Picks for Friday’s playoff games

Picks for Friday’s playoff games

The second round of the NBA playoffs continues Friday with elimination games in Atlanta and Los Angeles and the two No. 1 seeds are on the ropes. Yahoo Sports’ Jared Quay has the advice that you need.

All odds via BetMGM.

The Atlanta Hawks pulled off one of the most stunning comebacks in NBA playoff history on Wednesday, rallying from 26 points down to beat the Sixers in Game 5. Their reward is a chance to close out the series on Friday at home. 

Philadelphia led by 25 points at the 3:19 mark of the third quarter, and Atlanta closed Game 5 out on a 51-23 run — including a 14-0 sprint to the finish — to secure the 109-106 win. 

Do the Hawks have enough juice left to finish off the No. 1 seed?

Despite the historic rally and a closing game in Atlanta, the Hawks’ odds to win the series aren’t nearly as good as many would think. The Hawks are just -160 to win the series at BetMGM, compared to +135 for the 76ers. 

As Jared Quay noted, the over has hit in eight of the last 12 Sixers games, so that may be the smart play here. But Quay likes the Sixers to win straight up and force a Game 7. 

“Atlanta played a lights-out fourth quarter in Game 5 but I don’t think they can repeat that,” Quay said. “I think the Sixers win this one on the road and force a Game 7 at home. I like the Sixers.”

Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale defends Los Angeles Clippers‘ Paul George during Game 5 on June 16, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz (-2), Total: 219.5

The Utah Jazz are facing elimination after a stunning home loss to the Clippers on Wednesday — a defeat that looks even worse when you consider L.A.’s best player, Kawhi Leonard, missed the game with a knee injury. 

It turns out that the Clippers didn’t need Leonard. Paul George carried them to a win with 37 points and 16 rebounds in a magnum-opus performance. It seems PG has only two temperatures — “Pandemic P” and “Playoff P.” Jazz fans will surely hope the former shows up Friday.   

Kawhi Leonard’s injury will keep him from Game 6 in Los Angeles as well, but the Jazz’s lack of offense — and injuries to both Mike Conley Jr. and now possibly Donovan Mitchell – could prove to be a bigger problem for the visitors. 

The total has gone over in eight of Utah’s last 10 games, but that may not be the best play depending on how many scorers are out with injuries. 

Quay likes the Clippers to finish things off on Friday.

“Clippers went into Salt Lake City and upset the Jazz without Kawhi Leonard.” Quay said. “I think they do that again here at home as a ‘dog. I like the moneyline without Kawhi to close out the series in Game 6.”

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