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Raptors, Hawks betting favorites ahead of Game 5 matchups

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The Indiana Pacers stunned the Toronto Raptors with a decisive 100-83 victory on Saturday, knotting their first-round playoff series at two games apiece. However, it is the Raptors that remain clear favorites to eventually knock off Indiana, sporting -434 odds on the NBA series prices at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com ahead of Game 5 on Tuesday.

Expectations have been high for the Raptors, who posted a franchise-record 56 wins during the regular season and entered the postseason as a +500 bet to claim their first-ever Eastern Conference title, while Indiana trailed as +6600 underdogs.

But the ghosts of playoffs past continue to dog Toronto, which has never emerged victorious in a seven-game playoff series and rides a 2-7 straight-up run in the postseason into Tuesday night’s Pacers vs. Raptors betting matchup at Air Canada Centre.

Toronto’s all-star backcourt duo has been a massive disappointment in the series, with Kyle Lowry averaging 15.5 points per game while DeMar DeRozan has tallied just 13.3 points per game, including a dismal eight-point performance in the club’s Game 4 loss.

Conversely, Pacers forward Paul George has enjoyed a renaissance in the series, averaging 26.3 points per game, but was held to a series low 19 points in Game 4.

However, the trends favor the Raptors, winners of nine of their past 12 against Indiana, both SU and against the spread, including six of seven in Toronto, while the Pacers have never won a playoff series when seeded lower than sixth.

Also on Tuesday night, the Atlanta Hawks will be trying to bounce back from a pair of losses in Boston when they host the Celtics in Game 5 of their series as 7-point betting favorites.

The Hawks blew a 16-point lead in a 104-95 overtime loss in Game 4 to extend their current postseason losing streak in Boston to nine games.

But with a nine-game SU win streak in playoff matchups with the Celtics on home court, Atlanta is a -222 favorite to knock out their long-time rivals for the first time since 1958.

In other NBA playoff action, the Miami Heat will be gunning for their 17th SU home victory in their past 18 games against Charlotte according to the OddsShark NBA Database – and a 3-2 series lead – when they host the Hornets in Game 5 on Wednesday.

As well, the defending-champion Golden State Warriors will be without reigning MVP Stephen Curry on Wednesday when they look to close out their series against the Houston Rockets with a Game 5 victory. The Warriors are pegged as  9-point betting favorites.

Sixers, Warriors Road Betting Favorites in Thursday NBA Action

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The Philadelphia 76ers may be facing a regression with the three-ball right as they go into a building where they have not won in a while.

The 76ers are 1.5-point road betting favorites against the Miami Heat with a 216.5-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in one of the three NBA playoff matchups slated for Thursday.

While the Heat’s series-tying win in the previous game left the 76ers a mere 17-1 straight-up in their 18 most recent games, a more apt sample might come from looking at the teams’ records against playoff-worthy competition.

Philadelphia, whose perimeter shooters including Robert Covington and J.J. Redick combined to go 7-for-36 on three-point shots in Game 2, is just 2-7 SU and against the spread in its last nine road games against Eastern Conference playoff teams. The Heat are 7-0 SU and ATS in their last seven games against Eastern playoff teams.

The OddsShark NBA Database points out that the total has gone over in seven of Philadelphia’s last 10 road games when it was the betting favorite. However, the total has gone under in four of the Heat’s last six home games against the 76ers.

After taking two wins on the road, the New Orleans Pelicans are three-point favorites against the Portland Trail Blazers on the NBA odds with a 216-point total. The Pelicans, who are 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games as a favorite of 3.5 or fewer points, have won the backcourt battle so far in the series thanks to Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo.

The total has gone over in six of the Pelicans’ last eight home games against Northwest Division teams. The Trail Blazers have actually taken more shots in the series, so if their luck evens out, there’s a chance for a scorefest.

And the Golden State Warriors, who also have a 2-0 series lead, are three-point road favorites against the San Antonio Spurs with a 206-point total. It’s the first time in 18 years that the Spurs are a home underdog in April (the last time was not a playoff game), but they are much more effective team at home, where they are 9-0 SU and 7-2 ATS in their last nine matchups.

The Warriors are without the injured Stephen Curry, but still have forward Kevin Durant and guard Klay Thompson to help them turn around being 3-7 SU and ATS in their last 10 road games as a favorite of 3.5 or fewer points.

The total has gone over in six of Golden State’s last nine road games during the playoffs in April. However, the total has gone under in six of San Antonio’s last nine home games against Western Conference teams.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

NBA All-Star Weekend Odds: Slam Dunk, Three-Point, Skills Challenge

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One man having serious slam dunk contest buzz means better prices for the other three heading into NBA All-Star Weekend at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Dallas Mavericks rookie guard Dennis Smith Jr. is a +170 favorite on the slam dunk contest odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (+220), Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. (+265) and Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo (+400) are also in the running.

Smith has taken every opportunity this season to try to “posterize” some of the NBA’s biggest names, which might explain his low price. Mitchell was a late entry who has come on strongly for the surging Jazz and is capable of the upset. As the only forward in the contest, Nance could have a hard time getting the benefit of the doubt from the judges.

The three-point contest is unpredictable by nature but has some familiar faces with favorite Klay Thompson (+210) and defending champion Eric Gordon (+450). Devin Booker (+550), Paul George (+650), Wayne Ellington (+700), Bradley Beal (+750), Kyle Lowry (+1000) and Tobias Harris (+1100) complete the eight-marksman field.

Thompson is converting threes at a career-high 45.4 percent rate, so the Golden State Warriors guard will likely draw a lot of interest. However, Gordon outlasted him in 2017 and will also be in his former home arena. Ellington, who scores more than 75 percent of his points from beyond the arc, stacks up as the sleeper from deep.

The skills challenge lacks the cachet of the other two competitions, but is wide open due to its format that guarantees a guard vs. center matchup in the final. The Los Angeles Clippers’ Lou Williams (+350) is the favorite, but it might be wiser to favor a younger competitor, such as the Denver Nuggets’ second-year guard Jamal Murray (+400), in an event that is staked on speed and shooting.

Al Horford (+500) has the best price of any big man, but the Chicago Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen (+700) might have the skill-set more suited for the event. Murray, Markkanen and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid (+600) will each be out to be third international player in a row to win the event.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.