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Warriors Road Favorites at Houston Despite Curry Ankle Injury

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The Golden State Warriors will continue their march toward a second straight NBA championship on Thursday night as they play Game 3 of their first-round playoff series in Houston as 6-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Golden State extended its latest winning streak to six games on Monday with a 115-106 victory in Game 2 of the series, posting their third straight win over the Rockets. Golden State is now 14-1 straight up in its past 15 games against Houston heading into Thursday night’s Warriors vs. Rockets betting matchup at Toyota Center.

The Warriors entered the postseason as favorites to repeat as champions, pegged at -150 on the NBA title odds, and are currently off the board on the NBA series prices thanks to their dominance of the Rockets.

Golden State has continued to succeed despite the absence of reigning MVP Stephen Curry, who missed Game 2 with an ankle injury and whose status for Friday’s contest remains up in the air. Without Curry, the Warriors were much quieter beyond the arc in Game 2, hitting on just eight of 23 attempts, but tallied a respectable 49.4 field goal percentage and outrebounded the Rockets 56-47, led by Draymond Green’s 14-rebound performance.

Golden State has tallied a pair of road victories during their current win streak, but have struggled at times on the road to meet high expectations at the sportsbooks, going 5-8-1 against the spread in their past 14 games away from Oracle Arena, and are now 2-2 ATS this season without Curry in the lineup.

Houston went 23-18 SU at home during the regular season, but they are just 5-4 SU and 4-5 ATS in their past nine games at the Toyota Center.

However, the Rockets have come through with regularity when pegged as home underdogs, posting outright victories in their past two such games while going 11-4 SU and 12-3 ATS in their past 15. That includes a 128-115 win over Golden State as 4.5-point underdogs in Game 4 of last year’s Western Finals, which the Warriors eventually captured in five games.

While the Rockets have qualified for the postseason in each of the past four seasons, they have enjoyed little playoff success since capturing back-to-back NBA titles in 1994 and 1995.

The Rockets are just 4-8 SU in their past 12 postseason contests, according to the OddsShark NBA Database, and are now +5000 longshots on the NBA series prices to avoid being bounced in the first round for the ninth time in their past 11 playoff appearances.

Cavaliers Shaky Betting Favorite Against Celtics on NBA Opening Night

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While the sample might not be big enough for a true trend, the Cleveland Cavaliers go into opening night with a dubious track record as a narrow favorite at home.

With some uncertainty over whether – or how much – LeBron James will play after missing most of the preseason with a sprained left ankle, the Cavaliers are listed as 3.5-point favorites against the Boston Celtics with a 212.5-point total in their NBA opening night matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Interestingly enough, the OddsShark NBA Database shows that the Cavaliers are 0-6 straight-up and against the spread since January 2016 when favored by four or fewer points in regular-season home games.

Both Boston and Cleveland had offseason turnover that included trading point guards, with Kyrie Irving heading to the East Coast while Isaiah Thomas moved to the shores of Lake Erie. On top of having their new running mates Irving and SG Gordon Hayward, Boston returns only four of its 10 most-used players from last season.

However, under coach Brad Stevens they are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven road games against the Cavaliers.

The Cavaliers, who were just 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games of last season, have eight new players. James has had little practice time with the Cavaliers’ three new starters, PG Derrick Rose, SG Dwyane Wade and PF Jae Crowder, but with James’ talent and court sense chemistry can come pretty quickly (Thomas is out with a hip injury).

The total has gone over in four of the Celtics’ last five road games against the Cavaliers.

Later on Tuesday night, the defending champion Golden State Warriors are 9.5-point favorites against the Houston Rockets with a 230.5-point total in a matchup between the two highest-scoring teams from last season.

Due to new PG Chris Paul’s various injuries (bruised left shoulder, bruised left knee), the Rockets have had scarcely little time to see how Paul and SG James Harden will work together on the floor. If Paul is good to go in this one, though, he will face the Warriors’ Stephen Curry at each end of the court for the entire game.

The Rockets are 1-11 SU and 4-7-1 ATS in their last 12 road games against the Warriors, but any team that shoots threes as frequently – and often efficiently – as Houston is always a threat.

Golden State, with its big four of Curry, PF Kevin Durant, SF Draymond Green and SG Klay Thompson, almost always lays big-time points at Oracle Arena. While the Warriors infamously laid an egg in their home opener last season, they are 19-1 SU and 14-5-1 ATS in their last 20 regular-season home games with a closing line between 8.5 and 10.5 points.

The Warriors, unlike the other three teams in action on Tuesday, had minimal offseason turnover with 12 players returning from their championship team.

The total has gone under in six of the Rockets’ last nine road games against the Warriors.

 

 

Thunder Climbing the NBA Futures After Carmelo Anthony Trade

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If the Golden State Warriors can be taken down, chances are it might come from within the NBA’s cutthroat Western Conference. With the season due to tip off in a couple weeks, Golden State is the -160 favorite on the odds to win the NBA championship at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Warriors have dominated the league for three seasons running with nary a hiccup, save for their breakdown at the end of the 2016 postseason when they lost a seven-game NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James.

This past NBA offseason was all about superstars maneuvering to join Western Conference teams in order to try to take the fight to the Warriors more directly. As a result of their moves to add Carmelo Anthony and Paul George to their forward corps to complement league-MVP point guard Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder (+1200) have seen their price come down precipitously from an opening +6600.

As it stands, more than 10/1 odds on a team which is a favorite to win its division is a pretty good deal.

The San Antonio Spurs, the league’s model of stability, also come in at +1200. The Houston Rockets (+1600) have actually had their price rise in the last three weeks, which might reflect how no one is sure whether newly acquired PG Chris Paul and SG James Harden will be compatible.

Among Eastern Conference teams, Cleveland (+550) is offering good value, since any team which has LeBron James is a solid bet to last at least three rounds in the postseason. One might be able to wait before making a play with the Cavaliers. The need to make sure PG Derrick Rose and PG Dwayne Wade get rest during the season will probably supersede the Cavs’ need to go for a No. 1 seed.

The Boston Celtics (+800) added PG Kyrie Irving (from Cleveland) and SF Gordon Hayward, but one should remember that they were not an overly dominant team last season and their No. 1 playoff seed owed somewhat to being in the Atlantic Division with the likes of the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers.

If none of the contenders near the top of the board pass the eye test, it might be better to take a flyer on some small-market teams with superstar talent. The Minnesota Timberwolves (+2800) are complementing young stars Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns with a supporting cast that includes Jimmy Butler – one of the best two-way wing players any side of Golden State’s Draymond Green – and veterans such as Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague.

The Milwaukee Bucks (+6600) might not be close to winning a title, but the ceiling for a team with a burgeoning superstar in SF Giannis Antetokounmpo, AKA The Greek Freak, is very high. Milwaukee should get a long look for anyone poring over preseason props.