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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.

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.