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Western Conference Semifinals, Game 3 Free Picks

Written by Matt Stevens   
Monday, 06 May 2013 23:06

Western Conference Semifinals PicksOklahoma City Thunder @ Memphis Grizzlies – Saturday, May 11

No matter which sports betting service you trust, your first inclination in Game 3 of this Western Conference semifinal series should be to pick the Grizzlies. When a series shifts from one scene to another, as is the case for Game 3 of any playoff series in any sport, the team playing at home generally brings more energy to the battle in the first half. The visiting team in a Game 3 situation can – and does – withstand such a situation if it is clearly superior, but is Oklahoma City a clearly superior team when compared to Memphis? Not at this point in time.

Any premier online sports betting establishment will continue to emphasize the fact that Oklahoma City point guard Russell Westbrook will be out for the remainder of the playoffs with an injury suffered in Game 2 of the first round against the Houston Rockets. Westbrook’s absence leaves a massive hole in the Thunder’s lineup.

Westbrook’s quickness and overall playmaking ability were so substantial that Oklahoma City could overcome its defensive deficiencies. The Thunder were almost impossible to defend with Westbrook on the floor, but now that Reggie Jackson is having to back up Westbrook at the point, Oklahoma City becomes much easier to guard. Memphis point guard Mike Conley should be able to thrive in his matchup with Jackson, while the Grizzlies have the two best low-post players in the series, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Oklahoma City has the best player on the floor in this series, Kevin Durant, but any superstar needs enough help from his roster in order to advance in the playoffs against formidable
competition. Oklahoma City struggled as it was against Houston, but managed to pull through. Memphis should be a different story in Game 3 on Saturday afternoon in Tennessee.


My Pick: Memphis

Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 4:

Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls – Sunday, May 12

When scanning a set of bet online reviews, you could certainly make the case that Chicago – which split four regular season games against Miami without Derrick Rose – could win this game. The Bulls put up a great fight against any and all opponents, because head coach Tom Thibodeau extracts a maximum of effort from his players at all times. The Bulls were ravaged by injuries during the regular season, and they were improbably hit even harder by the injury bug against the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. Kirk Hinrich missed the last three games of the series, while Luol Deng missed the last two. Rose was, of course, still out, and he’ll continue to be out for the rest of the playoffs. Joakim Noah is dealing with plantar fasciitis, but he’s playing well in spite of the pain he feels. Chicago will battle Miami – that much is certain. However, the Heat should have the resources needed to take care of business.

My Pick: Miami

Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 3:

New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers – Saturday, May 11

When engaged in sportsbetting, you should value home-court advantage in many situations. Indiana and New York forged a great playoff rivalry in the 1990s, meaning that when this series shifts to Indianapolis for Game 3, you should see a revved-up crowd of Pacer fans. New York is likely to struggle in such an environment, while Indiana should play with great energy and set the right tone for this contest. Take the Pacers.

My Pick: Indiana

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