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Game 3 of NBA Finals a toss-up on betting lines as Warriors seek 3-0 lead

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Through two decisive Golden State Warriors wins in the NBA Finals, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and cohorts haven’t left many hints that momentum will shift with the venue change for Games 3 and 4. Game 3 of the series is set for Wednesday night.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are normally a sizable favorite at Quicken Loans Arena, and typically deliver a cover. However, their outlook hinges on whether PF Kevin Love, who suffered a head injury on Sunday, will make it through the NBA concussion protocol and be cleared to play. So with Curry, his Splash Brothers backcourt mate Thompson and the Warriors out to a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, Game 3 has become a pick’em at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The total is 205.5 points. Coincidentally, the total was been over in both 12 of the Warriors’ last 20 road games against the Eastern Conference, and in 12 of the Cavaliers’ last 20 home games against the Western Conference. In the playoffs, the totals are little different: four of Golden State’s seven playoff road games have gone under, as have four of Cleveland’s seven home games.

The surprise of the series with the Warriors has been their 85-40 edge against the Cavaliers in bench scoring, with F Andre Iguodala, G Leandro Barbosa and G Shaun Livingston making valuable contributions. The Warriors are 7-10 straight-up and 9-8 against the spread in road playoff games during the last two seasons. They are also up in the series even though they haven’t needed a big shooting night from Curry. Thompson has been getting open three-point looks against the Cavaliers’ defense, and as his wont, has been burying them.

The Cavaliers, whom James had a direct hand in assembling, are 14-3 SU and 10-7 ATS in home playoff games over the last two seasons according to the OddsShark NBA Database. Of course, much of that track record was accumulated against the weak Eastern Conference. Point guard Kyrie Irving has also been struggling to finish drives and distribute the ball. Even if Love does play, he will not be 100 percent and has a bad matchup in the form of Warriors F Draymond Green.

Cleveland has also been struggling with the NBA’s ‘new math,’ which involves freeing up the three-point line on offense and limiting the opponents’ access to it on defense. They are just 12 of 44 (27%) on triple attempts through two games whereas the Warriors are 24 of 60 (40%).

Golden State, which had a regular-season record 73 wins, is vying to be the sixth NBA franchise since 1985 to win back-to-back championships.

NBA Christmas Day Slate has Warriors, Spurs Among Odds Favorites

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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.

Watch Bulls vs. Clippers basketball game, live online stream

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Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers (11-2) look to stay hot when they host Jimmy Butler and the Chicago Bulls (8-4). The Clippers extended the best start in franchise history with a 121-115 road victory at the Sacramento Kings on Friday night.

The Bulls, riding a four-game winning streak, will play the third of six consecutive games on the road during their annual circus trip. Butler has poured in 20 or more points in a career-high six straight games and has recorded a 20+ point, 10+ rebound performance in back-to-back contests.

Watch the game live here:

When: 10:30 PM ET

Broadcast Network: NBATV

Live Stream: NBATV.com