

This is a time where teams are being worn down and the gaps between games have stretched rotations, but the last three potential games of the Conference Semi Finals are given a bit more breathing room. This should help some teams, but the pressure has ramped up ahead of the Conference Finals as the chance of a NBA Championship is felt by the players and fans.

NBA Conference Semi Final Picks- Game 5-7 (May 14th-20th)

Tuesday 14th May
Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks Game 5 Pick: The key point to remember as fans of the New York Knicks is that the blowout loss in Game 4 counts the same as if the team were beaten by a single point... Namely it leads to one game and the Conference Semi Final Series is still tied at 2-2 before shifting back to Madison Square Garden.

There is little doubt that the Knicks looked tired and fatigued as they were punched in the mouth in the First Quarter of Game 4 and never made things competitive. The short rotation has meant the starters have played heavy minutes and the blowout loss might actually have helped the Knicks with the likes of Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart earning more rest than they would have expected.

Overcoming the absence of OG Anunoby has proven to be tough for the Knicks since signing him and the record backs that up. Unfortunately it looks unlikely that Anunoby is going to return to boost the team before Game 5 and the Knicks starters have to find a way to bounce back and slow the obvious momentum picked up by the Indiana Pacers.

After a late three pointer that turned Game 3 in their favour, the Indiana Pacers could not have come out any stronger than they did in Game 4 and they were in control of the outcome from the off. The deeper rotation is keeping the Pacers as fresh as they need to be and that is allowing to use speed and tempo to break down the New York Knicks.

More of the same has to be expected in Game 5, and they have shown they can produce some very efficient basketball at The Garden, even if the Pacers have come up short in both games here in this Series.

Momentum is with the road team, but the New York Knicks will be expecting to bounce back and just have that bit more energy thanks to the blowout defeat in Game 4. This has worked for teams in the Conference Semi Final Series in recent years with teams coming off a Game 4 defeat of more than seven points being 17-6 against the spread in the last twenty-three games in that situation.

Game 4 could not have gone any worse for the Knicks, and there is a feeling this team is wearing down, but they have shown their character all season and a response is expected. The Pacers will shoot the ball well, but they are not a Defensive powerhouse and that will help New York who may just move ahead again in this Series.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Denver Nuggets Game 5 Pick: This has been a tough Conference Semi Final Series to predict, but the defending Champions Denver Nuggets will only be concerned with how they are playing now.

After dropping both home games to open the Series, the Nuggets have won two in a row as a road underdog to not only level the Conference Semi Final at 2-2, but they will return home as favourites to make it through to the Western Conference Finals.

Home advantage has not meant much in this Series with all four won by the road team, but the momentum is now in favour of the defending Champions. They have found a way to make adjustments Offensively, but have backed that up with continuing ability to step up Defensively and the questions are now being asked about the Minnesota Timberwolves and what they can do to turn things back in their own favour.

Anthony Edwards had a monster Game 4, but he was given little efficient support and ultimately that cost the Timberwolves.

Karl-Anthony Towns is huge for the Timberwolves, but struggled in Game 4 and that will have to change if Minnesota are going to return home later this week and not have to face an elimination game.

At the same time, Minnesota are under some pressure to make adjustments to slow down the Denver Nuggets who have been very good Offensively in back to back wins. Nikola Jokic has been as advertised in the last couple of games, but his efficiency has been helped by the big improvements made by Jamal Murray, who struggled badly in Game 1 and Game 2.

With the top two players on the roster performing to the level hoped, it has made things easier for the role players and that has seen Michael Porter Jr and Aaron Gordon both stepping up. It was Gordon's 27 points in Game 4 that will have made the headlines, especially at 11/12 from the field, and the Nuggets may just feel they have gotten to grip with the Timberwolves and this Series.

Keeping the momentum going at home will be key, but this has been a tough Series for the hosts and the favourites have struggled in Game 5 of the NBA Conference Semi Final Series in recent years. The Nuggets are right to be favoured considering what we have seen in the last couple of games, and the pressure is on Minnesota to make adjustments so the narrow lean has to be with Denver and a potential first favourite cover within this Series.

The Timberwolves have to find a way to make adjustments, but the momentum with the Nuggets is hard to ignore here.

Wednesday 15th May
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics Game 5 Pick: Being without Jarrett Allen has made it very difficult for the Cleveland Cavaliers in this Conference Semi Final Series, but that difficulty increased tenfold when it was announced that Donovan Mitchell would miss Game 4.

Unsurprisingly it led to a comfortable enough win for the Boston Celtics once they got to grips with an unfamiliar line up that was in front of them.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue to lead the Celtics and it would be a massive surprise if they are not able to complete the Series win on Wednesday and ensure they are able to earn some rest before the Conference Finals. The two top players on the Boston roster have been key to the two road wins to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the Series and they are huge favourites to win this one on Wednesday with the expectation being that both Mitchell and Allen are going to miss out again.

Adjustments from the Cleveland Cavaliers will be made, but they simply lack the firepower to take on this Boston team and even more so without their two best players on the court. The role players stepped up in Game 4, but that was at home and it is going to be a much different, much more intense atmosphere to overcome as Cleveland look for a second road win in this Conference Semi Final Series.

It looks very hard to do that and the spread underlines the difficulties for the road team.

However, it is a big number and one that could be hard for the Boston Celtics to overcome if the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to play as hard as they have in the last couple of games. The Celtics did blow out the Cavaliers at home in Game 1, and the feeling is that this is another game in this Series which will trends towards the 'over' with the amount of three point shooting expected.

48 of the 94 shots Cleveland took in Game 4 were from the three point distance and they will likely need to do the same here if they are going to earn the upset. The Celtics have not shot the three ball very well in this Series, but they are also a team that will take a lot of those looks and it could lead to a higher scoring game than expected, even when involving two solid Defensive teams.

Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder Game 5 Pick: For all the world it looked like being a 3-1 lead for the Dallas Mavericks as the Fourth Quarter moved into the final minutes of Game 4, but the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied and reminded everyone why they are the Number 1 Seed in the West.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the superstar in the making, but this Thunder team has a very strong, young core, that are a growing after every game in the post-season.

It was SGA who led the way in the comeback against the Mavericks in Game 4, but Dallas are going to feel like they gave it away.

Luka Doncic had a triple-double, but Kyrie Irving offered very little support and it was PJ Washington who once again stepped up to support the top Mavericks player. However, it was not a very good game from Doncic who made just 6/20 shots from the field and who had more Turnovers than made shots at the end of the game.

The Mavericks know they are going to need more from Doncic, who is playing through the pain, but they will also want to see Irving step up having failed to score at least 10 points for the second time in the Series. The first time it was not a concern with Dallas winning easily on the road, but it is after the narrow loss in Game 4, a defeat that pushes the momentum on the side of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This time Oklahoma City are the big favourite in Game 5, but this might be the third time in a row to back the 'under' play in this Conference Semi Final Series.

Both teams have shown they can be competitive Defensively and the referees seem to be letting the players perform through contact. In three of the four games played in the Series, the teams have finished under the total line set and even the drop in that total has not prevented the teams to continue to dominate on the Defensive side of the court.

Having to play Overtime would almost certainly see this game fly over the total, but if it ends in regulation, the feeling is that the slightly out of sync Offensive units will not be able to combine for enough points to surpass the total line set.

Thursday 16th May
Denver Nuggets @ Minnesota Timberwolves Game 6 Pick: The defending Champions have certainly reminded everyone why they won the Championship last year and why they still have the best player in the NBA on their roster.

Dropping the first two games of a Series, both at home no less, would have dented the confidence of most, but that is not the case for the Denver Nuggets. Instead they have beaten the Minnesota Timberwolves three times in a row and now return to Target Center hoping to book a spot in the Western Conference Finals without having to host another game.

All of the momentum is with the Nuggets who have shown their strength at both sides of the court, while the Minnesota Timberwolves look to be wearing down. Anthony Edwards is a star in the making, but like many others before him, he is learning a valuable lesson about PlayOff Basketball and what it means when the stakes are ramped up.

He did have 18 points in Game 5, but Anthony Edwards took 15 shots to do that.

A bigger adjustment for the team will be trying to find a way to slow down Nikola Jokic, who picked up his MVP award on Tuesday and underlined his status as the best player in the NBA by dominating the Timberwolves in a big win for Denver. 75 points have been scored across the last two games and Jokic was extra special in the Game 5 win having performed without turning the ball over once.

Enough support is being provided by the likes of Jamal Murray and Aaron Gordon and the Nuggets have all of the momentum to carry them through to the Western Conference Finals by winning a fourth game in a row.

The underdog is 17-8 against the spread in Game 6 of the Conference Semi Final Series over the last ten years and it is difficult to see what kind of adjustments Minnesota can make to stop the Denver Nuggets after three successive losses.

Being at home should mean the Timberwolves are going to leave it all on the court to try and push a Game 7 across the line this weekend, but Minnesota's Offensive issues have not been cleared up. That means relying on making the stops to stay competitive, but they have had no answer for Nikola Jokic and we may see more of the same on Thursday.

Friday 17th May
New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers Game 6 Pick: One half of the Eastern Conference Finals has been set after the Boston Celtics won their Conference Semi Final Series in the exact same manner as they won their First Round Series.

While the top Seed in the East and the favourite to win the NBA Championship will be resting, Game 6 of the Indiana Pacers-New York Knicks Series takes place on Friday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Home court has proven to be decisive in this Series so far with all five games won by the host, and that means the New York Knicks are leading the Series 3-2. The blowout loss in Game 4 was a concern, but the starters were well rested for Game 5 and the adjustment to the starting line up and bringing in Miles McBride into the five proved to be a very strong move for the Knicks.

They returned the favour to the Pacers by blowing them away in Game 5 and the Knicks will also appreciate the extra day of rest between that game and this one back in Indiana. Instead of one day of rest between games, there has been two clear days and that is so important to a short-handed Knicks team, and that may give them every opportunity to try and close this Series without having to play one more game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

OG Anunoby's absence has been keenly felt by the Knicks and he is expected to miss the remainder of this Series, even if he is beginning to get back on the court. Having him return for the Eastern Conference Finals would be a huge boost for the New York Knicks, but no one in this locker room will be looking too far ahead and they will certainly be anticipating a reaction from the Indiana Pacers.

The Pacers couldn't miss in Game 4 to level the Series, but they were also dominant on the boards and that is where the Knicks took over in their Game 5 win. The Indiana role players have been better at home, while Tyrese Haliburton will also have something to prove having scored just 13 points in 33 minutes on the court in what was a surprisingly passive display.

He had scored 55 points across Game 3 and Game 4 and being back on home court should help in what should be a more competitive game than the last two we have seen.

The spread looks to be in a good position for the New York Knicks to make use of the points being given to them, but the lean instead may be on the 'under'.

That total line has dropped a couple of points after the last two blowouts, but you have to believe the Defensive intensity will be higher after a couple of days of rest. The 'under' is on a 9-2 run in Game 6 of the Conference Semi Final Series and it has hit in three in a row in this Series.

Both teams can get very hot from the three point line, which challenges this total line mark, but there is little margin for error at this stage of this Series and so the Defensive focus may take over for both teams after back to back blowouts for the hosts.

Saturday 18th May
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas Mavericks Game 6 Pick: This has been a really competitive Series and the Dallas Mavericks may feel they have broken the spirit of the young Oklahoma City Thunder, even if they are the Number 1 Seed in the Western Conference. However, Game 4 saw the Thunder win here at the American Airlines Center and this Series is far from over right now.

A big effort will be needed and the Thunder will certainly be hoping that Luka Doncic of Game 4 is playing, rather than the Doncic who was smiling and happy in a dominant Game 5 performance. A late block from Luka Doncic turned the game completely in favour of the Mavericks and Dallas will feel they can go as far as their best player can take them.

Once again adjustments will have to be made by the Oklahoma City Thunder, although they may also feel a couple of days of between games will have helped cool down Doncic.

The Thunder will have to be more convincing on the boards and they have to find a way to force others to beat them if they are going to drag this Conference Semi Final Series into a Game 7 decider, like the other Western Conference Semi Final.

They have talented youngsters, but the Mavericks have really picked up their Defensive intensity and worked out a way to cool the Thunder down. That has seen Dallas win three of the last four games and Oklahoma City have not scored more than 101 points in any of the last three.

However, one of those still produced a winning effort thanks to their own Defensive make up and this Game 6 may follow recent trends.

After the Denver-Minnesota Game 6 on Thursday, the 'under' has been a winner in ten of the last twelve Game 6s played in the Conference Semi Finals. Both the Mavericks and Thunder know the importance of keeping things steady on that side of the court and each of the last three in this Series has fallen below the total points line set.

In saying that, it should be noted that the total has moved from 216.5 points in Game 3 down as low as 209 points in some places for this one. This is a considerable drop, but the teams look locked in on the Defensive side of the court and that may show up in the final score on the day.

Picking a winner is not easy with the underdog in good form in recent Game 6s, but Denver failed to cover in such a spot on Thursday and Dallas may feel they have broken the back of this Series by winning Game 5 on the road. Three wins in four games certainly gives them the momentum and the Mavericks might just edge to the victory in another strong Defensive showing.

Sunday 19th May
Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks Game 7 Pick: Home court has proven to be key to this Series and the New York Knicks will be hoping that trend remains strong as we are treated to a Game 7 in this Eastern Conference Semi Final.

The Boston Celtics are going to be big favourites regardless of the winner, but there is some pressure on the Knicks who will be aiming to reach a first Conference Finals in almost twenty-five years. They led 2-0 and 3-2 in the Series and so the expectation will have been raised, while the players may feel a big opportunity was missed if New York are not able to rally one more time.

Losing on Friday evening in Indiana would have hurt and the Pacers will have had some confidence restored, but the mental hurdle here is that they have yet to win at Madison Square Garden in the Series.

After blowing out the Knicks in Game 4, the Pacers could not have arrived at The Garden in any more confident mood than when they did in Game 5, but they were on the wrong end of a blowout on that day.

It is quite clear that the Rebounding is going to be massive and that has been key to the successes of the teams, especially clearing up the three point misses and making sure that second chances can be created. This is something New York have been able to do much more effectively at Madison Square Garden than on the road and this may be the key to the outcome of this one.

Indiana will have confidence and Game 6 winners have had the edge in recent Game 7s in the Conference Semi Finals. That has to offer them something to hold onto as they look for a first win here in this Series, but the players have not quite reached the same level of performance when playing here and that might be the key factor that influences the outcome of this one.

Pressure and tension will be really high on the day as the two teams look to reach the Eastern Conference Finals, but the Knicks can show their ability to bounce back and edge through with a win and cover at home.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Denver Nuggets Game 7 Pick: It looked like the defending Champions had gotten a full grip on this Conference Semi Final Series, but the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied for a Game 6 win to force this Game 7. Prior to that, the Denver Nuggets had won three in a row and looked like they had been very comfortable with the match up, but they were blown out last time out and have to deal with this 'Win or Go Home' spot.

Being back at home for that one is a benefit and the Nuggets will be looking to make one or two adjustments having failed to contain Anthony Edwards as they had in the previous three wins.

The Timberwolves credited the return of Mike Conley for opening things up for Edwards, but Denver have won games with Conley on the floor for the opponent and it was just a dud performance from the off.

The home crowd and the conditions in Denver will favour the Nuggets, but there is pressure- for example they have played three times here in this Series against the Timberwolves and have lost twice.

However, they did win last time out here and that will help the Nuggets, while they will just make a couple of Defensive adjustments to make sure they are in better shape to deal with what Minnesota bring to the court.

The expectation is that the Denver Nuggets cannot be as poor Offensively as they were in Game 6- they started badly and never really found a way to get things going, but Denver have showed enough prior to Game 6 to believe they can get back on the horse.

They followed a 26 point loss to the Timberwolves in Game 2 to blowout Minnesota by 27 points in their next game. Having a couple of days of rest between games will help Denver refocus and all of their experiences to fall back upon may just see them find a way to get over the line.

Nothing will come easy for Denver, but they have shown they are strong enough Defensively to largely manage what Minnesota bring to the court and the Nuggets can wear them down over the course of this important Game 7.

MY PICKS: 14/05 New York Knicks - 2.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (1 Unit)
14/05 Denver Nuggets - 4 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
15/05 Boston Celtics-Cleveland Cavaliers Over 205.5 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
15/05 Oklahoma City Thunder-Dallas Mavericks Under 213.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
16/05 Denver Nuggets + 2.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Victor (1 Unit)
17/05 Indiana Pacers-New York Knicks Under 215.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
18/05 Dallas Mavericks-Oklahoma City Thunder Under 209.5 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
19/05 New York Knicks - 2 Points @ 1.91 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
19/05 Denver Nuggets - 5 Points @ 1.91 Bet365 (1 Unit)

Conference Semi Final Update: 13-11, + 0.87 Units (24 Units Staked, + 3.63% Yield)

First Round: 22-17, + 3.27 Units (38 Units Staked, + 8.61% Yield)

Saturday 11 May 2024

Boxing Picks 2024- Vasyl Lomachenko vs George Kambosos Jr (Saturday 11th May)

Two of the pound for pound best in the world were in action last weekend and both Canelo Alvarez and Naoya Inoue impressed in their wins.

The Monster in particular showed something new by getting off the canvas in the First Round and then absolutely crushing the challenge of Luis Nery- it really feels like the only way Inoue will lose is when he moves up to a weight Division too high.

He looks set to defend his Undisputed Super Bantamweight World Titles once more later this year, but the expectation is that Naoya Inoue will then look upwards at the Featherweight Division, which is lacking a dominant Champion. Some have suggested he should be thinking about fighting Gervonta Davis, but that sounds like talk from those who want to see Inoue beaten and Featherweight may be the limit.

Next weekend we will have another entry to challenge for top spot in the pound for pound Rankings when the Undisputed Heavyweight World Title is decided, while Terence Crawford will get a chance to make his own case in early August. The positive for us Boxing fans is that the elite fighters are getting out there and taking on challenges and we are right in the midst of what should be a very good run of fights.

A former pound for pound Number 1 Ranked fighter is going to be the focus of this weekend when Vasyl Lomachenko returns against a former Unified Lightweight World Champion in front of the latter's home fans. We also have a couple of decent cards in the United Kingdom before the focus of the Boxing world will turn to Saudi Arabia and the Tyson Fury-Oleksandr Usyk Heavyweight Fight next weekend.

Vasyl Lomachenko vs George Kambosos Jr

As mentioned about Naoya Inoue, the feeling about Vasyl Lomachenko was that he would be unbeaten until he took on much bigger opponents when his own power might not have stacked up as it had at a natural weight class.

There is no doubting the qualities that Lomachenko still has, even when moving as high as Lightweight, and his defeats have been a touch controversial to both Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney.

Inactivity and age are perhaps just as big an opponent as anyone Vasyl Lomachenko will face in the ring these days and he has not faced anyone since a very tight Decision loss to Haney, a fight that it felt he had done enough to earn the nod.

The Ukrainian certainly felt the same late in the fight as he took a Round or two off, but that cost Lomachenko and was perhaps a sign that Hi-Tech is not at an age when his activity cannot be sustained at the level it was during his peak. He has only Stopped one opponent in five years and fights have been competitive enough for George Kambosos Jr to come into this one with some confidence.

It is a crossroads fight for both- there is a major potential prize on the line for the winner with talk about facing Shakur Stevenson later in the year, but a defeat will make it very difficult to find a good path for either Lomachenko or Kambosos Jr.

George Kambosos Jr won a Split Decision against Teofimo Lopez in the next fight the latter had after beating Lomachenko, but he as convincingly beaten twice by Devin Haney before a controversial win over Maxi Hughes last year. Even after his win over Lopez, many doubted how good Kambosos Jr is and those three performances have done nothing to silence those doubters.

He is solid and willing to leave it all in the ring, but George Kambosos Jr is someone who doesn't have 'special' qualities in anything he does and it does feel like he took advantage of facing Teo Lopez at a good time. All credit has to be given, not taken away, for winning the fight, but Kambosos Jr has struggled since then and it feels like he will need to have Vasyl Lomachenko slipping off a cliff in order to win this one.

The IBF World Title will be on the line for both and the potential for a Unification later in the year provides massive motivation for both and the home crowd can pump George Kambosos Jr forward. That was not enough against Devin Haney, but this will likely be closer knowing that Vasyl Lomachenko can take a bit of time to warm up and is not fighting at the kind of pace he did a few years ago.

I would still expect Vasyl Lomachenko to do enough to take this on the cards- he is not expected to stop the tough Australian on his home soil, but Lomachenko should clearly win Seven Rounds.

Barring Father Time showing his hand in the ring on fight night, Vasyl Lomachenko may just find a Unanimous Decision that will set him up for one last bid to move towards Undisputed, which has been a target for him ever since moving into the 135 pound Division.

Unsurprisingly the undercard of the event in Perth is going to feature a lot Australian fighters.

Imam Khataev was born in Russia, but lives in Sydney and is looking for his seventh professional win as he steps up to take on veteran Ricards Bolotniks, who is well known to British fight fans.

The home fighter is yet to hear the bell for the Fourth Round, but the veteran skills of Bolotniks may force Imam Khataev to show something new. However, the Latvian has been wearing down and the feeling is that Khataev will be able to keep his run of Knock Out wins moving forward, albeit in the second half of this one.

We should also see Joseph Goodall return to winning form having been blown out by Efe Ajagba in the United States in November.

The opponent, Faiga Opelu, has been Stopped three times previously, including in a single Round by Joseph Parker last year and Goodall might just have too much early firepower for him here.

We should have Andrew Moloney in a chief support position on the card and he will be looking to help the family name bounce back after his brother, Jason, was beaten in Japan on the Naoya Inoue-Luis Nery undercard this past Monday.

I really thought Andrew Moloney's career was effectively over after a brutal beatdown and then Knock Out at the hands of Junto Nakatani, but he has a chance to win an Interim Super Flyweight World Title this weekend and bounced back from that loss with a win at the end of 2023.

He is facing a tough veteran, but the feeling is that Moloney may be able to do enough to win this one on the cards and open the doors for at least one or two more fights at the elite level.

The two United Kingdom cards are going to be a chance for fighters to continue pushing up the levels, although the main focus may be a massive crossroads fight in the Middleweight Division.

It is a domestic fight between Denzel Bentley and Danny Dingum, two Boxers who came up short against Janibek Alimkhanuly at World level.

Out of the two, Bentley certainly showed a lot more than Dingum and the former has been in with the better class of opponent in their careers.

Disappointingly, Denzel Bentley was well beaten by Nathan Heaney in his last bout and lacked any kind of intensity on the night. Ultimately it has come out that Bentley was dealing with serious issues outside of the ring, which had sapped focus, and he has been speaking about being much more ready to compete now.

Danny Dingum has won a couple of low-key fights since being blown away by Alimkhanuly, but he has been relatively inactive with his last fight being in April 2023.

There has been a suggestion that Dingum has thought about calling time on his career and Denzel Bentley hits hard enough to push him through that door. The former British Middleweight Champion can just remind people of the talent he has and Denzel Bentley may get on top very early in this one at the famous York Hall.

MY PICKS: Vasyl Lomachenko to Win by Unanimous Decision @ 1.91 Bet365 (1 Unit)
Imam Khataev to Win Between 6-10 @ 3.50 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Joseph Goodall to Win Between 1-5 @ 2.87 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
Denzel Bentley to Win Between 1-6 @ 2.40 Bet365 (2 Units)

Boxing 2024: 19-28, + 14.87 Units (66 Units Staked, + 22.53% Yield)

Sunday 5 May 2024

Boxing Picks 2024- Naoya Inoue vs Luis Nery (Monday 6th May)

The Saturday night Boxing from the United States will likely have been completed by the time you get to read this thread for the big bout taking place in Tokyo on Monday, but I will have a few thoughts about the outcomes of both of the fights involving some of the biggest names in the sport in the next thread.

That is likely to be a thread that covers the return of Vasyl Lomachenko as he takes on former Undisputed World Champion George Kambosos Jr in Australia next weekend as the big fight nights continue.

And we are now just a couple of weeks out from the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion being crowned, the first of two huge cards to come from Saudi Arabia when the entire Division will be shaken up ahead of a rumoured huge Wembley card expected to be headlined by Anthony Joshua.

It has been mentioned before, but the next several weeks are going to be massively exciting for Boxing fans with some top World level fights, as well as some quality domestic fights that may be setting up the stars of the future.

Naoya Inoue vs Luis Nery

The Monster has heard one or two criticisms about him deciding to defend his World Titles in Japan rather than in the United States, but Naoya Inoue has made the point that he is not exactly performing in front of empty Arenas. Instead he is a major star in his home country and another major event will be taking place in Tokyo when Inoue defends his Undisputed Champion status in the Bantamweight Division.

At this point you have to wonder if Inoue will only be beaten when he moves to a weight class too far, much as Vasyl Lomachenko has done.

The Featherweight Champions will not hold a lot of fear for Naoya Inoue and all that he has achieved, but first a bit of almost personal business has to be dealt with.

This angle has been refuted by Naoya Inoue, but Luis Nery is Public Enemy Number One in Boxing circles in Japan.

The Mexican had two crushing wins over Shinsuke Yamanaka in the space of seven months, but Luis Nery failed a drugs test after the first win and was significantly overweight for the second. Neither of these situations went down very well with those in Japan and he was actually not allowed to fight here before this bout was signed off.

With that in mind, the feeling is that the authorities will have signed off for this fight to take place in Japan with a real belief that Naoya Inoue can punish Luis Nery for his previous mistakes.

Unsurprisingly Naoya Inoue has denied this being the case, but The Monster is someone who is going to come forward and unleash some massive shots and it will be interesting to see how Luis Nery stands up to the punishment. The former Super Bantamweight World Champion is looking to regain his World Titles having been beaten by Brandon Figueroa to lose his Belts.

Luis Nery has put four solid wins together since that loss, and the power he brings into the ring means we could see something of a shoot out between the two fighters.

The feeling is that Naoya Inoue can get the better of the exchanges and he is likely going to punish Luis Nery where he can.

The former Champion is not someone expected to take a backward step, but that may suit Naoya Inoue all the more and the current Undisputed World Champion can win in impressive style as he breaks down and concludes this one somewhere in the middle Rounds.

MY PICKS: Naoya Inoue to Win Between 5-8 @ 2.75 Sky Bet (1 Unit)

Boxing 2024: 18-28, + 13.12 Units (65 Units Staked, + 20.18% Yield)

Saturday 4 May 2024

NBA PlayOffs 2024- Conference Semi Final Picks Game 1-4 (May 4-13)

There are two Game 6's to be played on Friday 3rd May, but two of the Conference Semi Finals have been set without needing a decider and teams will begin to smell an opportunity to win a NBA Championship.

Even now, it is very difficult to look past defending Champions Denver Nuggets and the team with the best record in the regular season Boston Celtics, but PlayOff Series can build the pressure and the likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder really impressed through the First Round.

The exit of the Milwaukee Bucks has to be considered a positive for the Celtics and it does feel that their place in the NBA Finals is very much in their own hands- if Boston play well, they will be almost impossible to beat over a best of seven setting, but games are played on the court and not on paper and there was a similar inevitability about them last year before the Eastern Conference Finals defeat to the Miami Heat.

As with the First Round of the PlayOffs, the Conference Semi Final Picks will be placed in two threads with the first four games of the Series placed in this one.

NBA Conference Semi Final Picks- Games 1-4 (May 4th-13th)

Saturday 4th May
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Denver Nuggets Game 1 Pick: Losing at the Denver Nuggets last month meant the Minnesota Timberwolves fell behind in the race to secure the top Seed in the Western Conference. The expectation was that the win for the Nuggets would mean the defending Champions secured the top Seed instead, but they suffered a surprising loss meaning they entered the PlayOffs as the Number 2 Seed.

It also means that the Nuggets and Timberwolves were in the same half of the Bracket on the way to the NBA Finals and this is perhaps a match up that the latter were hoping for more than Denver may have been.

The four regular season games were split with two wins apiece, and it should be noted that the two Minnesota wins were in blow out fashion, while the Denver Nuggets had to fight and claw for their two wins.

Ultimately the PlayOff experiences of the Denver Nuggets has to be a factor in this best of seven Series, as will the fact that they have the home court advantage.

They might not have been at their best in the First Round, but some of that may have been down to the Nuggets wanting to hide what they want to do the further they get into the PlayOffs. Beating the Los Angeles Lakers has been very common for the Nuggets over the last fourteen months and so they will have felt they did not have to be at their best, although the healthy of Jamal Murray is a potential concern.

On the other hand, Minnesota were in very strong form as they swept past the Phoenix Suns and the Timberwolves have long been making moves to be competitive against the Denver Nuggets, the leading team in the Western Conference. They have shown they can do that in the regular season and the Timberwolves may have enough Defensive intensity to give the Offensive players a chance to keep this one close.

Favourites in Game 1 of the Conference Semi Finals are just 4-20-1 against the spread when asked to lay fewer than 6 points and the Minnesota Timberwolves can come out strong in this Series. Winning outright will not be easy for any team visiting Denver, but the Timberwolves have done that in the regular season and the momentum with which they beat the Phoenix Suns in the First Round can certainly see them ride to a very competitive Game 1 performance against the defending Champions on Saturday.

Monday 6th May
Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks Game 1 Pick: Both of these teams came through testing First Round Series against two Eastern Conference rivals that entered the season with big expectations.

Injuries hurt the Milwaukee Bucks at a bad time, while the Philadelphia 76ers are perhaps looking to make a real move towards a NBA Championship in twelve months time, but take nothing away from the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks who had to come through in six games.

Both will now feel a big opportunity is in front of them when they meet in this Eastern Conference Semi Final Series, although the Boston Celtics remain red-hot favourites to represent the East in the NBA Finals.

That is a matter for another day and the focus here is for the Pacers and Knicks to make a strong start when Game 1 is played at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

The Knicks are likely going to be favourites for the Series with their grizzled team being pumped forward by Jalen Brunson's huge PlayOff output. However, the Indiana Pacers have won two of three regular season games against the Knicks, including winning at The Garden in February, and this is a team that has plenty of Offensive firepower across the starting line up and bench to believe they can challenge New York.

Home favourites in Game 1 of the Semi Final Series have not had things all of their own way in recent times and the Denver Nuggets have already dropped the first game in their Series. The line has proved to be a key indicator as to how Game 1 is played out, but it is dropping as far as the host New York Knicks are concerned and the Indiana Pacers certainly look capable of keeping this one closer than expected.

Much will depend on how effective the Pacers are at closing down the shot window for those not called Jalen Brunson.

If they can do that, Indiana may have enough Offensively to keep the scoreboard ticking over and eventually this may lead to a narrow, tight, competitive game. It should come down to late in the Fourth Quarter, but the Pacers have shown they can match up well with this New York team and they may be worth backing with the points in Game 1 of this Conference Semi Final Series.

Minnesota Timberwolves @ Denver Nuggets Game 2 Pick: Two of the four Conference Semi Final Series will not have gotten underway when the Denver Nuggets look to rally against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game 2.

The defending Champions have not been finding their best form in the PlayOffs, but were still able to ease to a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in the First Round. However, they were well aware that they needed to be better when facing the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the Nuggets were not able to raise their game as they were well beaten at home in Game 1.

For the Timberwolves, it has continued a smooth start to the post-season with five straight wins and none of those have been particularly competitive. For much of this season it was clear that Minnesota were ready to take recent experiences and make the leap forward, but not many would have tipped up Anthony Edwards to have moved his game to the level where he has it right now.

It was his 43 points that sparked the Game 1 win, although Edwards will point out to some strong support from his team-mates as the Timberwolves eased to the victory. Adjustments have to be expected from the Denver Nuggets, especially in what feels like a very important spot before travelling to Minnesota to play Game 3 and 4.

Jamal Murray's calf issue is becoming a real concern and you can see it is limiting his impact, while also putting a bit more pressure on Nikola Jokic. The latter is likely going to be named regular season MVP again, but Jokic will want to be a bit more efficient than he was in Game 1 having scored 32 points, but only after throwing up 25 shots.

If Murray continues to be limited, some of the other players will have to step up for the Nuggets who found themselves in an early hole in the opening game. A faster start will be key and you have to expect much better from the defending Champions.

Home teams in Game 2 of the Conference Semi Finals have really put on a clinic in recent times and they are 11-1 against the spread over the last three seasons. Those favoured by fewer than 7 points as hosts in Game 2 have put together a 16-4 run against the spread, while those who lost their previous game and are then playing at home have bounced back with a 19-8 record against the spread since The Bubble.

The Timberwolves do match up well with Denver and may feel they have a big opportunity to take a firm grip on this Series, but there may also be a feeling that they have done their job by at least splitting the first two on the road. With adjustments made for Anthony Edwards, the Denver Nuggets can at least bounce back and earn a win and a cover.

Tuesday 7th May
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics Game 1 Pick: They have been amongst the favourites to win the NBA Championship all season, but the Boston Celtics have moved to the top of the queue and are just evens to pick up the title in June. It is going to build a bit more pressure on a core of players that know they will be considered 'failures' if they are not able to finally help the Celtics become NBA Champions again, and that may ultimately be the only factor that holds them back.

On paper the Celtics have looked the best team all season and they produced a dominant win over the Miami Heat in the First Round to avenge the Eastern Conference Finals defeat from last year.

They are now well rested ahead of the Conference Semi Final Series, while the opponent has just finished off a First Round Series needing a Game 7 victory at home.

The Cleveland Cavaliers looked to be heading out of the PlayOffs in the First Round for a second consecutive season when trailing in the first half of that Game 7 against the Orlando Magic, but did enough to rally. Home advantage proved to be the key in a Series where all seven games were won by the host, but this is a significant upgrade when it comes to challenges being faced.

Jarrett Allen has missed three games in a row and could have to sit again, while Donovan Mitchell is playing through an injury as he continues to lead the team. Some may feel that the Cavaliers have nothing to lose in this Series as the significant underdog, but making this competitive might be considered a success at this point.

The Celtics will be without Kristaps Porzingis, but they will feel they still have the depth to cover his absence with the hope he will be back for the Eastern Conference Finals.

Being rested might have slowed some of the rhythm, but Cleveland are going to have to overcome the historical trend of winning a Game 7 and then going into the next Series- those teams have tended to be on the losing side of Game 1 of the next Series, while both home favourites in Game 1 of the Conference Semi Final Series have tended to be the ones likely to cover.

There is no doubt that this is a huge spread, but Cleveland were blown out in two of their three road losses against the Orlando Magic in the First Round. All four Boston wins over Miami were by at least 14 point margins in the First Round and the feeling is that the Celtics might be able to pull clear in the second half of this one against a banged up and potentially fatigued opponent.

Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder Game 1 Pick: Jason Kidd has signed an extension to Coach the Dallas Mavericks moving forward and his team just fought through a First Round Series with the veteran loaded Los Angeles Clippers. The finishing touches on that Series were produced in Game 6 and the Mavericks have benefited from being given a bit of time to rest and recuperate ahead of a massive Conference Semi Final Series against the Number 1 Seed in the Western Conference.

This rest period is key with Luka Doncic feeling his knee and admitting that he is fighting through the pain in the PlayOffs. The top Mavericks player has stated that he would have been resting and sitting out games in the regular season with the same issue and Doncic's health is going to be a key factor within this Series.

Tim Hardaway Jr was also banged up in the First Round, but the rest looks to have done him good and he should be suited up for Game 1. However, the Mavericks have lost a couple of key contributors with injuries suffered in the First Round and the depth of this Dallas team is going to be tested.

Experience may be something the Mavericks feel they can use to their advantage when preparing to face the Oklahoma City Thunder who have a young team that is breaking new ground.

However, any hope that the top Seed in the Western Conference may slip in the PlayOffs may have faded a little bit after the Thunder crushed the New Orleans Pelicans in the First Round. The feeling is that there is still more to come from this young team who have moved into third favourites to win the NBA Championship.

Oklahoma City will know they got the better of the Dallas Mavericks in three of the four regular season games, although the last of those was when the Mavericks were resting starters. Even so, the Thunder have that mental edge and they will feel they have the enthusiasm and the match ups on the court that should swing this Series in their own favour.

Small home favourites in Game 1 of the Conference Semi Final Series have tended to struggle to cover and we have seen that twice already in this post-season when the Minnesota Timberwolves and Indiana Pacers covered as smallish road underdogs.

That is something to keep in mind, but this Oklahoma City team may be able to just hassle the slightly banged up star player for the Dallas Mavericks and try and force Luka Doncic to get others to win the game. Kyrie Irving is capable, but the Mavericks will go as far as that tandem can carry them and this Thunder team may have the depth and energy to come through with a win and cover in Game 1.

Wednesday 8th May
Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks Game 2 Pick: There were one or two controversial calls at the end of Game 1 which has left the Indiana Pacers frustrated as they were narrowly beaten by the New York Knicks. They had their chances to steal away home court, which would have added to the frustration levels, but there is no time to overthink matters and the Pacers will be looking to respond.

Adjustments have to be made when Game 2 is played at The Garden on Wednesday- the Pacers will want to find a way to get more out of Tyrese Haliburton who was restricted to just 6 points in Game 1, while the efficient shooting of the Knicks from the three point arc will have to be better managed.

Slowing down Jalen Brunson has been an issue for the teams in recent outings and he once again propelled the New York Knicks, although he was given good support in Game 1 to help overcome the first half deficit and earn the victory.

It was perhaps a surprise that the Knicks used a small rotation in Game 1 with the bench players not having much of an impact in the outcome. You have to imagine they will lean on those players a bit more in Game 2 with just a day of rest between these first two games in New York, while the Knicks will also be keen on making one or two adjustments to improve their Defensive effort.

If they can do that, the Knicks have to be very confident in winning Game 2 and taking a real grip of this Conference Semi Final Series before the move to Indiana. Over the last couple of seasons, New York have been very good at Madison Square Garden in the PlayOffs and so they will believe they can hold serve again.

A bigger question is whether the Knicks will cover in Game 2 having come up short in Game 1.

Hosts have been very strong at home in Game 2 of the Conference Semi Finals in recent years, but the Denver Nuggets fell in that spot on Monday. Teams that have lost on the road and playing again on the road have a 7-20 record against the spread in the last twenty-seven tries and those trends really work against the Indiana Pacers, who put in a huge effort to come up short in the opening game in the Series.

This is a significant spread, but hosts favoured by fewer than 7 points are 16-5 against the spread in Game 2 of the Conference Semi Final Series and this time the play is to back New York to make it 2-0 with a more convincing win than the first.

Thursday 9th May
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Boston Celtics Game 2 Pick: After crushing the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1, the Boston Celtics have only hardened as favourites to win the Eastern Conference.

There was so much to like about the Boston Celtics performance in the 25 point win, but the scary part for opponents is that the team will know there is also some room for improvement.

Jayson Tatum was not at his shooting best and the Celtics are still looking for a way to get their best player going, while they hit just 39% of their three point efforts. Jaylen Brown had a big outing and Derrick White is playing hugely influential and efficient minutes for the Celtics, but more might be ready to come from Tatum as teams perhaps try and lock Brown and White down and leave that much more room for the top player to exploit.

Adjustments will have to be made by the Cleveland Cavaliers if they are even going to make this a competitive Series, but they look to be worn down. Donovan Mitchell emptied the tank in Game 1, but he is clearly not at 100%, while the Cavaliers are really missing Jarrett Allen who was absent for the last game having missed several games at the end of the First Round Series against the Orlando Magic.

The support without Allen has not really been good enough and the Cavaliers have really struggled to compete on the road in the post-season when the role players tend to have a few more difficulties. Losing games is one thing, but Cleveland have suffered big road losses as the Defensive unit have slowed down and the Offensive firepower outside of Donovan Mitchell has remained inconsistent.

Once again the Boston Celtics are a big home favourite and those have not tended to be the best teams to back to cover lines above 8.5 points. However, Boston did that comfortably in Game 1 and even a slightly more efficient three point shooting day will make it very difficult to Cleveland to make enough adjustments to get this one much closer on the scoreboard.

Limited rest time between games does not favour the Cavaliers and teams who have been beaten by 15 or more points are just 7-14 against the spread in the last twenty-one games in that spot in the Conference Semi Finals.

Hosts in Game 2 of the Conference Semi Finals have tended to be more focused when it comes to doing enough to cover the lines set and it is very hard to get in the way of this Boston team, even with the spread moving a couple more points wider than it was in Game 1.

Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder Game 2 Pick: There is much to admire about the way the Oklahoma City Thunder are able to put their Offensive rhythm together on the court, but this is a young team that is dealing with the PlayOffs as if they have a lot more experience than they actually do.

While the Offensive firepower will make the headlines, the Thunder are priding themselves on the kind of Defensive showings that saw finish amongst the elite in the NBA in the regular season.

PlayOffs do have a different feel, but the Thunder are showing maturity to continue to perform at the level they have and they have yet to give up more than 95 points in any of the five post-season games played. Even that tally was only reached by the Dallas Mavericks in a blowout win for the Thunder in Game 1 and the feeling is that this is going to be a very difficult Series for the Mavericks unless they can get very healthy, very quickly.

Luka Doncic did not want make excuses for his performance in Game 1, but it is clear that he is another superstar playing through the pain to try and lead his team. A 6/19 showing, which included going 1/8 from the three point arc, is not going to cut the mustard for Dallas if they are going to make a run in this Series and they will be hoping a day between games is enough time for Doncic to be much stronger.

It may be a forlorn hope with the Oklahoma City Thunder having the energy and the Defensive qualities to really make things difficult for not only Doncic, but also Kyrie Irving. The latter was more efficient in Game 1, but Dallas may not have the depth to compete with the Thunder if the Number 1 Seed maintains their high Defensive levels, which in turn is sparking them on the Offensive side of the court.

After narrowly winning their opening PlayOff game, the Thunder have rolled in their last two at home and they certainly have the momentum to take a firm grip of this Series.

As mentioned in the Boston Celtics Game 2 preview, teams playing behind a 15 plus point margin of victory have followed up with a very strong covering performance in their next game and the same situation applies for the Thunder. Game 2 hosts also have a strong covering record in recent years in the Conference Semi Final Series, while those favoured by fewer than 7 points have a 16-4 record against the spread in Game 2 of this Round before the Knicks try and beat the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

Jason Kidd will make some adjustments and this is not expected to be a blowout again, but the Oklahoma City Thunder have shown they can get out in transition behind strong Defensive performances and that may see them edge past this line to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the Series.

Friday 10th May
New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers Game 3 Pick: The 1990s saw the New York Knicks reach the NBA Finals twice, albeit falling short of a Championship each time, but it has been a long time since this fanbase can be as excited about a team as they can be now. After reaching the Conference Semi Finals last year, the Knicks have rallied for a 2-0 lead in the same Round over the Indiana Pacers and will believe that the development of this team will continue in a positive direction.

However, it has not been perfect for the Knicks over the first few days of this Conference Semi Final Series, despite holding serve twice at Madison Square Garden.

Injuries have really been piling up and the team have lost the likes of Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic for the rest of the season, which means the bench depth is simply not where it once was. To make matters worse, OG Anunoby produced 28 points in 28 minutes in Game 2, but picked up a hamstring injury which means he will be doubtful for Game 3 and potentially longer.

Jalen Brunson missed almost the entirety of the Second Quarter with an injury of his own, but he was able to play through the pain to help the Knicks fight back from a big deficit and beat the Indiana Pacers. Again, you have to wonder how healthy Brunson can be with a day of rest between games and the worry for the New York Knicks is that their starters are having to play significant minutes already.

That feels unsustainable for the duration of the PlayOffs, but the Knicks have to be so proud of the way they have been able to dictate whatever they have wanted to do on the Offensive side of the court. Doing the same on the road compared with at home is the challenge for the team and New York will have to expect a big reaction from the Indiana Pacers, who have felt hard done by when it comes to late game officiating.

Head Coach Rick Carlisle did not hide his displeasure at the end of Game 2 and the Pacers will feel they should have taken at least one of the first two games. There wasn't much wrong with Indiana Offensively in Game 2 and they have a deeper rotation than the New York Knicks with key contributions coming off the bench, but the Pacers know they need to make adjustments Defensively to try and slow down this Knicks attack.

Being back at home will help and Carlisle has put some pressure on the referees by suggesting there has been some 'big market bias' at play in the first two games. The Pacers have won all three PlayOff games played here and the last two have been blowout wins, while those teams coming off a loss in the Conference Semi Finals and then playing at home have been strong to back when it comes to the betting window.

Game 3 hosts have bounced back to produce a 6-2 record against the spread over the last couple of seasons and so the Indiana Pacers will be feeling they can get the better of a short-handed opponent. This may feel like the game in which the Knicks perhaps take a breath before pushing again and the Indiana Pacers may be able to win and cover at home to halve the deficit in the Series.

Denver Nuggets @ Minnesota Timberwolves Game 3 Pick: After coming up short in Game 1, the expectation was that the Denver Nuggets would just remind people why they are the defending Champions.

Instead, the blowout in Game 2 puts the Champs in a position where they might not be able to return home during this Series as they look to at least split the two games to be played in Minnesota.

This looks a big challenge against a Timberwolves team that have had all of the answers on both sides of the court and who have won all six PlayOff games with the closest margin of victory being 6 points. Four of those six wins have been blowout victories and the Timberwolves will be playing at home with the confidence of believing that they have shown they match up as well with the Denver Nuggets as they look to do on paper.

Nikola Jokic was awarded the regular season MVP again, but he has been massively contained in the first two games and the Nuggets need to find a way to release him. The Timberwolves are harassing Jokic into poor shots and he is just 15/38 in the first two games from the field, while the supporting cast are not producing efficiently enough for Minnesota to have to leave Nikola Jokic.

One of the big issues has been the injury that Jamal Murray is playing through and he had a terrible Game 2.

At this point of the season, Murray is not going to get a lot better and so the likes of Michael Porter Jr, Aaron Gordon, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have much more pressure on their shoulders. Shooting the three ball well enough has been a massive problem for the Nuggets through the PlayOffs and while it was too much for the Los Angeles Lakers, the Minnesota Timberwolves are showing why they are a different prospect.

Minnesota are doing what they have all season and they have shown a real depth in the rotation with players coming off the bench and really pushing them forward. Anthony Edwards may be the star, but his role players are producing around him and the Timberwolves have shown a huge intensity Defensively which has sparked them on the Offensive side of the court.

Hosts in Game 3 have been on a solid two season tear and the Timberwolves certainly have momentum behind them.

It would be foolish to write off the defending Champins, but the Denver Nuggets will feel they are already behind the black ball in this Series. Winning Game 3 is almost imperative considering no NBA team has managed to win a best of seven from 0-3 down, but it will need a significant change in fortunes for that to happen.

At least the Nuggets have had a bit more time to prepare with Game 3 being played after three rest days following Game 2, but even then, Jamal Murray is unlikely to be at full strength and the Timberwolves can keep marching forward.

Saturday 11th May
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas Mavericks Game 3 Pick: A remarkable display of three point shooting helped the Dallas Mavericks edge past the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 to level this Conference Semi Final Series. Backing that up over a long Series is going to be tough, but the Mavericks will return home for the next two games with a big chance to take control of the Series.

The Thunder will have been disappointed by the fact that the role players made such an impact for the Mavericks, while they were not able to contain Luka Doncic nearly as well as they did in Game 1.

There will be adjustments made by Oklahoma City, but they may have big decisions to make if the Dallas role players start Game 3 as hot as they finished in Game 2. If those players are hitting their shots at such an efficient rate again, the Thunder may have to sap off the likes of Kyrie Irving and Doncic, but in turn that may free up the top two players for the Number 5 Seed.

It is something that will be discussed before the Thunder make the relatively short journey to Dallas for Game 3 on Saturday.

When the three point shot is landing, it makes it that much more difficult for teams to get out in transition and that may have contributed to the struggles that Oklahoma City had Offensively. Instead of facing a Dallas Defensive unit scrambling backwards, they were facing a set unit and that saw the Thunder's three point shooting dip in Game 2 from the output of the first game in this Series.

Picking a winner in Game 3 looks tough with the Dallas Mavericks down as small home favourites.

Instead the focus may be on the total point line, which has moved up by a couple of points from Game 2- the feeling is that the Mavericks will not be able to hit the three pointers nearly as efficiently as they did last time out, while the 'under' is 16-8 in the last twenty-four Game 3s played in the Conference Semi Final Series before this season.

You do have to respect how well these two teams can play Offensively, but they are also competitive Defensive units and the adjustments made in the shift from Oklahoma City to Dallas may contribute to this total points line being a point or two high for the teams to combine and surpass.

Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers Game 3 Pick: Much like Game 2 of the First Round Series against the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics were beaten by a heavy dose of three point shooting, while their own shooters just struggled to make the impact expected.

And much like that Series, there will be no considerable panic inside the Boston locker room as they bid to regain home court advantage when visiting the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 3 of this Conference Semi Final Series on Saturday.

Donovan Mitchell was in bullish mood after the win on Thursday and admitted 'whatever it takes' to win a game and protect home court is what the Cleveland Cavaliers have to put in. They only had two more three pointers in Game 2 compared with Game 1, but there is no doubting the improved efficiency between those games, and the sprinkling of luck of the bounce that seemed to go Cleveland's way.

Backing that up in Game 3 is the key, but a big reaction from the Boston Celtics has to be expected.

Jayson Tatum has yet to really get going in the post-season, but that has not been an issue when the rest of the squad have been producing at the level they have been. In Game 2, Tatum's struggles were clearer to see when the Celtics hit 8 three pointers compared with the 18 they put through the net in the first game of the Series.

Throughout the course of this season, we have only seen the Celtics prove time after time that efforts like Game 2 are an exception and they showed that in the First Round Series too. Expecting the Cavaliers to be as dominant from the three point line and the Boston Celtics to struggle as much as they did with good looks in Game 2 is perhaps asking too much and the Celtics can respond by taking back home court advantage in strong fashion.

We have not see a big road favourite of 5 or more points in this Round of the NBA PlayOffs for six years, but teams in that spot are 6-1-1 against the spread in the last eight. The Celtics have shown they can wear down opponents with their shooting and the response should be immediate to the setback suffered on Thursday.

Sunday 12th May
New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers Game 4 Pick: Each of the first three games of this Conference Semi Final Series has come to a big moment at the latter end of the Fourth Quarter. The first two went in favour of the New York Knicks behind some controversial officiating, but Game 3 was won by the Indiana Pacers thanks to an unexpected player stepping up and hitting what was ultimately the game winning three pointer with seconds left in a tied game.

Andrew Nembhard had only scored two points during Game 3 and had been 1/7 from the field before launching a deep three pointer as the shot clock wound down. This has breathed new life into the Indiana Pacers after coming through a game that went back and forth throughout the 48 minutes played, but ultimately landed in their favour and halved the deficit in this Series.

The schedule is unrelenting at this time of the post-season and that means a day of rest for the players before they face each other again in Game 4.

OG Anunoby was a big loss for the New York Knicks and his status for Sunday is going to be a huge part of any potential outcome. Since signing with the Knicks, the team have built a very strong record with Anunoby in the lineup and asking Alec Burks and Donte DiVincenzo to shoot as efficiently for a second game in a row might be too much.

The latter is having a big Conference Semi Final Series and is 18/32 from the three point range so there may be more believe in DiVincenzo to maintain current standards. However, Jalen Brunson is clearly playing through the pain and Josh Hart continues to play huge minutes, which is not ideal for the Knicks unless they can close this Series very quickly.

Indiana are using a deeper rotation and they will feel the bench underperformed, even if the team won Game 3 when all is said and done. The Pacers will be looking for a bit more out of those role players having leaned on their top three names to carry them through until Nembhard made the biggest impact of the night.

The Pacers have momentum and teams that have won Game 3 have followed up by going 13-5 against the spread in Game 4. There is another trend going against the New York Knicks in Game 4 with teams leading a Conference Semi Final Series being 11-21-1 against the spread in this spot and the limited time to recover may just favour a deeper rotation being used by the Indiana Pacers.

Nothing has been easy for either team in this Series, but the momentum cannot be ignored after winning Game 3 in the manner they did and Indiana may just be able to head to Madison Square Garden with this one tied up at 2-2 with a win and cover.

Denver Nuggets @ Minnesota Timberwolves Game 4 Pick: After winning both road games to open this Conference Semi Final Series, the Minnesota Timberwolves returned to a party atmosphere ahead of Game 3.

However, getting too far ahead and dismissing the obvious threats of the Denver Nuggets, the defending Champions, is a mistake and the blowout win for the road team might just have reminded everyone that two more games still need to be won to eliminate them.

Jamal Murray looked to be out of sorts with an injury, but returned to form at a very good time and he was the spark that helped the Nuggets dominate Game 3. Efficient shooting makes it very difficult for the Timberwolves to get out in transition, when their Offensive decision making is most effective, and that all came together for Denver in the Game 3 win.

Nikola Jokic was as expected, but Murray's return to his best made it easier for the role players to find the open spaces on the court. This is key for the Denver Nuggets and they will be looking to ride the momentum into Game 4 knowing full well that teams leading the Conference Semi Final Series have struggled in this spot in recent times and those that won Game 3 have tended to come out on top in Game 4 too.

The Timberwolves will have been frustrated by their overall level as they were beaten in the PlayOffs for the first time in 2024 and this is going to be a real test of their character. The spread has dropped a couple of points from Game 3, which underlines the respect the oddsmakers have for the Nuggets, while we are going to learn a lot more about Minnesota in seeing how they respond to a first setback.

Ultimately they cannot have lost all belief seeing as they have a 2-1 lead in the Series and a win on Sunday would go a long way to making the Western Conference Finals.

Anthony Edwards was contained in Game 3, but the Timberwolves will be looking to make the adjustments that may just free him up, while the role players have to perform better than they did. The bench has been important for Minnesota, but they did not get the same production in the last game as they have in the first two and so there is going to be some work to do in order to get back on track.

Recent trends certainly favour the Denver Nuggets and it is always hard to oppose a team with the obvious qualities the defending Champions have.

However, this Timberwolves team is better than what they showed in Game 3 and the Conference Semi Final Series this season have seen teams bouncing back from blowout defeats. The same can be expected of the Minnesota Timberwolves as long as they make a more intense start to Game 4 and they can win and cover at home, even as a smaller home favourite.

Monday 13th May
Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers Game 4 Pick: Much like the First Round Series win over the Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics just showed their Championship mettle to bounce back from a disappointing Game 2 loss with a crushing Game 3 win. The final margin may 'only' have been 13 points, but it was a game in which Boston dominated in the second half and has left the Cleveland Cavaliers scrambling for answers again.

Once again Donovan Mitchell powered the Cavaliers, but they were always unlikely to be as efficient from the three point arc as they were in Game 2. The players outside of Mitchell had issues finding their consistency and ultimately that is not going to get it done if the Boston Celtics are even having an average shooting day from three point range.

Jayson Tatum has perhaps not needed to dominate in the post-season right now, but he might have felt Game 3 was an important moment to remind everyone that he is the best player on the court. His 33 points were backed up by Jaylen Brown's 28 points and this time it was Jrue Holiday who was the role player that made the big plays around the top two names.

There is still room for Offensive improvement from the Boston Celtics, but this is a team that finished with the best record in the NBA thanks to their Defensive qualities too. It is those that are going to make it very difficult for Cleveland to win this Series, although the Cavaliers might receive the boost of having Jarrett Allen return having been close to being cleared ahead of Game 3.

We only have a day of rest between Game 3 and Game 4, but that may be enough for Allen to make his return and try and give Cleveland the kind of spark they need. The reality is that Cleveland are going to have to find the lights out shooting of Game 2 at least three more times to win this Series, but that is a big ask of this team and the manner of the defeat on Saturday will have just reminded the team of the kind of mountain they need to climb.

As mentioned in other selections, teams that have won Game 3 have a strong record in Game 4 of the Conference Semi Final Series.

The Celtics win and cover also means big road favourites of a least 5 points are now 7-1-1 against the spread in the last nine tries in the Conference Semi Finals and Boston are certainly capable of taking complete control of the Series by winning again in Cleveland on Monday.

Taking away Donovan Mitchell looks unlikely and not something Boston will concern themselves with, but they will continue to attack the role players and force them into bad shots. If they can do that, Boston are never that far away from putting on a strong Offensive clinic and they can win and cover this line for a second road game in a row.

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas Mavericks Game 4 Pick: The less than 100% status of Luka Doncic had his status being listed as Questionable to suit up for the last couple of games. Each time he has been willing to play through the pain, but the most exciting factor for the Dallas Mavericks is that they have been able to support Doncic and ensure the team is leading this Conference Semi Final Series going into Game 4.

No one has scored more points for the Dallas Mavericks than PJ Washington in the last two games as they have moved 2-1 ahead of the Number 1 Seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.

Offensive Rebounding was a vital advantage for the Mavericks in the Game 3 win, while this young Thunder team have to make adjustments to just show a bit more consistency from the three point arc. They should be largely happy with what they have been able to achieve Defensively in this Series, but the Thunder know it will be easier to make stops if they can prevent buckets in quick transition and also prevent those Offensive boards that can make it very difficult to reset.

Picking a winner does not look easy with the Mavericks still going into this one as a narrow favourite, having been in the same position in the 5 point win on Saturday.

The narrow lean may be with the Dallas Mavericks considering how well Game 3 winners have performed in Game 4 of the Conference Semi Final Series of recent times. However, those leading a Series have not played that well in this middle game of a best of seven and the spread is one that is narrow enough to make a case for either side.

Instead it may be best to go back to the same well as Game 3 and look for this Game 4 to fall below the total points like set.

It should be noted that the line has dropped considerably between games, but these two teams know they will go as far as the strong Defensive schemes can take them. Two of the three games would have fallen below the current line total and it still looks a touch higher than it perhaps should be in a pivotal game in this big Series.

MY PICKS: 04/05 Minnesota Timberwolves + 4.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (1 Unit)
06/05 Indiana Pacers + 6 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
06/05 Denver Nuggets - 5.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (1 Unit)
07/05 Boston Celtics - 11.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet365 (1 Unit)
07/05 Oklahoma City Thunder - 3.5 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
08/05 New York Knicks - 5.5 Points @ 1.95 Bet365 (1 Unit)
09/05 Boston Celtics - 13.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (1 Unit)
09/05 Oklahoma City Thunder - 5 Points @ 1.91 Bet365 (1 Unit)
10/05 Indiana Pacers - 6.5 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
10/05 Minnesota Timberwolves - 4.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Fred (1 Unit)
11/05 Dallas Mavericks-Oklahoma City Thunder Under 219.5 Points @ 1.91 Coral (1 Unit)
11/05 Boston Celtics - 7.5 Points @ 1.91 Paddy Power (1 Unit)
12/05 Indiana Pacers - 6 Points @ 1.91 Bet365 (1 Unit)
12/05 Minnesota Timberwolves - 2.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet365 (1 Unit)
13/05 Boston Celtics - 8 Points @ 1.91 William Hill (1 Unit)
13/05 Dallas Mavericks-Oklahoma City Thunder Under 215.5 Points @ 1.91 Bet Fred (1 Unit)

Conference Semi Final Update: 9-7, + 1.23 Units (16 Units Staked, + 7.69% Yield)

First Round: 22-17, + 3.27 Units (38 Units Staked, + 8.61% Yield)