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NBA ♦ Playoffs ♦ Sunday 4/24/16

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    “NBA Playoffs betting preview and odds”

    The San Antonio Spurs and the Cleveland Cavaliers have a chance to be the first teams to advance to the second round of the NBA Playoffs Sunday. We break down all the action in our betting preview.

    San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies (+12.5, 183)

    Spurs lead series 3-0

    The second-seeded San Antonio Spurs look to complete a four-game sweep of Memphis when they visit the Grizzlies on Sunday. San Antonio rolled to easy victories in the first two games and swatted aside Memphis’ determined effort in Game 3 while posting a 96-87 victory.

    Spurs All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard had a monster outing in Game 3 as he made six 3-pointers and had 32 points, seven rebounds, five blocked shots and four steals. “Kawhi Leonard’s got to be one of the top two, top three, players in the league at both ends,” Memphis forward Zach Randolph told reporters. “That kid is the silent assassin.” Randolph was quieted by the San Antonio defense in the first two games but delivered a better effort in Game 3 with 20 points and 11 rebounds and the Grizzlies don’t figure to lay down as they aim to avoid the sweep. “They’re going to fight until the end, so we’ve got to come out Sunday even more physical and more intense and match their energy,” said Spurs small forward Danny Green, “because we know they’ll come out with more than they did (Friday).”

    TV: 1 p.m. ET, ABC

    Its not looking good for the Grizzlies, who on the brink on elimination, opened as 13-point home pups. They have since been bet down to +12.5. The total opened at 183 and has yet to move off that number. Check out the complete line history here.

    ABOUT THE SPURS (70-15, 46-39 ATS, 35-48-2 O/U):
    Leonard is averaging 21.7 points in the series but is making an even bigger impact on the defensive end with averages of 3.3 steals and three blocked shots. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year has altered numerous other Memphis shots and has repeatedly jammed up passing lanes to highlight San Antonio’s defensive prowess. All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge has scored in double digits in all three games but hasn’t had a big outing while averaging 14.3 points.

    ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (42-43, 43-41-1 ATS, 45-38-2 O/U):
    Memphis is averaging just 76.3 points and shooting 37.7 percent from the field in the series and only Randolph (12.3) and veteran swingman Vince Carter (10.3) are averaging in double digits. The Grizzlies went to a smaller lineup for most of Game 3 and that alignment included Randolph at center and Matt Barnes playing power forward in an attempt to improve the offensive efficiency. Randolph is shooting just 33.3 percent in the series and Barnes’ accuracy has been even worse – 30.3 while averaging 9.3 points.


    * Spurs are 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
    * Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
    * Under is 6-0 in Spurs last six versus Southwest Division opponents.
    * Under is 4-0 in the last four meetings overall.


    Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets (+8.5, 217.5)

    Warriors lead series 2-1

    The first-round series between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors is starting to get testy and controversial. The Rockets will try to build on their contested victory in Game 3 and even the series at two wins apiece when they host the Warriors in Game 4 on Sunday.

    Houston pulled out a 97-96 victory on James Harden’s basket with 2.7 seconds remaining in Game 3 on Thursday, only to have the NBA come out on Friday and say the shot shouldn’t have counted because Harden initiated contact with Golden State forward Andre Iguodala before releasing the ball. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey fired off a pair of tweets during and after the game questioning the officiating and Warriors forward Draymond Green was given a retroactive flagrant foul 1 on Friday for his conduct in the final second of Game 3. Houston pulled out the one-point win after seldom-used Golden State guard Ian Clark had given his team the lead with 10 seconds remaining while absorbing the crunch-time minutes that usually go to superstar Stephen Curry, who missed his second straight game with a sprained ankle. Curry dressed for Game 3 but was ruled out by the coaching staff and coach Steve Kerr said Saturday that Curry will play in Game 4.

    TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

    The Rockets opened as 6.5-point home dogs, but with Curry’s expected retuen to the lineup in Game 4, the line has moved to Rockets +8.5. The total has also seen some predictable movement, going from 216 to 217.5. Check out the complete line history here.

    ABOUT THE WARRIORS (75-10, 47-36-2 ATS, 46-38-1 O/U):
    Curry tried to talk his way into the lineup in Game 3 before being overruled by the staff but went through practice on Friday and Saturday and declared himself ready to go. “It’s not pain. It’s like soreness that comes along with all that my ankle’s been through,” Curry told reporters. “It’s kind of to be expected and I see it as, this is kind of my playoff thing. Everybody has something they’re dealing with in some way shape or form. It’s stable … no swelling or anything, so I can do everything I need to do.” Green struggled to nine points, seven rebounds, seven assists and seven turnovers in Game 3 while fellow All-Star Klay Thompson went 0-of-7 from 3-point range.

    ABOUT THE ROCKETS (42-43, 38-47 ATS, 48-37 O/U):
    Houston had no issues with Harden’s game-winner immediately following the win and suggested it was par for the course for the superstar. “The last shot was typical of what James does,” interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff told reporters in the post-game press conference. “The move we’ve seen before, the finish we’ve seen before, the hold of the ball we’ve seen before. You do get spoiled by it. At times, in these moments, the biggest of moments, you can’t but help but appreciate it.” Harden, who drew some criticism for not being aggressive enough after failing to go to the free-throw line in Game 1 and making only one trip to the line in the second half of Game 2, finished with 35 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in Game 3 while going 9-of-11 from the line.


    * Warriors are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
    * Rockets are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.
    * Under is 6-0 in Warriors last six road games.
    * Under is 6-1 in Rockets last seven games following a straight up win.


    Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics (-2, 203.5)

    Hawks lead series 2-1

    The Boston Celtics made their way back into the series behind 42 points and some controversy from All-Star Isaiah Thomas. The point guard managed to escape without a suspension after appearing to hit Atlanta point guard Dennis Schroder in the face, and the Celtics will try to even the series at two wins apiece when they host the Hawks on Sunday.

    Schroder and Thomas battled back and forth in Game 3 and Thomas sent a hand toward Schroder’s face in the first quarter after the two were assessed technical fouls for jawing at each other. The refs missed the hit to the face but did catch Schroder knocking Thomas down seconds later. “I still feel disrespected (about) what he did,” Schroder told reporters after the decision to hand Thomas a flagrant 1 foul on Saturday. “I (had) just scored a basket and tried to go back on defense and he smacked me. It had nothing to do with basketball.” Thomas’ career-high 42 points were the key to Boston’s 111-103 victory which got the team back into the series after a pair of terrible offensive performances in the first two games.

    TV: 6 p.m. ET, TNT, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), CSN New England (Boston)

    The Celtics opened as 2-point home favorites for Game 4 and the line hasn’t yet to move off that number. The total opened st 204.5 and has been bet down one point to 203.5. Check out the complete line history here.

    ABOUT THE HAWKS (50-35, 43-41-1 ATS, 39-46 O/U):
    Atlanta was down 17 at the end of the first quarter on Friday and trailed by as much as 19 early in the third before battling back and taking the game down to the wire. “It was going to be tough to sweep this team anyway,” Hawks forward Kent Bazemore told reporters. “Being down 2-0 and them having a home game, we knew they were going to put up a fight. We know that we’ve got to do a lot better. Our defense wasn’t where it should have been for a chunk of a game.” Bazemore has sandwiched a pair of 20-point outings around a 2-of-14 effort in Game 2.

    ABOUT THE CELTICS (49-36, 44-40-1 ATS, 40-45 O/U):
    Boston is still without starting shooting guard Avery Bradley (hamstring) and switched up the lineup in Game 3 in an effort to coax some more offense out of the team, inserting Jonas Jerebko and Evan Turner. Those two combined for 28 points and spaced the floor for Thomas, who attacked the basket and joined Hall of Famers like Larry Bird and John Havlicek as Celtics who have gone for 40 or more points in the playoffs. “I’m just glad we got the win, first and foremost,” Thomas told reporters. “But, I mean, that makes me feel happy, just to be in same category of those great players and I just want to follow in the footsteps of all the Celtics greats.”


    * Hawks are 0-5 ATS in their last five road games.
    * Celtics are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a ATS win.
    * Under is 4-1 in Hawks last five games overall.
    * Under is 12-3 in Celtics last 15 games following a straight up win.


    Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons (+6.5, 198.5)

    Cavaliers lead series 3-0

    The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to dominate Detroit in the postseason and look to finish off a four-game sweep of the host Pistons in Sunday’s first-round contest. Cleveland has won 11 consecutive playoff games against Detroit, one off the postseason record held by the Los Angeles Lakers, who defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in 12 straight playoff games from 1980-89.

    The Cavaliers took the commanding 3-0 lead with a 101-91 victory on Friday when point guard Kyrie Irving scored 26 points and forwards LeBron James and Kevin Love each scored 20. “I think right now we’re in a great flow as far as us three,” James told reporters. “When we’re on the floor we understand what we want individually and as a team. Guys are picking their spots.” Being swept would leave Detroit with 10 consecutive playoff losses since a victory against the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the 2008 Eastern Conference finals. Pistons point guard Reggie Jackson is averaging just 14.7 points in the series – more than four below his regular-season average – and was just 1-of-8 from 3-point range in the Game 3 loss.

    TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT, FSN Ohio (Cleveland), FSN Detroit

    The Pistons opened as 6.5-point home favorites and have yet to move off that number. The total has also not moved off its opening number of 198.5. Check out the complete line history here.

    ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (60-25, 39-43-3 ATS, 42-43 O/U):
    The trio of James, Irving and Love are meshing and Detroit hasn’t figured out how to slow any of the three. Love has also been a force on the boards with three consecutive double-doubles while averaging 21.3 points and 11.7 rebounds, and Irving is averaging a team-best 26.3 points. James is averaging 22.3 points and had 13 rebounds and seven assists in Game 3 despite being just 8-of-24 shooting after making 21-of-35 over the first two games.

    ABOUT THE PISTONS (44-41, 43-40-2 ATS, 43-42 O/U):
    All-Star center Andre Drummond spent most of the fourth quarter on the bench in Game 3 as his porous free-throw shooting again was a problem. Drummond was 1-of-6 from the line in Game 3 – he is 6-for-24 in the series – and only played 93 seconds in the final stanza as coach Stan Van Gundy couldn’t afford to give possessions away. “Yeah, because you can’t do anything with him,” Van Gundy told reporters. “He can’t run to set a screen, he can’t do anything. You’ve just got opportunities to foul him. Now would they have [fouled]? I don’t know. But I gave him one possession – we’re behind. We can’t go down and play for zero points.”


    * Cavaliers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games playing on one days rest.
    * Road team is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
    * Under is 5-1 in Pistons last six home games.
    * Under is 5-1 in Cavaliers last six Conference Quarterfinals games.



    Detroit-Cleveland (C 3-0)
    Pistons lost Game 1 despite shooting 15-29 from arc; they were 10-40 in last two games and lost by 17-10 points. Five of last eight series games went over total- under is 19-7 in playoffs this month. Cavaliers won four of last five visits here, but lost two of last three road games overall; Detroit lost three of its last four home games. Cleveland had only 26 turnovers total in Games 1-3 (+3).

    Boston-Atlanta (A 2-1)
    Home side won all three series games; Boston shot 46% in Game 3 win, after shooting 36.3%/31.8% in Atlanta. Celtics lost five of last six games with Atlanta, with four of six going over the total- Hawks are 2-3 in last five visits here, and lost their last four road games overall. Six of last nine Atlanta games stayed under the total, as did three of last four Celtic games.

    Memphis-San Antonio (SAS 3-0)
    Grizzlies lost 12 of last 13 games, losing by 32-26-9 in first three games of series. Memphis lost its last eight games with Spurs (1-7 vs spread), six by 10+ points. Grizzlies lost four of last five series games played here. Seven of last nine series games stayed under total. Spurs are 3-2 in last five road games, with no win by more than nine; they only led by a point at half in Game 3, but made 12-26 on arc and pulled away to win.

    Houston-Golden State (GSW 2-1)
    Curry’s ankle should be vastly improved now that Warriors lost Game 3- they were only 6-25 on arc in 97-96 loss. Warriors won by 9 without Curry in Game 2, going 27-38 on line. Golden State won 11 of last 13 games (8-5 vs the spread) against Houston, covering three of last five played here. Rockets cut turnovers down to 16 last game, winning despite 39% shooting from floor. After missing two games, how will Golden State’s chemistry be with him back?

    Playoff tally: Favorites vs spread: 17-9, Over: 7-19


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Under – All teams where the total is between 190 and 199.5 points poor offensive rebounding team – averaging <=11/game on the season, on Sunday games 416-269 since 1997. ( 60.7% | 120.1 units ) 34-13 this year. ( 72.3% | 19.7 units )


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Against – Home teams vs. the money line (HOUSTON) off a close home win by 3 points or less, with a winning percentage of between 40-49% on the season
    84-63 since 1997. ( 57.1% | 41.5 units )
    5-4 this year. ( 55.6% | 1.3 units )


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Under – All teams where the first half total is between 95.5 and 100.5 points good team – outscoring their opponents by 3+ points/game, in April games
    358-228 since 1997. ( 61.1% | 107.2 units )
    5-9 this year. ( 35.7% | -4.9 units )


    Sunday’s Tip Sheet
    By Kevin Rogers

    Western Conference – Game 4 (Warriors lead 2-1)

    Golden State (-8 ½, 217 ½) at Houston – 3:35 PM EST – ABC

    The Warriors lost only nine games in the regular season, but dropped their first playoff game in Thursday’s 97-96 defeat at Houston. Golden State hasn’t lost consecutive contests this season, while last season’s Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry is expected back in the lineup after missing each of the previous two games with a sprained right ankle.

    The Rockets jumped out to a 17-point advantage in Game 3 before the Warriors rallied back to take a one-point lead with 10 seconds remaining. James Harden drilled the go-ahead jumper to give Houston a 97-96 lead, as Golden State’s Draymond Green mishandled the ensuing in-bound pass to clinch a Rockets’ victory and a cover as 3 ½-point underdogs. Harden scored a game-high 35 points, while the front-court duo of Dwight Howard and Donatas Motiejunas combined to pull down 26 rebounds.

    The Warriors went from 115 points in Game 2 to just 96 in Game 3, as Steve Kerr’s club shot 49% from the floor in the Game 2 victory. With the series shifting to Houston, the defending champions couldn’t buy a shot from three-point range by hitting 6-of-25 attempts from downtown, including an 0-for-7 effort from Klay Thompson. The usually explosive Warriors’ squad depended on a pair of role players to be key contributors in Game 3 as Marreese Speights put up a team-high 22 points and rookie guard Ian Clark chipped in with 11 points.

    Seven times in the regular season the Warriors were held below 100 points, while winning just twice when scoring in double-digits. However, Golden State bounced back by compiling a 5-0 SU and 3-2 ATS record following a loss when it was limited to less than 100 points with the two non-covers coming as double-digit favorites.

    The Rockets have won eight of their last 12 games at the Toyota Center, while winning and covering in each of their past three opportunities as a home underdog. Since 2013, Houston has taken care of its business as a home ‘dog in the postseason by compiling a 5-1 SU/ATS record, including four consecutive SU/ATS wins since last season’s playoffs.

    Eastern Conference – Game 4 (Hawks lead 2-1)

    Atlanta at Boston (-2, 203 ½) – 6:05 PM EST – TNT

    The home team has won each of the first three games of this series as Boston avoided a 3-0 deficit by holding off Atlanta on Friday, 111-103. Isaiah Thomas scored a career-high 42 points for the Celtics, while the Boston offense rebounded in a big way after being limited to 72 points in a Game 2 loss at Philips Arena. The Celtics put a halt to a six-game playoff losing streak under head coach Brad Stevens, while winning its first postseason contest since 2013 in the opening round against the Knicks.

    Thomas avoided a suspension after being assessed a technical foul in Game 3 for his run-in with Atlanta guard Dennis Schroder. The Celtics posted a 37-point first quarter on Friday following a seven-point opening frame in the Game 2 blowout loss. Boston jumped out to a 20-point advantage before Atlanta climbed back to take a brief lead in the fourth quarter. The Hawks were limited to 9-of-36 shooting from three-point range, as guard Kyle Korver was the only Atlanta player to heat up from downtown by hitting 5-of-9 attempts from long range.

    Atlanta suffered its fourth consecutive road loss since March 30, while allowing at least 105 points in each of those defeats. The Hawks have put together a 3-6 SU and 4-5 ATS record away from Philips Arena in the past nine postseason contests, while hitting the ‘over’ six of nine times during this span.

    Since January 13, the Celtics have dominated at home by going 20-3 SU and 16-7 ATS in the last 23 games at TD Garden. Dating back to the start of February, Boston owns a dazzling 9-3 ATS record as a favorite of 5 ½ points or less, while going 2-1 SU/ATS against Atlanta at home this season.

    Eastern Conference – Game 4 (Cavaliers lead 3-0)

    Cleveland (-6 ½, 198 ½) at Detroit – 8:35 PM EST – TNT

    The Cavaliers are one victory away from becoming the first Eastern Conference team to advance to the second round. Cleveland swept Boston in the opening round last season and are looking to duplicate that feat against Detroit at the Palace of Auburn Hills. After allowing 101 points in the series opener, Cleveland’s defense tightened up the last two games by giving up 90 points in Game 2 and 91 points in Game 3.

    The Pistons trailed the Cavaliers on Friday night by one point at halftime, but Cleveland pulled away late to grab a 101-91 victory to cover as five-point road favorites. Kyrie Irving drilled a three-pointer as the shot clock expired in the final minute to give Cleveland an eight-point cushion and basically guarantee the Cavaliers a cover. Following a 53-point output in the first half by the Pistons, Cleveland’s defense tightened up and allowed Detroit to score only 38 points in the second half.

    Cleveland’s Big Three dominated in Game 3 as Irving, LeBron James, and Kevin Love combined to score 66 points, while the Cavaliers outrebounded the Pistons, 46-32. All five Detroit starters put up double-figures, but the bench contributed only 14 points, while the team shot 6-of-23 from three-point range, a far cry from Game 1 when the Pistons hit 15 shots from downtown.

    The Cavaliers posted a 3-0 SU/ATS record in close-out games in the 2015 playoffs, including road victories at Boston and Chicago. Since 2011, James-led teams have compiled a 13-4 SU and 11-6 ATS mark when trying to clinch a series, but two of those losses came with his team (Heat) leading 3-0 on the road in the first round in 2011 and 2012.

    The Pistons have rebounded off a home loss since the All-Star break by going 5-0 SU and 4-1 ATS in this situation, including a victory at Cleveland on February 22 as 9 ½-point underdogs. Stan Van Gundy’s team continues to be an ‘under’ squad at home recently by cashing the ‘under’ in five of the last six games at the Palace of Auburn Hills.


    Favorites, unders and an ankle injury have hindered the NBA’s opening playoff round
    By Joe Fortenbaugh

    At the close of Las Vegas business on Friday night, favorites had posted a remarkable against-the-spread record of 15-7 (68.2%) through the first 22 games of the 2016 NBA playoffs, with those victories coming by the shocking average of 20.5 points per game.

    Unlike the National Hockey League, the first round of the Association’s postseason has been virtually unwatchable.

    Of the eight playoff showdowns currently in action, only one features a winning ATS record in favor of the underdog (Toronto-Indiana). San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Miami, Los Angeles and Cleveland have been hammering the opposition while even the defending champion Golden State Warriors, minus MVP Steph Curry for the second and third games of the series, are 2-1 both straight-up and ATS with just a one-point loss in Game 3 serving as the team’s only postseason blemish.

    So has it become fair to ask whether or not the NBA should consider revising its playoff format?

    Consider this idea recently floated by Colin Cowherd on his national FOX Sports radio show: Shorten the first round of the NBA playoffs from a seven-game series to a three-game series, shorten rounds two and three from seven games to a five-game series and leave the NBA Finals as a seven-game series.

    Granted, the NBA would never support an idea such as this because fewer games results in fewer advertising dollars, and sports bettors would also be opposed because this radical shift in postseason competition would lead to far fewer betting opportunities. But maybe, just maybe such a change could lead to more compelling viewing. Think about it like this: The NBA is the only major American sport that loses in the ratings to its college counterpart. March Madness is exceptional television because of the high stakes drama that results from its win-or-go-home format. Would Steph Curry have played in Games 2 or 3 of Golden State’s playoff showdown with Houston if it were only a three-game series? How awesome would it have been to watch Game 3 of the Oklahoma City-Dallas matchup knowing it was winner-take-all? Instead, both of those aforementioned scenarios produced virtually no drama at all because of the fact that Game 3 in a seven-game first-round series carries little significance.

    The very notion of lost revenue will no doubt prevent such a change from ever occurring in regards to the NBA’s postseason format, but it would behoove the league to consider any and all possible adjustments for the sole purpose of making its most compelling time of year just that: More compelling.


    …that NBA unders are 16-6 (72.7%) through the first 22 games of the playoffs? Not only that, but blindly betting the under has resulted in a profit in every single playoff series so far with the exception of Miami-Charlotte (Over is 2-0).

    As we’ve mentioned before in this column, sports bettors are doing themselves a disservice if they aren’t actively studying John Hollinger’s “Pace” metric over at ESPN. Pace is defined as the number of possessions a team uses per game. Simply put, the more possessions a team has, the more shots it can attempt. And the more shots a team can attempt, the more points it can score.

    San Antonio and Memphis tied for 25th in Pace during the 2015-2016 NBA regular season. So would it surprise you to learn that the under is a perfect 3-0 in the San Antonio-Memphis series?

    If you’re studying the Pace metric, it shouldn’t.


    Residing in the Bay Area and working in sports talk radio, I can personally guarantee you that no topic has been more thoroughly discussed over the past week than the status of Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry.

    After missing the second and third games of the Houston series due to an ankle/foot injury sustained in Game 1, Curry is currently listed as “questionable” to play in Game 4 Sunday afternoon in Houston where the Warriors are listed as 8-point favorites. The reigning MVP participated in 3-on-3 drills on Friday and is scheduled to go through a full practice on Saturday.

    I had no problems whatsoever with Golden State’s cautious approach in regards to Curry for games two and three, as the Rockets are currently the Association’s biggest grease fire, capable of defeating themselves on any given night.

    But now that the series has gotten real thanks to James Harden’s Game 3 performance, the only way Curry doesn’t play on Sunday in Game 4 is if this injury is far more serious than anybody is saying. The Warriors can’t afford to roll the dice on Sunday like they have in the previous two matchups for fear of allowing Houston to knot this thing at 2-2 while simultaneously breathing new life into this dysfunctional Rockets franchise.


    Curry’s return has NBA bettors clamoring to lay big road points in Sunday’s playoff action
    By Patrick Everson

    Reigning MVP Stephen Curry is likely to be back in the lineup for the Golden State Warriors today for Game 4 of their NBA Playoffs series against the Houston Rockets. And the line has responded in kind at Las Vegas sportsbooks and online books.

    “We moved Golden State from -7.5 to the current line of -9,” Mike Jerome, oddsmaker for TopBet. “I don’t think we will go higher than -9. You never know if that ankle could act up on Curry again.”

    Bettors certainly don’t seem to be concerned about that prospect, though.

    “People are absolutely hammering the Warriors, with 88 percent of the cash on the spread backing the defending champs,” Jerome said.

    At CG Technology books in Las Vegas, a similar tale was unfolding.

    “The books are assuming Curry is in, which is why the line is 8.5/9, as opposed to 5 in Game 3,” said Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG. “We are expecting him to play, and the bettors are as well. We’ve had much more action on Golden State thus far.”

    Simbal and Jerome said the Warriors-Rockets tilt is seeing the most action of all four of today’s contests, with Jerome adding that San Antonio is also getting a lot of support at TopBet as it tries to sweep Memphis. As was the case in Game 3, the Spurs are double-digit road chalk, but that’s not slowing their support.

    “I think people realize the Spurs want to make quick business of Memphis, so they can rest up for the next round,” Jerome said. “Seventy-three percent of betting cash is backing the Spurs at -13.”

    However, at CG books, bettors were leaning on the Grizzlies at +13.5.

    Meanwhile, the under trend continues to run rampant through the playoffs, hitting in three of Saturday’s four games to improve to 19-7 overall, a stout 73 percent. Yet bettors really haven’t been swayed to eschew overs.

    “Despite all of the unders hitting, we have been getting two-way action on lost totals,” Simbal said. “In fact, our two biggest total decisions of Saturday had us needing the under.”

    And all those unders have been a boon for Top Bet, as well.

    “We’re doing great overall on NBA totals,” Jerome said. “We needed the under in 20 of the 26 games.”


    Basketball Crusher

    Boston Celtics -130 over Atlanta Hawks
    (System Record: 80-5, won last 2 games)
    Overall Record: 80-91-3

    Detroit Pistons +6.5 over Cleveland Cavs

    Houston Rockets +8.5 over Golden State Warriors



    100* Warriors -9


    Steve Merril

    Steve’s Screenshot (NBA) (Sunday 4/24)

    NBA Playoffs

    Spurs (-13, 183) at Grizzlies
    This series is over. San Antonio is up 3-0 with their wins coming by 32 (106-74), 26 points (94-68), and 9 points (96-87). The Spurs are now 7-0 SU versus Memphis this season, and they will win once again tonight. But I have no interest in laying double-digits in a NBA playoff game.

    Warriors (-9, 217) at Rockets
    Golden State is now 5-1 SU versus Houston this season after losing 97-96 in Game 3 on Thursday night. Stephen Curry missed three of those games, and he played sparingly in Game 1 after tweaking his ankle. Curry is expected to return for Game 4 today as indicated by the 9-point line. Golden State should bounce back with a strong effort, but not knowing how effective Curry will be makes laying 9 points a dicey proposition.

    Hawks at Celtics (-2, 203.5)
    This game is a strong Best Bet for my personal clients as my 6-2 (75%) NBA Playoff start continues.

    Cavaliers (-6.5, 198.5) at Pistons
    Detroit went 3-1 SU against Cleveland in the regular season, but things have flipped in this playoff series. This series is a foregone conclusion with Cleveland now up 3-0. Detroit has been out-scored in 9 of the 12 quarters with the Cavaliers averaging 26.2 points per quarter. The Pistons’ offense has been unable to take advantage of Cleveland’s suspect defense, so Detroit can not be trusted to come with a good effort in this game.


    Guaranteed picks today


    1:05pm Spurs vs. Grizzlies
    (1000 Stars) San Antonio-13

    3:35pm Warriors vs. Rockets
    (2000 Stars) Houston+9

    6:05pm Hawks vs. Celtics
    (3000 Stars) Atlanta+2

    8:35pm Cavaliers vs. Pistons
    (800 Stars) Cleveland-6.5

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