Last Updated: 2017-04-21
Another three games on tap in the NBA playoffs tonight and several of the matchups are interesting due to teams playing a bit differently at home than they do away. So far this year, it’s been impossible to ignore the officials and the impact they’ve had on totals. Looking at the teams involved in tonight’s games, the Clippers only had eight foul shots in their Game 2 victory over Utah and naturally, the game stayed under the total. Houston and Oklahoma City combined for 65 foul shots and that game managed to skate over the total by half-a-point.
Boston at Chicago: After seeing 208 points scored in each of the first two games, we’re faced with a total of 207.5 in this one. The Bulls had a solid shooting night in Game 2, making more than half of their field goal attempts and were 40% from 3-point range. The Celtics weren’t awful, hitting 46.3% of their field goals and 30.3% of 3-pointers. The interesting thing here is that both teams allow fewer points in this situation, Boston on the road and Chicago at home. The Celtics score slightly fewer points on the road, while the Bulls are slightly better offensively at home. Three of the four methods are calling for this one to go under the total and this is the game I’m most likely to play.
Houston at Oklahoma City: The Thunder used a fast start in Game 2 to make a game of it, but ultimately fell short and now are in front of their home fans, where they’re a much-better team, going 28-13 straight-up, as opposed to 19-22 on the road. Both teams display the home vs. away tendencies you would expect; the Rockets score less and allow more points on the road, while OKC scores more and allows fewer points. The total here is 224 and three of the four methods are calling for an over, with two of them at 226, so little room for error. A tough call in this one.
Clippers at Utah: The total here is 197, which is three points less than the number we saw in Game 2. As noted above, the Clippers had eight free throws last game. Going back a dozen years, there have only been 11 games in which one team has taken fewer than 10 foul shots in the playoffs and with the Game 2 under, those are now 1-10. Three of the four methods are calling for an over, although one of those is at 197.5, so it’s pretty close to a toss-up and another tough game to take a stand in.