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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

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.

NBA draft betting props set out with Ayton favorite on odds for Thursday

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With DeAndre Ayton taking all the value out of the first overall pick prop, bettors will have to look at the stock on other players in the NBA draft class of 2018.

Ayton, the 7-foot center from Arizona, is an overwhelming -2000 favorite to be selected first in the NBA draft on Thursday night, according to sportsbooks monitored by The Phoenix Suns hold the top selection and it’s seen as a given they will take Ayton, from right in their backyard.

Slovenian guard Luka Doncic is a nominal second favorite at +1200, with Michigan State power forward/center Jaren Jackson listed at +4000 and the field at +1200.

Suffice to say, bettors will need to spend the final hours on Thursday before the draft refreshing social media feeds for news about teams trading up in the draft order, since that could affect the NBA draft betting props on particular players.

Doncic, the Slovenian guard, offers some higher-risk, high-reward value at +240 to be picked at No. 2 or better (-220 for No. 3 or better). The chance of that prop hitting might rest on whether the Sacramento Kings trade down from the No. 2 spot. If the Kings hang on to it, it’s probably best to lay chalk on the -500 on Duke forward Marvin Bagley III going No. 3 or better (he’s +350 for No. 4 or later).

Michigan State’s Jaren Jackson, who slots in as the third-best big man on the board after Ayton and Bagley III, is +150 to be chosen No. 3 or better and -180 for No. 4 or later.

While the top of the draft is big man-heavy, NBA teams don’t follow the consensus of mock drafts, which means there is value in props on some of the highly-touted guards. Trae Young, who led the NCAA in scoring and assists at Oklahoma, is near even money at -110 to be picked seven or higher and could prove to be the right fit for an early-picking team such as the Orlando Magic, who own the No. 6 overall pick.

Oddsmakers love to dangle props on players with a lengthy college resume, who are coming back into favor as late first-round picks. Guard Jalen Brunson, who helped the Villanova Wildcats win two of the last three national championships, is priced at +115 to be a first-round selection.

And Duke guard Grayson Allen is a key to three props. Allen is -170 to go in the first round and +140 to be chosen in the second (or not at all). Where he falls might also be a key to the over hitting on the 5.0 total for the number of Duke and Kentucky players who go in the first round.

Allen could also secure the over on the 1.5 total on the number of seniors taken in the first round.

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

Warriors, Rockets Road Betting Favorites on Friday NBA Odds

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Stephen Curry returning to the Golden State Warriors lineup means they will likely get most of the casual betting action, but their track record with tight lines on the road isn’t overly encouraging.

Up 2-0 in the series, the Warriors are 4.5-point road favorites on the NBA betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by against the New Orleans Pelicans for Friday night, with a 232.5-point total.

While the Warriors are 18-2 straight-up and 9-11 against the spread in their last 20 games against the Pelicans, the OddsShark NBA Database shows they are just 8-8 SU and 7-9 ATS in their last 16 games on the road in the playoffs when they were favored by five or fewer points.

Defending NBA champion Golden State is also 4-13 ATS in its last 17 games following a straight-up win. The Pelicans, who are led by star forward Anthony Davis and also boast a steady veteran with point guard Rajon Rondo, are riding an impressive run where they are 10-1 ATS over their last 11 games.

The first two games of the series had an extreme disparity in free throw attempts, with the Warriors taking 59 foul shots to the Pelicans’ 20. An anticipation of the calls evening out is one reason for the high total, but it’s reachable, as 10 of the last 12 games in this matchup has finished over.

The total has gone over in 21 of New Orleans’ last 30 home games, including their four most recent.

The Houston Rockets are 3.5-point road favorites against the Utah Jazz on Friday with a 209-point total in Game 3 of a series that is tied 1-1. While Houston finished first overall in the NBA regular season, star guard James Harden and company are just 1-5 ATS in their last six road games.

In contrast, the Jazz, led by rookie guard Donovan Mitchell, are 6-2 SU and ATS this season when they are an underdog at home by 4.5 or fewer points.

The Rockets are also 5-3 SU and 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight road games within the Western Conference. Beating the Jazz on their home floor is doable but won’t come easily, meaning there’s a good possibility of a grinding, one- or two-possession game.

The total has gone under in five of Houston’s last six games after a loss against the spread. The total has gone under in six of Utah’s last eight home games when it was an underdog of 4.5 or fewer points.

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