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Cavaliers, Spurs road betting favorites on Thursday NBA playoff slate

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The Cleveland Cavaliers failed to cover in their two playoff-opening wins – and several trends indicate that could continue against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday.

LeBron James and the Cavaliers are listed as 2.5-point favorites on the road against the Pacers with a 211.5-point total, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Since James returned to northeast Ohio in the 2014-15 season, the Cavaliers are just 2-4 straight-up and 1-5 against the spread in six road games against Indiana. Led by scorer extraordinaire Paul George, the Pacers come into the contest with an 8-0 against the spread streak.

The Cavaliers, who might be without point guard J.R. Smith (left hamstring injury), are also just 3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS in their last 10 road games according to the OddsShark NBA Database. That trend is in direct contrast to Indiana being 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 home games.

The total has gone OVER in five of Cleveland’s last six road games when they were favored by three or fewer points. The total has gone OVER in seven of Indiana’s last 10 home playoff games, with one push.

After getting covers in each of the series’ first two games on the road, which they split 1-1 SU, the Milwaukee Bucks are listed as 1.5-point favorites at home against the Toronto Raptors with a 196-point total. While Toronto has had difficulty containing Milwaukee’s athletic rookies Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thon Maker, the Bucks are just 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.

Toronto is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games against Milwaukee. The only outright loss was in their last visit, but point guard Kyle Lowry did not play.

The total has gone UNDER in nine of the Raptors’ last 12 road games against the Bucks. The total has gone UNDER in eight of the Bucks’ last 11 games as a home favorite.

And the San Antonio Spurs are listed as 3.5-point favorites against the Memphis Grizzles with a 184.5-point total. The main point of intrigue, especially with such a low total, might be how many fouls are called after Memphis coach David Fizdale went off after Game 2, where the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard shot more free throws than the entire Grizzlies team as San Antonio took a 2-0 series lead.

The Spurs are 9-4 SU and 6-7 ATS in their last 13 games as a road favorite. Since 2012, Memphis is 5-11 SU and 10-6 ATS at home against San Antonio.

The total has gone OVER in 10 of the Spurs’ last 14 road games in April. The total has gone OVER in Memphis’ last five games as an underdog at home.

Warriors, Wizards, Rockets betting favorites for Wednesday playoff matchups

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Since the Stephen Curry era began, the Golden State Warriors have seldom let their guard down at home early in the playoffs.

The Warriors are listed as 15-point home favourites against the Portland Trail Blazers with a 219.5-point total in their Game 2 matchup for Wednesday night, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Over the last five seasons, Golden State is 11-1 straight-up and 9-3 against the spread at home in April during the playoffs. That includes the 12-point win in the series opener, when they won decisively even while Portland’s Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum were torching the Golden State defense for a combined 75 points.

Golden State is 9-1 SU and 5-4-1 ATS in its last 10 home games as a favorite of 10 points or more. Portland’s hopes of staying competitive likely hinge on a healthy return of center Jusuf Nurkic, who would shore up their rebounding and rim protection. Otherwise, it could be a familiar outcome for Portland, which is 0-10 SU and 3-7 ATS in its last 10 road games against the Warriors.

The total has gone OVER in 10 of the teams’ last 13 games on Golden State’s court, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.

The Washington Wizards are 5.5-point favorites against the Atlanta Hawks with a 210.5-point total in their Game 2 matchup on Wednesday. The Wizards, with John Wall directing an uptempo offense that was too much for Atlanta in Game 1, are 18-2 SU and 12-8 ATS in their last 20 home games as a favorite of 4.0 or more points.

The total has gone OVER in 15 of the teams’ last 23 games.

And the Houston Rockets are 7.5-point favorites against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a 223-point total. Star guard James Harden and the Rockets are 10-3 SU and 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 games against Oklahoma City. However, Houston is just 8-12 ATS in its last 20 home games where favored by six or more points.

While Russell Westbrook, AKA Mr. Triple-Double, would love to show he can win in the playoffs minus Durant, the Thunder are 2-8 SU and 3-7 ATS this season when they are a road underdog of six points or more.

As well, the total has gone UNDER in Oklahoma City’s last five road games where they were an underdog of six or more points.

 

 

Cavaliers begin playoff run behind Warriors on NBA championship odds

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For all the hand-wringing about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ slump, LeBron James and company enter the NBA playoffs in pretty much the same state as they did before winning it all in 2016.

Having weathered a 19-game absence from Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors are the -160 favorite on the odds to win the NBA championship, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Stephen Curry and the Warriors’ price will only drop farther as the playoff field gets whittled down, assuming they don’t have an epic collapse.

James and Cleveland are listed at +333 after going just 9-11 straight-up and 8-12 against the spread in their final 20 games against the Eastern Conference. However, the Cavs had a so-so stretch run last year, when they were listed at +400 going into the playoffs.

Thirty of the league’s last 35 champions were either a No. 1 or 2 seed, and the last four were No. 1. Based on their championship experience, the No. 2 seed in the West, the San Antonio Spurs, are third on the board at +600. The No. 1 Eastern seed, the Boston Celtics, are a distant +1600, level with the Houston Rockets. That’s not surprising, considering Boston’s per-game point differential (2.7) is the lowest of a No. 1 seed since 1979.

The Cavaliers are a -275 favorite on the Eastern Conference champion odds, which reflects that James’ team has made the last six NBA Finals. The Celtics are at +425. The Toronto Raptors, whose seeding puts them on course to meet Cleveland in the second round, are listed at +900.

The Western Conference board is very similar, with the Warriors at -250 followed by the Spurs (+300) and Rockets (+750).

Among the four major pro leagues and March Madness, the chalk prevails most often in the NBA. Some general trends to be mindful of is that home teams who lose Game 1 – looking in your direction, Toronto – are 49-10 SU in Game 2 since 2003. Higher-seeded teams who win the first two games are also 40-111 SU in Game 3 (on the road) during that span.

Historically, No. 5 seeds win about a quarter of the time and No. 6 seeds win about 20 per cent of the time. In terms of first-round series prices, the Atlanta Hawks (+175) do stand a decent chance of knocking out John Wall and the Washington Wizards (-205), since Washington might struggle to find a defensive matchup for Hawks big man Dwight Howard.

The No. 8 seed Chicago Bulls (+405), with their savviness at point guard with ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo and former champion Dwyane Wade (who’ll have more recovery time for his 35-year-old legs), could be capable of taking out the Celtics (-500). Eighth seeds have a much better success rate than No. 7 seeds.