Minnesota Twins vs. Houston Astros
Astros have a solid pitching advantage in this game with Dallas Keuchel on the mound. He is coming off of a shakey start after allowing five runs in six innings against the Mariners. He has a 2.30 career ERA when pitching against the Twins. Minnesota will counter with the weak Jose Berrios on the mound. He is 0-1 with a 11.25 ERA. The Twins are 1-10 on the road this season. Astros are 23-4 in Keuchel's last 27 home starts. Sweat the juice and back the Astros in this one.Astros
Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Atlanta Hawks were tested in the first round by a feisty Boston squad, but the Hawks closed out the series strong winning back to back games by double figures to win the series 4 games to 2. The Atlanta Hawks have tried to replicate what San Antonio has done and the Hawks have hinged their success this year on sharing the ball and playing excellent defense. Atlanta ranks 2nd in the NBA in assists and 6th in total defense which tells a great story as to what the Hawks focus on. In their clinching game 6 win on the road against the Celtics, Atlanta spread the ball around nicely with all 5 starters scoring in double figures. When Atlanta is getting everyone involved, that’s when this group is at their most dangerous on the offensive end.
The Cleveland Cavaliers had an interesting first round series with the young Detroit Pistons. Even though Cleveland was able to sweep the Pistons in 4 games the series felt a lot more competitive than being a sweep. In their game 4 clinching win on the road Cleveland had another fight on their hands from the Pistons getting the win in the end by a final of 100-98 in a contest that could have gone either way. This figures to be a more challenging series for Cleveland in the second round going against an Atlanta squad that has postseason experience. Kyrie Irving looked very strong in the Detroit series and if he can stay healthy then the Cavaliers will be a serious threat to win the NBA title. In game four Irving had another strong showing putting up 31 points on 12-25 shooting.
The Atlanta Hawks were up and down on the road in their opening series against the Boston Celtics, but Atlanta looked strong in their deciding game six on the road a few days ago. Cleveland performed very well in practically all of their second halves against Detroit and that’s where the Cavs figure to separate in this opening game one at home. Take the Cavaliers to win and cover this moderate spread as the best value bet.