NBA Playoff Picks For Sunday, 5/1/11 – Celtics @ Heat

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Round two of the NBA playoffs begin today with the Boston-Miami series and the Memphis-Oklahoma City series getting underway. The first round has been filled with upsets and underdogs. San Antonio knocked off by 8th seed Memphis has to be one of the larger upsets in NBA playoff history. Atlanta revenging last year’s record sweep by Orlando was another first round surprise. 8-3 NBA 1st round record, let’s start off the 2nd round in similar winning fashion.

NBA Matchup: Boston Celtics at Miami Heat
Game Date/Time: Sunday, May 1, 3:30 ET
Location: American Airlines Arena- Miami, FL

NBA Odds: Miami -5
Over/Under Odds: 182

Game Analysis: The second round begins and we can’t ask for a better match up with Miami and Boston facing off to see who represents the east in the conference finals. Boston held a 3-1 regular season lead over Miami although they were soundly beaten in their most recent contest a game that helped Miami secure the home court advantage for this series. This series figures to be an instant classic, with both teams not only capable of winning against the current opponent but also capable of winning the NBA championship. Miami is a 5 point favorite in game 1 with the total set at 182. I think the key to this series is how well Boston plays on the road, which this year has been a real strength of theirs. The Celtics appeared to play much better against the Knicks once went to the Garden in New York. Don’t get me wrong they play excellent at home, but they really seem to focus on the road which in a playoff series is a real asset. 5 points is just too many to be giving Boston in game 1, and I have to like getting that many points in this spot a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Boston won this game. I wasn’t impressed with Miami from what I saw of them against Philadelphia. LeBron did not look like the LeBron I am used to seeing in the playoffs. Against a better opponent like Boston if his shaky play continues it is the end for Miami in this year’s playoffs. Look for Rondo to set the tone in game 1 with a big game shooting and distributing. Rondo is the key to the series due to Miami’s lack of a true point guard, and if he can have a big series especially scoring it really puts tremendous pressure on Miami’s big 3 of James, Wade and Bosh. Look for Boston to try to run off missed shots and score as much as they can in the transition game. That has been their profile this year on the road which really makes the total a tough call at 182. Take Boston +5 for round two’s first pick, and look for a close game and a very close series.

Free NBA Playoff Picks: Boston Celtics +5

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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