San Antonio Spurs vs. Golden State Warriors
Saturday, April 14, 2018, 3:00 pm ET

SAN ANTONIO +8

The Spurs have a slight coaching edge, but they’ve lost eight straight on the road and failed to cover their last seven. We’re going to see if the Warriors’ recent pause in effort can be rebooted in the playoffs. They’ve only won seven of their last 17, and two of the wins were against NBA-worst Phoenix. Golden State is even worse against the spread, going 6-17 ATS since February 28. I don’t think the Warriors are good enough without Curry to just flip a switch and play well. Take the points with the Spurs.

SportsLine Expert: Micah Roberts (14-4-1 in last 19 NBA picks)

Washington Wizards vs. Toronto Raptors
Saturday, April 14, 2018, 5:30 pm ET

WASHINGTON +8

Toronto closed out the regular season winning only seven of its last 13 games, and the Raptors covered in just three of their last 14 games. They split with Washington this season. Washington has won only three of its last 12, but there’s a missing variable in the Wizards rating — John Wall. He’s only played four games since coming back and the last two he played hard and was sensational, giving Wizards covers in both. There are 2.5 points of value on just the thought of Wall becoming the dominant player from two years ago.

SportsLine Expert: Micah Roberts (14-4-1 in last 19 NBA picks)

Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers controls the ball against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on April 6, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

LeBron James and Ben Simmons (Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Saturday, April 14, 2018, 8:00 pm ET

MIAMI +7

It seems crazy to get in the 76ers’ way right now, but this is a good matchup for Miami in Game 1, not having to face Joel Embiid. Yes, Philly went 8-0 without Embiid to close the regular season, but six of those wins came against lottery teams. And Philly failed to cover three of its last four games, suggesting oddsmakers finally caught up to the juggernaut. Look for a big performance from Hassan Whiteside and a tight, entertaining game. While it’s not super-significant that these teams split four regular-season meetings, it is worth noting Miami won the two most recent matchups. Grab the points.

SportsLine Expert: Larry Hartstein (16-8 in last 24 NBA O/U picks)

Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Sunday, April 15, 2018, 6:30 pm ET

UTAH +3.5

Now that Russell Westbrook got his personal stuff out of the way, getting a triple-double for the season by getting 20 boards and 19 assists in the last game against lowly Memphis, he should be fulfilled and ready for the playoffs. They won their last three games when they had to, with a playoff berth in jeopardy, so maybe this a backs-against-the-wall type of team and the playoffs will be just what they need to push them to be their best. They beat the Jazz three out of four during the season, but the odd thing about those games is that they were all played before December 23, the last two without Rudy Gobert, who completely changes the dynamic of the Jazz defensively. They’re one of the top teams in the league with him. When Gobert returned in late January, the Jazz went on a 30-8 run to close out the season. The Jazz are tough, and they’re disciplined, everything the Thunder aren’t, and it’s why they’re the play here and also to win the series.

SportsLine Expert: Micah Roberts (14-4-1 in last 19 NBA picks)

Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Houston Rockets
Sunday, April 15, 2018, 9:00 pm ET

MINNESOTA +11

While the Rockets owned the T-Wolves in the regular season, this isn’t the same Minnesota club. The Timberwolves played tenacious defense and won their last three games to make the playoffs. They covered their last four. In my simulations, the host Timberwolves are losing by just five points and covering 67 percent of the time. Grab the points.

SportsLine Expert: Stephen Oh (12-6 in last 18 NBA O/U picks)

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