Spurs, Bucks betting favorites for NBA Game 6 matchups on Thursday

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If it’s true that depth wins out the longer a playoff series lasts, then the San Antonio Spurs are due to break the home-team trend in their matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies.

With a chance to clinch in Game 6 on Thursday, the Spurs are listed as four-point betting favorites with a 190-point total against the host Grizzlies at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

However, star guard Mike Conley and the Grizzlies are 4-0 straight-up and 4-0 against the spread in their four home games against the Spurs this season, including two during this series. Moreover, the home team has won all nine games between the Western Conference teams.

San Antonio, which is 5-5 SU and 3-7 ATS in its last 10 playoff games when it was favored on the road, can trust that standout forward Kawhi Leonard will be a handful for Memphis defenders. Despite all the attention paid to him, Leonard still shot a respectable 48 per cent during the two games this series in Memphis.

The Spurs can also count on having one of the most diverse offenses and deepest benches in the NBA, with the likes of SG Patty Mills providing scoring when it’s needed.

Memphis, which is 10-6 SU and 10-6 ATS as a home underdog this season, will try to re-ignite its transition game and re-establish Zach Randolph as a post scorer after he was a non-factor in their Game 5 road defeat. The Grizzles were the NBA’s seventh-best defensive team, but have had trouble keeping San Antonio from generating three-point looks, allowing the Spurs to shoot 42 per cent from downtown.

The total has gone over in eight of the Spurs’ last 10 road games in April, according to the OddsShark NBA Database. The total has gone over in the Grizzles’ last seven home games where they were the underdog.

Also on Thursday, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, who also host a must-win Game 6, are listed as 1.5-point favorites against the Toronto Raptors with a 195-point total.

Milwaukee, which is just 2-7 in its last nine home games against Toronto, must develop a scoring threat other than the ‘Greek Freak,’ but SG Khris Middleton (illness) has been ineffective (7-of-21 shooting) in the past two games.

Toronto has trailed twice in the series, but increased physical play and the switch to a three-guard lineup with Norman Powell replacing C Jonas Valanciunas has helped them turn the series around. The Raptors, who are 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine road games, expect to have a healthy Kyle Lowry running their offense. Lowry soldiered through Game 5 with back stiffness.

The total has gone under in 11 of the Raptors’ last 15 games against the Bucks, including the teams’ last five games in Milwaukee.

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 OddsShark.com. 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 OddsShark.libsyn.com.

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 OddsShark.com 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 OddsShark.libsyn.com.