While Round 2 of the 2013 NBA playoffs doesn’t offer as many games on a day-to-day basis as the action-packed first round, it’s often more exciting and anything seems possible.
The Chicago Bulls certainly proved that on Monday, besting the heavily favored Miami Heat in South Beach with one of the most undermanned lineups the team has put on the floor all season.
Perhaps the only way to make these contests even more thrilling is to place a wager down on them, whether it's for big bucks at a sportsbook or just a gentleman’s bet with a friend.
Let’s take a look at the two upcoming matchups on Wednesday, highlight where to watch them and when they take place, then check out the latest lines and our advice on how to play them.
*Point spreads and over/under courtesy of ScoresAndOdds.com
Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat, Game 2, Eastern Conference Semifinals
When: Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. ET
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Fla.
Point Spread: Heat -12
Point Total: 187
The Bulls went into Game 1 as a 13-point underdog and came out with a nine-point victory, paying those brazen bettors that took them at +850 on the moneyline extremely happy.
These players are simply too good to lose a second game at home to a starting lineup that employs Nate Robinson—generously listed at 5’9”—a hobbled Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli—a player that can’t keep up on defense—for major minutes.
Game 1 was simply a fluke and the Heat were sluggish coming off of eight days of rest after sweeping the Milwaukee Bucks. That lack of energy was apparent all night, but especially showed when the Bulls ripped off a 10-0 run to close the game.
Expect Chicago’s players to come out with a fire lit under them and attempt to repeat their success, but fall well short in the end.
Prediction: Heat 97–Bulls 82
Golden State Warriors vs. San Antonio Spurs, Game 2, Western Conference Semifinals
When: Wednesday, May 8 at 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Tex.
Point Spread: Spurs -8
Point Total: 204.5
The Warriors had Game 1 in the bag before San Antonio went on an 18-2 run to bring the game to overtime.
It seemed that Golden State would still close it out after mounting a comeback in double-OT, but Manu Ginobili’s dagger three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left gave the Spurs the 129-127 win.
While it was disappointing for the Dubs, they still easily covered the nine-point spread and proved that they could hang with San Antonio.
However, it seems Vegas doesn’t believe in that performance and has made the Spurs a heavy favorite once again in Game 2.
It would be wise to take the points here and bank on Stephen Curry coming up big yet again. The emerging superstar wound up with 44 points and 11 assists on Monday evening, and could top that in this upcoming showdown.
Golden State matches up well with San Antonio and can even beat the Spurs at their own game—an inside-out affair with plenty of three-point shots getting heaved up.
Don’t sleep on the Warriors evening things up and—even if they fall short—covering this big spread.
Prediction: Warriors 107–Spurs 105