- April 20, 2016 at 8:01 pm #41254
“NBA Playoffs betting preview and odds”
Reining league MVP Stephen Curry is officially listed as Questionable for Thursday night’s Game 3 contest in Houston. Although he has said that his injured ankle and foot are feeling better, the Warriors may hold him out just to be sure.
Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks (+8.5, 196.5)
Series tied 1-1
Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki plans to play through a bruised right knee and the Mavericks look to take a 2-1 series lead when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. Nowtizki injured the knee during Monday’s 85-84 victory, a stunning road win that kept sixth-seeded Dallas alive in the series.
Nowitzki, who said he was injured on the first play of game, underwent an MRI exam that revealed the bone bruise and he was relieved that it wasn’t anything more significant. “I had it worked on a little bit and after the game I was really stiff,” Nowitzki told reporters on Wednesday. Coming off the plane, I could barely walk anymore. There was some swelling (Tuesday), but it’s feeling a lot better, moving around a little bit.” The third-seeded Thunder are dealing with a bruised psyche after losing Game 2 following a 38-point beat down of the Mavericks in the series opener. All-Star forward Kevin Durant was a horrid 7-of-33 shooting in Monday’s loss, prompting coach Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan to describe it this way: “For a guy that’s been as great a scorer as he has his entire career, for him to shoot the ball the way he did was really uncharacteristic.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TNT, FSN Oklahoma, KTXA (Dallas)
The Thunder opened the betting for this matchup as 8.5-point favorites. The line initially dropped to Dallas +8, then rose as high as +9.5, before settling back down to the opening number of +8.5. The total opened at 197 and dropped slightly to 196.5. View complete line history here.
ABOUT THE THUNDER (56-28, 38-45-1 ATS, 39-45 O/U):
Durant, who scored 21 points, had never previously missed 26 shots before in a game and he didn’t have any answers for why he shot so poorly. “Bad shooting night for me,” Durant said. “It’s a part of it. I wish it didn’t happen tonight, but it’s a part of it. Got some great looks all night and just didn’t knock them down. Just stick with my routine – don’t do too much extra.” Point guard Russell Westbrook also shot a poor percentage (8-of-22) while contributing 19 points and 14 rebounds but only six assists.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (43-41, 46-37-1 ATS, 39-44-1 O/U):
Nowitzki’s injury is just the latest in a long line of ailments for Dallas, which won’t know until close to game time whether or not point guards J.J. Barea (groin) and Deron Williams (sports hernia) or forward David Lee (foot) will be available. Barea ran after Wednesday’s practice – a good sign – while Williams is trying to fight through an injury that will require offseason surgery. “We know from a manpower standpoint we’re at a pretty big disadvantage,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. “And we know we’re not going to outrun or outdunk or outskill these guys.”
* Thunder are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
* Mavericks are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Under is 6-1 in Thunder last 7 vs. NBA Southwest.
* Under is 9-2 in Mavericks last 11 overall.
* Over is 24-9-1 in the last 34 meetings in Dallas.
1. Mavericks SG Wesley Matthews is just 6-of-21 shooting in the series but forced Durant to miss 10 of 11 shots while he was guarding him during Game 2.
2. Oklahoma City PF Serge Ibaka is averaging 14.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the series.
3. Dallas PG Raymond Felton was a huge contributor in Game 2 with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
PREDICTION: Thunder 98, Mavericks 93April 20, 2016 at 8:02 pm #41255
Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers (+1.5, 193)
Series tied 1-1
Jonas Valanciunas has been Toronto’s most reliable performer through the first two games of the series and the Raptors hope the 7-foot center has another strong effort in him when they visit the Indiana Pacers in Thursday’s Game 3. Valanciunas averaged team-leading figures of 17.5 points and 17 rebounds as second-seeded Toronto split the first two games with seventh-seeded Indiana.
Valanciunas had 23 points and 15 rebounds in Monday’s 98-87 victory as the Raptors evened the series in a contest in which All-Star guards Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan continued to struggle. “We’ve all got to step up,” Valanciunas told reporters. “It’s not an individual sport. Some nights are tough for Kyle, some nights it’s tough for DeMar, tough for me. Everybody has tough times, so everybody has got to pull for each other.” All-Star forward Paul George is averaging 30.5 points in the series but he was annoyed the Pacers returned to Indianapolis with a split instead of a 2-0 lead. “You usually feel good walking away from a road trip with the series tied at one, but I’m upset because a lot of stuff that we gave up was preventable,” George told reporters. “(Game 2) was set up the same way for us as Game 1 to rally back and win this game. I thought our focus was lost and we gave up some plays that we shouldn’t have.”
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBATV, Sportsnet One (Toronto), FSN Indiana
This game opened as a PICK and the public pushed the Raptors all of the way up to -1.5. The total opened at 193 and was bumped up to 193.5. View complete line history here.
ABOUT THE RAPTORS (57-27, 46-38 ATS, 42-41-1 O/U):
Lowry is averaging 14 points on 7-of-26 shooting and DeRozan is averaging 12 points on 10-of-37 shooting as neither player has come close to his All-Star form in the series. Most concerning was DeRozan’s Game 2 showing as he didn’t attempt a single free throw – he averaged 8.4 per game in the regular season – and coach Dwane Casey kept him on the bench for the entire fourth quarter. “I feel like it’s nothing to get frustrated about, I really do,” DeRozan told reporters at Tuesday’s practice. “I don’t mind having bad shooting nights. You have to be able to take the good with the bad. I had a great season, the season is over with and I’ve had two rough shooting nights. I don’t think it’s the end of the world; we still won (Game 2).”
ABOUT THE PACERS (46-38, 42-41-1 ATS, 37-47 O/U):
George has been terrific but could certainly use some help from his teammates as shooting guard Monta Ellis (15 per game) is the only other Indiana player averaging in double digits in the series. “We all have to do a better job of helping Paul out,” Pacers guard Rodney Stuckey told reporters. “We’re at our best offensively when we’re moving the ball around and moving (our feet).” Other than George, Indiana’s frontcourt production has been practically non-existent with starting center Ian Mahinmi (0-of-8 shooting) and starting power forward Lavoy Allen each averaging three points per game and reserve forwards Myles Turner (nine per game) and Solomon Hill (7.5) also with room to improve.
* Raptors are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 Conference Quarterfinals games.
* Pacers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a straight up loss.
* Under is 6-0 in Raptors last 6 games following a ATS win.
* Under is 4-0 in Pacers last 4 Conference Quarterfinals games.
* Raptors are 8-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings in Indiana.
1. The Game 2 victory halted the Raptors’ seven-game playoff losing streak.
2. Mahinmi (back) is day-to-day after being injured in Game 2.
3. Toronto backup PG Cory Joseph is averaging 17 points on 11-of-14 shooting through the first two games.
PREDICTION: Pacers 100, Raptors 98April 20, 2016 at 8:03 pm #41256
Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets (+6, 217.5)
Warriors lead series 2-0
The Golden State Warriors got some good news in regards to Stephen Curry’s health, but the team might not even need the superstar to get through the first round. The eighth-seeded Houston Rockets are down 0-2 and will try to get back into the series when they host Game 3 on Thursday.
Curry scored 24 points in the first half of Game 1 before leaving with an ankle injury and sat out Game 2. The Warriors breezed to a 115-106 win behind 34 points from Klay Thompson on Monday and on Tuesday announced that an MRI exam on Curry’s ankle showed nothing of concern. “We’ll see how he responds the next couple of days, and if he’s not right, obviously being up 2-0 does give us more cushion if we decide to sit him,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Monday’s win. “But it will be based on his health – not the series score.” Whether or not Curry plays, Houston is going to need to find a way to hang onto the ball after totaling 43 turnovers in the first two games.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT, CSN Bay Area (Golden State), ROOT (Houston)
The Warriors opened as 5.5-point favorites on the road for Game 3 of this series. The public pounded Golden State and the books were forced to move the Dubs’ line up to -6. The total opened at 217 and was bumped up to 218. View complete line history here.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (75-9, 47-35-2 ATS, 46-37-1 O/U):
Curry is listed as questionable for Game 3 and Golden State knows how to play without its star if necessary. “All the guys knew they had to be aggressive with Steph out,” Kerr told reporters after the Game 2 victory. “The best number on the stat sheet is 16 free throws for Klay. I thought he was fantastic. He came up big.” Shaun Livingston started in Curry’s place and scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting while Andre Iguodala stepped up off the bench with 18 points and Draymond Green flirted with a triple-double with 12 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.
ABOUT THE ROCKETS (41-43, 37-47 ATS, 48-36 O/U):
James Harden scored 28 points in Game 2 and went 13-of-15 from the free-throw line after not attempting one in Game 1, but Houston appeared disjointed on both ends in both games. Center Dwight Howard has taken some criticism and needed his coach to come to his defense after Game 2. “No, I don’t think he was disinterested,” interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff told reporters. “I thought he was good on the glass. I thought he was running. Give (Warriors center Andrew) Bogut some credit, he does a good job with his size. He’s physical, uses his length, he pushes, he grabs, he holds, so I wouldn’t say he was disinterested. I thought he gave his effort.”
* Warriors are 9-0 ATS in their last 9 Thursday games.
* Rockets are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 Conference Quarterfinals games.
* Under is 5-0 in Warriors last 5 road games.
* Over is 4-1 in Rockets last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
* Warriors are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Houston.
1. Warriors F Harrison Barnes is 4-of-22 from the field in the series.
2. Rockets F Donatas Motiejunas returned to the starting lineup in Game 2 after coming off the bench in Game 1 and scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting.
3. Golden State is 13-1 against Houston since the start of last season, including the playoffs.
PREDICTION: Warriors 119, Rockets 102April 20, 2016 at 8:04 pm #41257
NEWSLETTER NBA Basketball Prediction From Strike Point Sports
Take #533 Oklahoma City (-8.5) over Dallas (7 p.m., Thursday, April 21)
I know that Dallas is coming into this home game off a big upset win over the Thunder in Game 2. The Mavs have stolen home-court advantage in this series, but after this game the Thunder will take it right back. Kevin Durant played terribly in Game 2 and he will bounce back in a big way here. Durant was 7-33 from the floor and 2-11 from the three-point line. Along with that terrible shooting display he turned the ball over seven times. The Thunder as a team shot 33 percent from the floor and 22 percent from the three-point line. All of this will change in Game 3. Look for the Thunder to withstand an early run from the Mavs in front of their home crowd but then to take control as the better team. OKC will grab home-court advantage back in a big way 110-97.April 20, 2016 at 8:12 pm #41263
NBA Odds: Thursday, April 21 2016 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews
So what do you do if you are the Golden State Warriors? It’s now pretty clear that the Houston Rockets just don’t care and aren’t going to put up much of a fight in their first-round Western Conference series. So does Warriors coach Steve Kerr allow Steph Curry to play in Game 3 on Thursday as the series shifts to Texas? Or does he give Curry a few more days to heal that ankle/foot. Curry had an MRI on Tuesday and it came back clear. He is currently listed as questionable. The Warriors will not beat the Clippers in the next round without a fully healthy Curry. I probably sit him at least one more game.
Game 3: No. 3 Thunder at No. 6 Mavericks (+9.5, 196)
Just when you think you know what you are doing as a bettor, something like Game 2 of this series happens. The Thunder absolutely destroyed the Mavericks in Game 1. So of course Dallas, minus injured guard J.J. Barea and with fellow guard Deron Williams very limited with his own injury, upset the Thunder 85-84 in Game 2. Raymond Felton stepped in for Barea and had one of the best games of his career with 21 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Who saw that coming? As of now, the Mavs don’t know if Barea or Williams will play in Game 3. Ditto forward David Lee, who has yet to go in this series with a heel injury.
Was Dallas much better on defense in Game 2? No question about it. The Mavs, especially Wesley Matthews, were way more physical on Kevin Durant. But good defense or not, you couldn’t have predicted Durant going 7-for-33 from the field. Those 26 misses were a career-high for him and tied Michael Jordan for the most in an NBA postseason game in the past 30 years. Durant had a shot to win in the final seconds on a contested layup after Felton missed two free throws on the other end. But Durant missed, a tip missed and then Steven Adams’ made putback came a blink after the final buzzer. Russell Westbrook also struggled, going 8-for-22. The two stars combined for 11 turnovers.
Series line: Thunder -3000, Mavericks +1500
OKC is 3-9 against the spread in its past 12 Thursday games. The Mavs are 9-4 ATS in their past 13 vs. the Western Conference. The “over/under” has gone under in nine of the Mavs’ past 11.
I’ll take the points. Clearly Durant and Westbrook will be better and probably lead a win, but that’s a lot of points to give a decent team at home. Go under as both games have in this series thus far.
Game 3: No. 2 Raptors at No. 7 Pacers (+1.5, 193)
Toronto has to be happy with a 1-1 split heading to Indianapolis. Why? For one, the Raptors got a big monkey off their backs with Monday’s 98-87 win. Toronto had lost seven straight playoff games — two in 2014 when leading Brooklyn 3-2 in the series, four straight last year to Washington and then this series opener by 10. The reason I think the Raptors are OK at 1-1 right now is because All-Star DeMar DeRozan has done very little thus far. He has combined to score 24 points on 10-for-37 shooting (27 percent) while attempting just six free throws. DeRozan averaged 23.5 points per game on 44.6 percent shooting during the season and ranked third in the NBA in free throw attempts per game (8.4). Also a positive for Toronto: Indiana has had no answer yet for Jonas Valanciunas, who is averaging 17.5 points and 17.0 rebounds in the series. Indiana just can’t match up with him.
Paul George has been great in both games of the series for Indiana and he will need to continue to be. He might be the best player in the series, but Toronto has at least the next best three in DeRozan, Kyle Lowry and Valanciunas. George got very little support in Game 2. Monta Ellis added 15 points but the other three starters combined for 11 points. The bench wasn’t much better. Indiana starting center Ian Mahinmi was limited to 21 minutes with a sore lower back in Game 2 and did not play in the fourth. He is day-to-day. Indiana was 1-1 at home vs. Toronto this season.
Series line: Raptors -250, Pacers +210
The Raptors are 2-6 ATS in their past eight following an ATS win. Indiana is 8-2 ATS in its past 10 after a loss. The under is 4-1 in Toronto’s past five road games. It is 9-3 in Indiana’s past 12 at home.
Pacers and under.
Game 3: No. 1 Warriors at No. 8 Rockets (+5.5, 217.5)
Curry warmed up for a few minutes ahead of Game 2 on Monday before walking back into the locker room clearly perturbed. I watched that whole game and the Rockets truly are a disjointed, disinterested bunch. So many stupid shots — hello Josh Smith — and turnovers. At least twice I saw Dwight Howard grab a rebound nearly under the Warriors basket and instead of trying to dunk or something didn’t even look up and instead threw out to a 3-point shooter. The only guy who seems to give max effort all the time is Patrick Beverley. James Harden cares on offense but is still a joke on defense at times. On multiple occasions he simply stood there while his opponent rolled baseline on him for either a layup or a dunk. And then Harden would point at Howard and criticize him. Those two clearly don’t like each other and it’s 100 percent that Howard won’t be back next season.
Golden State won 115-106, actually scoring more points than they did with Curry (for a half) in Game 1. The Warriors’ offense ran through Klay Thompson in Game 2 and he was solid with 34 points and five assists. Draymond Green added 12 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists without a single turnover in 39 minutes. Shaun Livingston started for Curry and had 16 points and six assists.
Series line: TBA because of Curry
The Warriors are 9-0 ATS in their past nine Thursday games. Houston is 5-2 ATS in its past seven following an ATS loss. Golden State is 5-1 ATS in its past six in Houston. The under is 7-3 in the Warriors’ past 10 after a win.
For all I just said about Houston, maybe the home crowd draws a big effort for one game; the Rockets did get one game there in last year’s West Finals vs. Golden State. So I’d take the points if Curry sits. Only then. Wait on Curry for total choice as well. Over if he plays.April 21, 2016 at 9:16 am #41291
Sometimes life is simple: Pacers made 4-20 on arc in Game 2 loss, after draining 11-21 in Game 1 upset- rest of stats were similar in first two games. Raptors won seven of last nine games with Indiana, winning three of last four here; Toronto covered 10 of last 12 series games- six of last nine went over total. Pacers won seven of last ten overall, Raptors won eight of last 11 overall, covering six of last nine.
Dallas-Oklahoma City (1-1)
Durant went 7-33 in 85-84 home loss in Game 2; Westbrook was 8-22. Thunder won five of last six games with Dallas, but Mavericks are 7-5 vs spread in last 12 series games. Thunder won by 13-3 in last two visits here. Seven of last ten series games went over. Dallas won eight of last 11 games, covered five of last seven as a dog- Nine of last 11 Dallas games stayed under total. Thunder lost five of its last six road games SU, with one win at Denver.
Houston-Golden State (GSW 2-0)
Curry’s ankle ould keep him out again here, as Warriors won by 9 without him in Game 2, going 27-38 on line. Golden State won 11 of last 12 games (8-4 vs the spread) against Houston, covering three of last four played here. Houston turned ball over 43 times in first two games, looked disinterested on defense- they did hit 10-25 on arc in Game 2, compared to 6-22 in Game 1 but Golden State got to line 14 more times than Game 1, and without Curry. .
Playoff tally: Favorites vs spread: 12-4, Over: 4-12April 21, 2016 at 9:17 am #41292
StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets
NBA | GOLDEN STATE at HOUSTON
Play Under – Home teams where the total is greater than or equal to 210 after failing to cover 2 of their last 3 against the spread against opponent after having covered 4 of their last 5 against the spread
89-46 since 1997. ( 65.9% | 38.4 units )
11-5 this year. ( 68.8% | 5.5 units )
NBA | GOLDEN STATE at HOUSTON
Play On – Road teams vs. the money line (GOLDEN STATE) after successfully covering the spread in 4 or more consecutive games, playing with 2 days rest
34-19 over the last 5 seasons. ( 64.2% | 24.7 units )
6-5 this year. ( 54.5% | 2.8 units )
NBA | OKLAHOMA CITY at DALLAS
Play Under – All teams where the first half total is between 95.5 and 100.5 points good team, winning 60-75% or more of their games on the season, in April games
348-221 since 1997. ( 61.2% | 104.9 units )
4-5 this year. ( 44.4% | -1.5 units )April 21, 2016 at 9:28 am #41298
Thursday’s Tip Sheet
By Kevin Rogers
Western Conference – Game 3 – Series tied 1-1
Thunder (-8 ½, 196 ½) at Mavericks – 7:05 PM EST – TNT
Everything has gone pretty much to form so far in the NBA playoffs, except for Dallas shocking Oklahoma City as 14-point road underdogs in Monday’s Game 2 of their first round series. Following a 38-point blowout in the series opener, the beat-up Mavericks hung with the Thunder for the first three quarters of Game 2 before hanging on in the final seconds for an 85-84 upset to cash at 10/1 on the moneyline (Bet $100 to win $1000).
The grind-it-out style the Mavericks employed for the final eight games of the regular season that helped them clinch a playoff berth didn’t work too well in a 108-70 setback in the series opener. However, point guard Deron Williams gutted out a sports hernia injury to score 11 first quarter points in Game 2, while Raymond Felton put up a team-high 21 points and dished out 11 assists in Monday’s victory to even up the series.
The concern on the Oklahoma City side is the shooting struggles of Kevin Durant, who missed 26 of 33 attempted shots in Game 2, including several misses in the final minute to give the Thunder the lead. Russell Westbrook didn’t shoot well either (8-of-22), but still scored 19 points and had 14 assists, but the duo knocked down just 3-of-17 shots from three-point range. In spite of OKC converting 33% of its shots, the Thunder limited the Mavericks to 42% shooting, while Mavs’ guard Wesley Matthews missed all seven of his three-point attempts.
NBA expert Chris David explains that backing OKC can be a concern, “I expected Oklahoma City to sweep this series and was wrong on that prediction but I don’t see the Thunder losing another game to the Mavericks. However, it’s hard for me to back the Thunder versus the number in Game 3 just based on their regular season numbers. While the club was 22-9 as a road favorite, they burned bettors with a 12-18-1 record against the spread. Total bettors should note that the ‘over’ has gone 20-11 in those games and OKC has only been held under 100 points twice in that span.”
The Thunder have still controlled this series in 2015-16, as Billy Donovan’s team has won five of six meetings with the Mavericks. OKC won both matchups at the American Airlines Center, as each game sailed ‘over’ the total. Dallas profited as a home underdog this season by compiling a 7-5 ATS mark in this role, including a cover against Oklahoma City in a 109-106 loss as six-point ‘dogs on January 22.
Can the Thunder rebound from the poor shooting performance in Game 2? David believes OKC will put up points tonight, “Game 3’s total opened 197 and has dropped to 196. The first two games in this series have easily gone ‘under’ the number and those totals ranged from 203 to 206. While Dallas has had trouble scoring, Oklahoma City has proven that it can get any shot it wants so far and more importantly, it’s been great off bad performances. The Thunder offense was held in the eighties three times in the regular season and they responded 114, 128 and 119 points. With that being said, I’m buying the Oklahoma City team total ‘over’ (102 ½) on Thursday.”
Eastern Conference – Game 3 – Series tied 1-1
Raptors (-1 ½, 193) at Pacers – 7:35 PM EST – NBATV
Toronto rebounded from a disappointing second half in its 10-point loss in Game 1 to even up its series with Indiana following a 98-87 victory in Game 2. The Raptors picked up the cover as eight-point home favorites, while its defense stepped up by limiting the Pacers to 21 points or less in three of four quarters. The big question heading into Game 3 with the venue shifting to Bankers Life Fieldhouse is whether or not the dynamic Raptors’ backcourt can get its scoring on track.
Coming off last season’s first round sweep at the hands of the Wizards, the Raptors were none too thrilled to drop the opener to the Pacers and continue their playoff struggles. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry combined to shoot 8-of-32 and score 25 points in the Game 1 defeat, while not performing much better in Game 2 by scoring 28 points on 9-of-27 shooting. Lowry helped his cause by getting to the foul line and making all 10 free throw attempts in Game 2, while DeRozan failed to attempt a single free throw. The advantage in the middle in this series clearly belongs to Toronto, as center Jonas Valancuinas has pulled down 34 rebounds through two games.
Paul George continues to carry this Indiana offense by averaging 30.5 points per game through the first two contests of this series. George put up 28 points in the Game 2 loss on Monday, but only one other Pacer reached double-figures as Monta Ellis scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Pacers’ center Ian Mahinmi failed to score a point on six shot attempts, while being listed as questionable with a back injury for Game 3.
The line has shortened up with the series headed to Indianapolis as David breaks down Game 3, “Even though this line is short, it’s rare to see the Pacers as home underdogs but the oddsmakers have been spot on with their ratings on the club. Indiana was listed as a home ‘dog six times this season and it went 2-4 in those games while managing to cover three of them. Toronto has gone a respectable 15-7 as a road favorite this season and that makes me believe they’ll get at least a spilt in these next two games played at Indiana.”
The Raptors have won in three of their last four visits to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, including a 101-94 overtime triumph on March 17. Four of the six games between Toronto and Indiana have finished ‘under’ the total, including each game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Western Conference – Game 3 – Warriors lead 2-0
Warriors (-5 ½, 215) at Rockets – 9:35 PM EST – TNT
There isn’t much doubt that Golden State will knock out Houston, but there is plenty of doubt regarding the status of Stephen Curry’s sprained right ankle heading into Game 3. Curry’s status is currently listed as doubtful after last season’s MVP missed Golden State’s 115-106 victory over Houston in Game 2 to take a 2-0 series advantage.
The Warriors won their fifth straight home playoff game over the Rockets since last season’s Western Conference Finals as the defending champions shot 49% from the floor. Klay Thompson paced the Warriors with 34 points, including knocking down 15-of-16 free throws, while Shaun Livingston filled in for Curry with 16 points. Last season’s NBA Finals hero Andre Iguodala scored 18 points off the bench for Golden State, while hitting four three-pointers.
James Harden put together a better Game 2 performance with 28 points and 11 assists after scoring just 17 points in the series opener. Five Rockets scored in double-figures in Game 2, but center Dwight Howard is averaging 13 points per game in this series after attempting seven shots in Monday’s loss. Harden struggled from three-point range by hitting 1-of-8 attempts, but Josh Smith and Jason Terry combined to drill six treys off the bench.
The Rockets have lost six straight meetings with the Warriors since knocking off Golden State in Game 4 of the conference finals last May, 128-115 as 4 ½-point home underdogs. Houston put together an impressive 5-3 SU/ATS mark in the role of a home ‘dog this season, which includes wins over the Thunder (twice), Clippers, and Spurs. The Rockets haven’t been impressive at the Toyota Center since the All-Star break by posting a 7-5 SU and 5-7 ATS record in the last 12 home contests.
During last season’s championship run, Steve Kerr’s club compiled a 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS record as a road favorite in the playoffs. The Warriors split their four Game 3’s last season on the highway, but routed the Rockets in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals as 1 ½-point underdogs, 115-80.April 21, 2016 at 9:34 am #41302
Indiana Pacers +1.5 over Toronto Raptors
(System Record: 78-4, lost last 3 games)
Overall Record: 78-91-3
Dallas Mavericks +8.5 over Oklahoma City ThunderApril 21, 2016 at 11:31 am #41312
3* Indiana Pacers +1.5
3* Golden St. Warriors -5April 21, 2016 at 11:46 am #41315
NBA Basketball Betting Trends – Thurs – April, 21
Oklahoma City at Dallas, 7:05 ET
Oklahoma City: 39-20 ATS after a close loss by 3 points or less
Dallas: 11-22 ATS when playing with 2 days rest
Toronto at Indiana, 7:35 ET
Toronto: 1-8 ATS after 3 or more consecutive unders
Indiana: 11-3 ATS when playing with 2 days rest
Golden State at Houston, 9:35 ET
Golden State: 20-7 ATS after 2 straight games where they had 10 or more steals
Houston: 19-28 ATS after allowing 105 points or moreApril 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm #41325
Guaranteed picks. Today
7:05pm Thunder vs. Mavericks
(2000 Stars) OKC Thunder-8.5
7:35pm Raptors vs. Pacers
(3000 Stars) Indiana+
10:35pm Warriors vs. Rockets Over/Under
(800 Stars) Houston over 215April 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm #41326
Indiana Pacers & Under
OK Thunder & OverApril 21, 2016 at 12:36 pm #41333
Game: Toronto Raptors (535) @ Indiana Pacers (536)
Time: Thursday 04/21 7:35 PM Eastern
Pick: Toronto -1 (-110)
Toronto has gotten over the mental block of losing seven straight playoff games after a 98-87 win in Game 2. They got the win even though their star players Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan were a combined 9-of-31 from the field. Jonas Valanciunas led the Raptors with 23 points and 15 rebounds and the Toronto defense held Indiana to a .414 field goal percentage. Paul George scored 28 points for the Pacers, but didn’t get much help with Monta Ellis the only other player in double figures with 15 points. Toronto has covered the spread eight of the last nine meetings in Indiana, including a 101-94 overtime win on March 17 when Lowry and DeRozan each scored 28 points and Valanciunas was out with an injury. DeRozan will try to be more aggressive on offense in this matchup as he did not attempt a free throw in Game 2 and Valanciunas will continue to dominate in the middle. Take the road team Raptors.April 21, 2016 at 12:59 pm #41335
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