A pair of teams that are already up 2-0 in their series hit the road on Thursday for pivotal Game 3s. Our NBA handicappers are set to make their playoff NBA predictions for the games on tap on Thursday.
NBA Playoffs Matchup: Miami Heat @ New York Knicks Game 3
Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00 ET
NBA Playoffs Lines: Miami -5 (186)
The Knicks know that they are in a heck of a lot of trouble in this series, and matters could really get out of hand in a hurry here at Madison Square Garden. Iman Shumpert tore his ACL in Game 1, and Tyson Chandler was so visibly frustrated that he basically threw an elbow into the back of LeBron James. After losing Game 2, Amare Stoudemire came off of the court and punched into the glass of a fire extinguisher, cutting his hand open, which will almost certainly cause him to miss this one. This is ugly. This is really, really ugly for the Knicks. When matters got out of hand in the regular season, Head Coach Mike D’Antoni ended up getting fired for it. Mike Woodson certainly hasn’t done anything to warrant being fired, even if this series does end here at MSG by the weekend, however, there is a real question as to whether New York has the mental strength to get back in this series. We just don’t see it.
NBA Playoffs Free Pick: Miami Heat -5
NBA Playoffs Matchup: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Dallas Mavericks Game 3
Date: Thursday, May 3rd, 9:30 ET
NBA Playoffs Lines: Dallas -3.5 (194.5)
If the Mavericks are going to get back into this series, they know that this is the game in which they really have to make some noise. They have covered both of the first two games in this series, but now is when the rubber meets the road with a point spread that is just this close. In the end, we just don’t know if Dallas is going to be able to match up with what Oklahoma City is throwing its way no matter where the game is being played. Yes, it will help to be at the American Airlines Center for sure, but we just don’t think that when push comes to shove that the Mavericks have the team to be able to stick with the Thunder anywhere.
NBA Playoffs Free Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder +3.5