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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.

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.