Nets (+7) @ Sixers (232)
Pick: Nets (+7)
For a while from late March into early April, the Nets looked to be in serious danger of missing the playoffs. However, Kenny Atkinson’s team got it together in the final six games of the season, winning – and covering - four of them. Entering the playoffs on a three-game winning streak, the Nets look to have righted the ship just in time. Philadelphia struggled to defend guards all season and Brooklyn will throw D’Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie at the Sixers in this series. While the Sixers have the decisive advantage on the wings, DeMarre Carroll’s return to the lineup for Brooklyn will help lessen the blow. The elephant in the room here is the status of Sixers’ center Joel Embiid. Are you really going to lay over two possessions with Philly here without knowing the status of its best player? We’re not.
Spurs (+5) @ Nuggets (211)
Pick: Spurs (+5)
The Nuggets are in the postseason for the first time in six years. Their roster is a collection of young players who are being thrown right into the playoff fire as the two seed in the West. Drawing a Spurs team with a lot of playoff experience and a Hall of Fame coach was probably the worst thing that could have happened to Denver. These teams played a couple of one-possession games in the regular season, and this should be one of the more competitive series in the first round. That makes points valuable whenever you can get them and when it comes to a playoff opener, the team getting points is the team that’s been there before. San Antonio will have a good chance to steal one on the road tonight.