Thunder still series underdogs against Warriors heading into Game 2

Leave a comment

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.

Klay Thompson, Aaron Gordon betting favorites on Three-Point, Slam Dunk contest odds

Leave a comment

It’s been 10 years since NBA All-Star Saturday saw the Three-Point Contest winner keep his title, which is something to keep in mind when assessing the contenders this weekend.

Klay Thompson, the Golden State Warriors shooting guard, is at +110 odds to win the Three-Point Contest at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic is a heavy -155 favorite on the odds to win the Slam Dunk Contest now that defending champion Zach LaVine is done for the season with a knee injury.

Both events will be held on Saturday in New Orleans, on the eve of the all-star game.

Thompson is slated to have seven challengers, including one past champion, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (+400), who won in 2013. No player has had a three-year gap between wins since the contest’s creation, but Irving is also having a career year as a scorer and his price is tempting.

The Houston Rockets’ Eric Gordon (+900) is one of the league’s most prolific perimeter shooters and probably has the most value on the board.

The Three-Point Contest field is rounded out by the Portland Trail Blazers’ C.J. McCollum (+800), the Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry (+900), the Los Angeles Lakers’ Nick Young (+900), the Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker (+1100) and the Dallas Mavericks’ Wes Matthews (+1100).

Lowry being priced where he is might give pause. The point guard has always been more of a slasher than a pure shooter, but added the three-ball to his arsenal this season and is hitting 41.7 per cent of the time, well above his career 36.5% rate.

In the Slam Dunk Contest, it’s not necessarily Aaron Gordon and everyone else competing for second place. Gordon will have to face ratcheted-up expectations after his dazzling runner-up effort in Toronto in 2016. Phoenix Suns rookie Derrick Jones Jr. (+130) is a high flier and his status as something of an unknown could help improve his scores.

The Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan (+800), as a seven-foot center, doesn’t fit the profile of a dunk contest winner. The Indiana Pacers’ Glenn Robinson III (+900) fills out the board on the NBA betting lines for Saturday night.

 

NBA Christmas Day Slate has Warriors, Spurs Among Odds Favorites

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors typically manage to cover when they face a close line on the road. The Warriors are listed as 3.5-point favorites on the NBA betting lines against the Cleveland Cavaliers for their Christmas Day matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Warriors are finding their peak form and are 14-2 straight-up and 7-8-1 against the spread on the road this season. The smallest line in any of the ATS losses, though, was 8.5 points.

The main matchup will be Durant against LeBron James, who has helped Cleveland forge a home record of 15-2 SU and 10-6-1 ATS. The Cavaliers are trying to replace injured SG J.R. Smith (right thumb surgery). Star forward Kevin Love (left knee bruise) also has an injury issue, but only had to play 25 minutes during a blowout win on Friday.

The Christmas Day slate begins with the New York Knicks hosting the Boston Celtics in a pick’em contest. The key matchup will be at point guard – the Knicks’ Derrick Rose and the Celtics’ Isaiah Thomas. Boston is 7-3 SU and 8-2 ATS in its last 10 road games and has found a rhythm since C Al Horford returned from injury.

Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (right knee contusion) could have his minutes closely monitored to avoid aggravating his injury.

The San Antonio Spurs are favored by 7.5 points against the Chicago Bulls in a matchup headlined by two elite small forwards, the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard and the Bulls’ Jimmy Butler. It is tough to go against San Antonio being 14-0 SU and 11-3 ATS in December home games over the last two seasons, particularly with Chicago’s erratic perimeter shooting.

The Bulls are 4-6 SU and 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games as a road underdog, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

The Oklahoma City Thunder are favored by 4.5 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Thunder PG Russell Westbrook is carrying his team which has been inconsistent at home, going 9-6 SU and 8-7 ATS this season.

Minnesota has plenty of promise in C Karl-Anthony Towns and SF Andrew Wiggins, but awful defense has kept them from getting into the playoff picture. The Timberwolves are 1-9 SU and 4-6 ATS in their last 10 road games against the Thunder.

And the availability of Chris Paul (hamstring) will weigh heavily on the lines for the Christmas nightcap between the Los Angeles Lakers and Paul’s Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers are also without PF Blake Griffin (minor knee surgery), but D’Angelo Russell and the young Lakers are struggling at 0-4 SU and ATS in their last four divisional games.

The Clippers are 10-0 SU and 5-5 ATS in their last 10 games as the favorite against the Lakers.