Thunder still series underdogs against Warriors heading into Game 2

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The Oklahoma City Thunder stunned the Golden State Warriors with a 108-102 comeback victory in Game 1 of the NBA’s Western Conference Finals, but continue to trail the defending champions with +150 odds on the series prices at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Thunder trailed by as many as 14 points on Monday before grabbing an early fourth-quarter lead they would not relinquish en route to their fourth consecutive straight up win, and third straight victory on the road, easily paying out as 7.5-point underdogs.

Since wrapping up the regular season on a lackluster note, posting SU losses in five of their final eight games, including a 1-4 SU record in their final five road contests, Oklahoma City has come to life in the postseason with five wins in six road dates, outscoring opponents by an average of over 10 points per game in those victories.

Monday’s win also ended a five-game SU losing streak in Golden State, but Oklahoma City continues to battle tempered expectations ahead of Game 2, pegged as 8.5-point underdogs going into Wednesday’s Thunder vs. Warriors betting matchup at Oracle Arena.

Listed as diminished -170 chalk on the NBA series prices following their first playoff loss on home court since Game 2 of last year’s NBA Finals, the Warriors have also seen their NBA championship odds take a hit.

Golden State remains perched as the betting favorites to repeat as NBA champions, but find themselves sporting positive moneyline odds for the first time in over two months, falling to +110, while the Thunder vaulted from +600 to +350 with their Game 1 win.

The Warriors have posted just three losses in 11 postseason contests, and are an impressive 12-3 SU in their past 15 overall, but have struggled in recent outings to pay out at the sportsbooks, failing to cover in three of their past four, including their past two home dates.

ATS wins against the Thunder have also not come easy for Golden State, who have failed to cover in back-to-back meetings with Oklahoma City since midway through last season, and are just 6-10-2 ATS in their past 18 matchups.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers improved to a perfect 9-0 SU during the postseason with a decisive 115-84 win over the Toronto Raptors, covering as 11-point chalk in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night.

Cleveland’s win was just their second in their past four games against the Raptors, who have now dropped seven straight Game 1 decisions and were already well back at a distant +2500 on the odds to win the NBA championship heading into Tuesday night.

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.