The Daily Sweat: Can Celtics, Grizzlies bounce back after Game 1 home losses?
The Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies both surrendered home-court advantage by dropping Game 1 of their respective NBA playoff semifinal series.
On Tuesday night, both teams are trying to avoid heading on the road facing a 2-0 deficit.
The Celtics were 5-point favorites over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 but struggled mightily on offense in a 101-89 loss. Boston shot just 33.3% from the field as a team, including a putrid 10-of-34 effort on twos. The Celtics also turned it over 18 times while the Bucks got 25 points from Jrue Holiday and a triple-double from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
How will Boston respond in Game 2? This time around, the Celtics are favored by 4.5 points with the total listed at 214.5 at BetMGM.
Boston has been one of the better against-the-spread teams in the NBA this season, but being a home favorite is one spot where they’ve struggled. On the whole, Boston is 46-38-3 ATS this season but that ATS mark is 17-23-1 when the Celtics are home favorites.
The Bucks are now slight favorites to win the series at BetMGM. The Bucks have -125 odds. The Celtics are +105.
Grizzlies are home underdogs again vs. Warriors
Over in the West, the Grizzlies are home underdogs yet again against the Golden State Warriors. The Grizzlies covered the spread in Game 1 but lost a heartbreaker. Memphis was a 2.5-point underdog and ended up losing 117-116. The Grizzlies had a five-point halftime lead, but the second half was a back-and-forth affair that came down to the very end.
Klay Thompson put the Warriors ahead with a 3-pointer with 36.6 seconds to play. From there, Ja Morant had two tries to put his team ahead. The first was blocked. The second was a driving, off-balance lefty layup as time expired that missed.
For Game 2, the Grizzlies are underdogs again. This time, though, the point spread is just Warriors -1.5.
Memphis has the best ATS record of any NBA team this season at 56-32-1. As a home underdog, the Grizzlies are 8-3 ATS and 7-4 straight up. And if you think the Grizzlies can even the series at 1-1, you can also get them to win the series at +350 at BetMGM. That’s good value.
NHL playoffs underway
It’s Night 2 of the NHL playoffs and there are four games on tap.
The New York Rangers (-125) host the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Florida Panthers (-225) host the Washington Capitals, the Colorado Avalanche (-300) host the Nashville Predators and the Calgary Flames (-225) host the Dallas Stars.
The NHL playoffs are a ton of fun. If you’re a casual observer of hockey (like myself), the postseason is the time to turn your focus on the sport up a notch. You won’t regret it.
A busy MLB Tuesday
After Monday was a rare early-season day off for many teams in a post-lockout world, every team is in action on Tuesday. There are 16 games in all, including a double-header between the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets.
The Mets, at 16-8, have the best record in the National League but dropped Game 1 of their series with the Braves on Monday night, 5-2. The best record in Major League Baseball on the whole belongs to the Mets’ crosstown rival, the New York Yankees.
The Yankees improved to 17-6 by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on the road. On Tuesday, Toronto has Alek Manoah on the mound. Manoah is off to a spectacular start in 2022 with a 1.44 ERA in 25 innings. The Jays are -130 favorites at BetMGM. The Yankees will counter with Jameson Taillon.
What’s the best bet?
I'm leaning toward playing the Celtics -4.5. Milwaukee's defense is legit, but I just can't envision Boston shooting the ball that poorly again. If Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can cut down on the turnovers and have a bit more success on their drives into the lane, I think the Celtics do enough to cover the spread and even the series at 1-1.