- April 15, 2016 at 8:46 pm #40620
NBA Odds: Sunday, April 17, 2016 Opening Line Report and Handicapping
by Alan Matthews
This is likely a franchise-altering postseason for the Los Angeles Clippers. The former laughingstock franchise is in the playoffs for the fifth year in a row but has never reached the Western Conference Finals in team history. The Clippers had that in their grasp last season in a potential series clinching Game 6 against Houston. But they gagged away a 19-point third-quarter lead and lost that game and Game 7. Another playoff disappointment and I believe this core has to be broken up. That probably means Blake Griffin is traded as the Clippers showed they could win without him for a large chunk of the regular season.
No. 8 Pistons at No. 1 Cavaliers (-10.5, 201)
The Pistons are in the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and had a chance to perhaps avoid Cleveland in the first round. But Detroit lost at home to Miami on Tuesday to hand the No. 7 seed and an easier matchup against No. 2 Toronto to Indiana. The Pistons and Cavaliers closed the regular season against one another in Ohio on Wednesday and Detroit won 112-110 in overtime. Take absolutely nothing from that as Detroit sat its starters and the Cavaliers played just one starter: Tristan Thompson. He is the team’s starting center going forward with Timofey Mozgov, who played so well in last year’s playoffs, now relegated to a bench role. Plus Thompson allows the Cavs to go to more of a small-ball role, basically in preparation for the Warriors in June’s NBA Finals. There are two injury concerns here. Detroit’s Reggie Jackson missed the final two games with a strained abdominal muscle but there’s no way he sits here. Cavs guard Iman Shumpert missed the final three games with a knee injury but I’m sure he’s playing here. The Pistons won three of the four meetings during the season. So what? The Bulls used to beat LeBron James’ teams in the regular season and then lose to them in the postseason. The only way the Pistons have a chance in this series is if Andre Drummond totally dominates down low and suddenly becomes a 75 percent free-throw shooter.
The Pistons are 8-2 against the spread in the past 10 meetings in Cleveland. The “over/under” is 6-2 in the past eight there.
Cavaliers and over.
No. 6 Hornets at No. 3 Heat (-4.5, 201.5)
Miami blew a 26-point lead in Boston on Wednesday and lost 98-88 yet still was a big winner as it came out on top of a four-way tiebreaker of teams at 48-34 and got the No. 3 seed by virtue of being a division champion (winning that tiebreaker over Atlanta). I haven’t heard any recent updates on Chris Bosh potentially playing in the playoffs with his blood clot condition, but that would be a minor miracle. Too bad as a full-strength Heat team with the addition of Joe Johnson, who never played with Bosh, could win the East. When Charlotte made the playoffs two seasons ago, it was a pretty lousy offensive team but great on defense. Coach Steve Clifford remade the team a bit this season and it’s now pretty solid offensively, relying a lot on the 3-pointer along with a Top 10 defense. Charlotte has gone 21-8 since the All-Star break, with only the Warriors and Spurs boasting more wins. Miami swept the Hornets in the first round two years ago but the Heat obviously had LeBron then. The Hornets and Heat split four regular-season meetings. Aside from the Warriors, Charlotte was the only other team to beat the Heat at home after the All-Star break, taking a 109-106 decision on March 17.
The road team has covered seven of the past 11 meetings. The over is 8-0 in the past eight meetings in Miami.
Heat and over.
No. 7 Grizzlies at No. 2 Spurs (-15.5, 189.5)
This appears to be the biggest Round 1 mismatch and in fact the Spurs are the biggest series favorites on the board at -10000. The Warriors are -9000 against the Rockets if wondering. San Antonio is also the largest Game 1 favorite. I fully expect a sweep here as Memphis is without stars Mike Conley and Marc Gasol due to injury and Tony Allen, one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders, is banged up. Because of so many injuries, Memphis used 28 players in the regular season, an NBA record. The Grizz, who lost 14 of their final 17, became the first team in league history to make the playoffs using at least 24 players during the season. Only New Orleans lost more total games to injury and the Pelicans finished well under .500. So kudos to Coach Dave Joerger for even getting this team to the playoffs — he actually might be allowed to walk after the season if Minnesota wants to hire him as has been rumored. San Antonio had a chance to be the only team in league history to finish unbeaten at home but of course lost there last Sunday to the Warriors, which essentially allowed Golden State to set the NBA record with 73 wins. The Spurs had to settle for a record-tying 40-1 at home. They are in the playoffs for a 19th straight year, easily the longest active streak in the NBA. I’m presuming it’s the final postseason for Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili. San Antonio won the season series 4-0.
The Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in the past five meetings. The under is 7-3 in the Spurs’ past 10.
Spurs and under.
No. 5 Trail Blazers at No. 4 Clippers (-8, 209)
This is the only West series I much care about because I think it’s the only one that has a chance to be competitive. The favorites in the other three West series all swept their opponents in the regular season. The Clippers won three of four against Portland but the most recent, on March 24 in Los Angeles, took a J.J. Redick buzzer-beater. I’m stunned that Portland made the playoffs after all it lost from last year’s team. In fact, the Blazers are the first team in NBA history to make the playoffs despite returning only two or fewer players who logged at least 1,000 minutes with the team in the previous season. Those two are Damian Lillard and Chris Kaman. Lillard, who became a superstar this season, and backcourt mate C.J. McCollum, possibly the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award winner, have to dominate here because the Blazers are completely overmatched in the frontcourt. But Lillard averaged only 18 points on 32 percent shooting vs. L.A. this season. That won’t cut it. This is the first time these franchises have met in the playoffs.
The Blazers are 1-5 ATS in their past six vs. the West. The Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their past six at home. The over is 8-1 in Portland’s past nine on the road vs. teams with a winning record.
Clippers and over.April 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm #40621
Exodus to Black
‘Total of the Month!
UNDER 202.5 – charlotte hornets vs miami heatApril 15, 2016 at 8:48 pm #40623
10 units Charlotte vs Miami
UNDER 201.5April 15, 2016 at 9:00 pm #40630
NBA Basketball Betting Trends – Sun – April, 17
Detroit at Cleveland, 3:05 ET
Detroit: 5-14 ATS in road games after playing a road game
Cleveland: 10-2 ATS revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 or more
Charlotte at Miami, 5:35 ET
Charlotte: 14-4 ATS after scoring 60 points or more in the first half last game
Miami: 25-40 ATS after covering 2 of their last 3 against the spread
Memphis at San Antonio, 8:05 ET
Memphis: 4-8 ATS in the 1st game of a playoff series
San Antonio: 29-17 ATS after 1 or more consecutive unders
Portland at LA Clippers, 10:35 ET
Portland: 23-14 ATS after a game where they failed to cover the spread
LA Clippers: 72-109 ATS after allowing 60 points or more in the first half last gameApril 16, 2016 at 2:23 pm #40726
STRIKE POINT SPORTS
1-Unit Play. Take Miami (12/1) to ‘WIN’ the Eastern Conference.
The Miami Heat, in our opinion, are the only team in the East that has the ability to take down the Cavs. They have the size to protect the basket, they have the athleticism to defend on the wings, they are nearly equal in defensive points against, rebounds for, and rebounds against. They also have a player in Dwayne Wade that can take over a game when necessary. Wade also knows what it takes to win games in the playoffs, and he knows his team is made up of athletic young players and savvy vets with playoff experience (Joe Johnson and Amare Stoudemire). Miami smacked the Cavs in March 122-101, and beat them in December 99-84 (no LeBron). The Cavs did beat Miami in Cleveland early in the year (by 10), but that game was close throughout, until Miami went cold in the fourth quarter. This Cavs team just doesn’t feel right this post season. The Heat have the ability to knock Cleveland out of the playoffs and this line has a ton of value, don’t pass it up.
Best of Luck – Strike Point SportsApril 17, 2016 at 9:33 am #40778
“NBA Playoffs betting preview and odds”
Detroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers (-10.5, 200.5)
The Cleveland Cavaliers aim to return to the NBA Finals – and get there with fewer distractions – and they begin that journey with Sunday’s home game against the eighth-seeded Detroit Pistons. The top-seeded Cavaliers reached the finals last season’s despite LeBron James’ lack of confidence in coach David Blatt before losing to the Golden State Warriors.
Blatt was fired midway through this season and there is less tension within the squad with Tyronn Lue serving as head coach. “We trust the system that he’s put in, we trust the process that he’s put in, and the game plan going into Sunday we trust,” James told reporters. “So I think the fact that he’s been a part of big playoff games as a player and as a coach benefits our team for sure.” Cleveland is supposed to roll through the opening round despite the fact the Pistons won three of the four regular-season meetings and crave an epic series upset. “I don’t want to fight Goliath’s homeboy or little brother, I want to go and fight Goliath,” Detroit point guard Reggie Jackson told reporters. “I think that’s how this locker room feels.”
TV: 3 p.m. ET, ABC
LeBron and the Cavs opened Game 1 as 10.5-point home favorites and have yet to move off that number. The total has been bet down a point from 201.5 to 200.5. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (44-38, 42-38-2 ATS, 42-40 O/U):
Detroit is part of the postseason for the first time since 2009 and the players want to do more than gain valuable playoff experience. “Guys always come through here and they’re like, ‘Oh, let’s make it competitive.’ No, we’re trying to win the series,” rookie forward Stanley Johnson told reporters. “We think, we know, we can win the series. We know we can beat them in seven games. So that’s no shade on LeBron, or the Cavaliers, or Kyrie (Irving), because they have a great team. Fifty-seven wins this year, you know, that’s an awesome organization, what they have going.” All-Star center Andre Drummond led the NBA with 66 double-doubles and averaged 20.3 points and 13.7 rebounds in three games against Cleveland.
ABOUT THE CAVALIERS (57-25, 37-42-3 ATS, 41-41 O/U):
James was superb in the postseason last year with averages of 30.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.5 assists and figures to once again carry the squad. Power forward Kevin Love and Irving were battling injuries last postseason and Cleveland is hoping its “Big Three” can run the course healthy this time around. The Cavaliers are certainly concerned with defending Drummond as they announced that Tristan Thompson has been elevated to starting center over inconsistent Timofey Mozgov.
* Pistons are 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings in Cleveland.
* Cavaliers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games playing on three or more days rest.
* Under is 5-0 in Cavaliers last five games playing on three or more days rest.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.April 17, 2016 at 9:33 am #40779
Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat (-4.5, 200)
The Miami Heat escaped from the tiebreaker scenario in the Eastern Conference at the top of the pack and will have homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The third-seeded Heat ended up with the Southeast Division title and will host Game 1 on Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets, who finished with an identical record but got the sixth seed based on the tiebreakers.
Miami, Atlanta, Boston and Charlotte all finished with the same record after the Celtics overcame a 24-point halftime deficit to defeat the Heat on the final day of the regular season. Miami is shaking off that loss and is ready to face the playoffs without All-Star Chris Bosh, who has been out since the All-Star break and will miss the postseason due to a medical condition. The Heat added veteran Joe Johnson when it became clear that Bosh would not be coming back anytime soon, and Johnson averaged 13.4 points in 24 games while helping the team go 16-8 in that span. The Hornets surged with an 18-6 mark over the final 24 games to pull into the four-way tie behind Kemba Walker’s average of 21.6 points in that span.
TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, TNT, FSN Sun (Miami)
The Heat opened as 4.5-point home favorites and have yet to move off that number. The total opened at 202.5 and has been bet down a whole 2.5-points to sit at its current number of 200. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE HORNETS (48-34, 42-39-1 ATS, 40-40-2 O/U):
Walker is at his best when Nicolas Batum is alongside in the backcourt, and Batum plans to be ready for Game 1 despite missing Wednesday’s finale with a sprained left ankle. “Unless we get a setback, I think he’ll be fine,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford told reporters. “We’re going to do more contact (Saturday), but we did some defensive drills and stuff (Friday) and he was fine. So I think he’ll be good.” The 27-year-old Frenchman averaged career highs of 14.9 points and 5.8 assists in his first season with Charlotte and posted 14.8 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in four games against Miami.
ABOUT THE HEAT (48-34, 43-38-1 ATS, 34-47-1 O/U):
Miami ended up losing 98-88 at Boston on Wednesday but quickly brushed aside what could have been a demoralizing loss and focused on the positives. The Heat are back in the playoffs after missing out last season and come in with some momentum after a surprising surge without Bosh following the break. “We’ve had a lot of adversity in that locker room, and I really commend those guys for coming together and not making excuses,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “It looked pretty bleak after the All-Star break. You look at it now and say, ‘Oh, this is what was expected, to go 19-10.’ That’s not what people were thinking. But guys really banded together and got out of their comfort zones and we put together a pretty good run finishing it out.”
* Underdog is 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven meetings.
* Heat are 6-0 ATS in their last six home games.
* Over is 5-0 in Hornets last five overall.
* Over is 8-0 in the last eight meetings in Miami.April 17, 2016 at 9:34 am #40780
Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs (-15.5, 190)
The host San Antonio Spurs set a franchise record with 67 victories and begin what they hope is a deep postseason run when they open the playoffs against the seventh-seeded Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday. The second-seeded Spurs are expected to cruise past the Grizzlies, who lost 10 of their final 11 regular-season games and also went winless in four games against San Antonio this season.
The Spurs added power forward LaMarcus Aldridge in the offseason to beef up their championship hopes and the All-Star will be playing with a dislocated right pinky finger. Aldridge meshed well with All-Star small forward Kawhi Leonard and became a more potent offensive force over the second half of the season. Memphis has been decimated by injuries – most notably the losses of center Marc Gasol (foot) and point guard Mike Conley (Achilles) – and faces long odds in a seven-game series. “If we do what they say, we’ve got what – a two percent chance of advancing?” shooting guard Tony Allen said of the forecasts to reporters. “We’ve just got to go out there and play hard and play for each other. Hopefully, we can beat the odds.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT, FSN Southeast (Memphis), FSN Southwest (San Antonio)
The Spurs opened as large 15.5-point home favorites against the injury riddled Grizzlies and have yet to move off that number. The total also hasn’t moved off its opening number of 190. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (42-40, 42-39-1 ATS, 45-35-2 O/U):
Memphis lost its final two games of the regular season by an average of 23.5 points and the players are well aware it will take a supreme effort to win the series. “We know our margin of error is non-existent,” Grizzlies small forward Matt Barnes told reporters. “We pretty much have to be perfect every single game but crazier things have happened.” Players like Barnes and swingman Lance Stephenson will need to complement power forward Zach Randolph, who returned to the go-to player role after the injuries to Gasol and Conley.
ABOUT THE SPURS (67-15, 44-38 ATS, 35-45-2 O/U):
Aldridge averaged 19.9 points in 25 games after the All-Star break and thrived once he figured out how to fit in with a veteran group fully acclimated to the San Antonio system. “I think it took him longer to adjust to us that it did us to get used to him,” veteran Tim Duncan told reporters. “He continued to try to defer to us for a long time while we were trying to push him to take over.” Leonard emerged as the club’s top option even with Aldridge on board and averaged a career-high 21.2 points and scored 20 or more points in 15 of his last 20 games.
* Grizzlies are 0-4 ATS in their last four road games.
* Spurs are 0-5 ATS in their last five home games.
* Over is 5-1 in Grizzlies last six road games.
* Under is 5-1 in Spurs last six versus Southwest Division opponents.April 17, 2016 at 9:35 am #40781
Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Clippers (-8, 209)
The Los Angeles Clippers breezed their way to the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference despite operating without All-Star forward Blake Griffin for over three months. Griffin is back in the fold for the playoffs and will try to help the Clippers slip past the fifth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers, who visit for Game 1 on Sunday.
Griffin returned to the lineup on April 3 after missing extended time due to quad, hand and suspension issues and played in five of the final seven games, averaging 10.4 points on 40 percent shooting in 24.6 minutes. “We still have to get Blake even better, but I think he has looked great,” Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “I think his pace is back, his speed, and more important, I think his confidence that he can play is back.” The Clippers could have their hands full against the Trail Blazers, who were not even expected to make the postseason but instead surged all the way to the No. 5 spot and clinched it on the final day of the regular season. “It’s going to be tough,” Portland guard Damian Lillard told reporters of the matchup with Los Angeles. “They’re a really good team. but we know that we have a chance. We have to go out there and be ourselves, lock in and be ready.”
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, KGW (Portland), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
The Clippers opened as 7.5-point home favorites and have been bet up to -8. The total opened a 207.5 and have since been bet up a point and a half to the current number of 209. Check out the complete line history here.
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (44-38, 44-38 ATS, 44-38 O/U):
Portland’s low preseason prognostications drove the team throughout the campaign and inspired the players to drive for the highest playoff seed possible. “When everybody came out with the expectations and all their expertise about what we were going to do this season, I feel like that was the biggest thing that, not only just me, but everybody remembered,” guard Allen Crabbe told reporters. “One person picked us as what, 15 out of 15 in the West? The list goes on, man. Everybody felt disrespected, and that’s not what our season is gonna be. It was everybody’s goal since training camp that we were gonna play hard.” The Trail Blazers were 15-24 after a loss on Jan. 8 but went 29-14 the rest of the way.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (53-29, 40-39-3 ATS, 34-48 O/U):
The big challenge might be avoiding looking ahead to a potential second-round meeting with Golden State, and Los Angeles is comfortable being overlooked in the West behind historically great teams like the Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. “I don’t think anybody really gives us any kind of chance of winning (it all),” Griffin told reporters. “We’re not favored by any means, so that (underdog mentality) should be our mindset.” Los Angeles is hoping guard J.J. Redick, who suffered a bruised heel Tuesday against the Grizzlies and sat out practice on Friday, is ready to go on Sunday.
* Trail Blazers are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Clippers are 4-0 ATS in their last four versus Northwest Division opponents.
* Over is 8-2 in Trail Blazers last 10 road games.
* Under is 4-1 in Clippers last five games following a ATS loss.April 17, 2016 at 9:36 am #40782
Clippers are bettors wager of choice for Sunday’s quartette of NBA playoff games
By Patrick Everson
It’s been all about the Golden State Warriors throughout the NBA season, and they showed why by posting a 73-9 record, then opening the playoffs with a 104-78 rout of Houston on Saturday.
But the Warriors are off Sunday, allowing another team to at least temporarily take the spotlight as four more first-round series get underway. By Saturday night, bettors seemed to indicate that team would be the Los Angeles Clippers, who as the No. 4 seed in the West have a 10:30 p.m. Eastern tipoff Sunday night against the No. 5 Portland Trail Blazers.
Terry Cox, director of race and sports for the Peppermill in Reno, said his shop opened the Clippers at -6.5 and by Saturday had them at 7.5.
“It looks like we’re getting quite a lot of play on the Clippers, so that might move to -8,” Cox. “They’ve got the most bets and the biggest parlay pool, so it’s definitely a public choice.”
Meanwhile, at CG Technology sportsbooks in Las Vegas, the most significant movement was on a total.
“The only thing of note is the under on the Hornets-Heat,” said Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG, which runs books at the M, Hard Rock and the Venetian, among others. CG opened the total at 202.5 and saw it bet down to 200 by Friday night, and that’s where it stayed throughout the day Saturday.
Beyond that, there hadn’t been much movement anywhere on lines or totals. “Nothing’s been jumping around, that’s for sure,” said Jimmy Vaccaro, oddsmaker for the South Point in Vegas.
Cox said the lack of movement doesn’t surprise him.
“It’s been even play on the other games – moderate betting, not heavy. At least not yet,” Cox said. “What happens typically is that people will look at Game 1 and not jump in yet. It gives them a chance to see what the matchups look like and form an opinion on whether the spread is right or wrong.”
However, bettors are often surprised when Game 2 lines mirror that of Game 1, no matter the outcome of a series opener.
“In Game 2, we’ll make the same line, and people will get influenced by that. They say, ‘You can’t do that,’” Cox said. “But yeah, you can do that.”April 17, 2016 at 9:40 am #40784
Detroit Pistons +10.5 over Cleveland Cavs
(System Record: 77-4, won last 2 games)
Overall Record: 77-88-3
Memphis Grizzlies + San Antonio Spurs – OVER 189.5
Portland Trail Blazers +8.5 over LA ClippersApril 17, 2016 at 9:44 am #40788
ATS LOCK CLUB
San Antonio Spurs
LA ClippersApril 17, 2016 at 9:57 am #40792
Pistons won three of last four games with Cleveland, winning last two by 8-2 points, both in Cleveland; four of last five series games went over total. Detroit won three of last four games; they’re 3-2 vs spread in last five games as a dog. Cavaliers lost three of last four games; they covered three of last four at home. Five of last seven Cleveland games went over total. Cleveland is 6-0 in first round series with James. Detroit made the playoffs for first time since 2009.
Hornets lost three of last four visits to Miami (over 4-0); they’re 4-6 in their last 10 games overall vs Miami. Charlotte won four of its last five games (over 5-0); they’re 4-3 SU in last seven road games. Miami won four of its last six games; five of their last seven stayed under. Heat won, covered its last four home games. Miami missed playoffs LY, its first post-Lebron season, after making Finals all four years they had him- last time they won a first round series without James was 2006. Charlotte has not won a playoff series (0-2) since 2002.
Memphis-San Antonio (0-0)
Grizzlies lost nine of last 10 games, covering one of last four road tilts; Memphis lost its last five games with Spurs (1-4 vs spread), going 2-3 vs spread in last five visits to Alamo. San Antonio is just 4-3 in its last seven first round series, after going 8-1 in first round series from ’96-’08. Memphis is in playoffs for sixth year in row, having gone 3-2 in the first round last five years. Over is 3-2 in last five series games played here. San Antonio is 2-8 vs spread in its last ten games overall.
Portland-LA Clippers (0-0)
Since 2000, Trailblazers are 1-7 in first round series, beating Houston in six games in 2014; Portland lost six of last eight with Clippers, going 4-1 vs spread (1-4 SU) in last five played here. Clippers are in playoffs for 5th year in row after making it seven times in 41 years before that; LA is 3-1 in first round series last four years, under Rivers/Del Negro. Portland won seven of last nine games overall; four of its last six stayed under the total. Clippers won their last five home games, covering four of them.
Playoff tally: Favorites vs spread: 2-2, Over: 0-4April 17, 2016 at 9:58 am #40793
StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets
NBA | MEMPHIS at SAN ANTONIO
Play Over – Road teams where the total is between 180 and 189.5 points making 6 or more 3 point shots/game on the season, on Sunday games
41-15 over the last 5 seasons. ( 73.2% | 24.5 units )
0-1 this year. ( 0.0% | -1.1 units )
NBA | DETROIT at CLEVELAND
Play Against – Home teams vs. the money line (CLEVELAND) revenging a loss where opponent scored 100 or more points, off a home loss against a division rival
58-36 over the last 5 seasons. ( 61.7% | 32.8 units )
6-10 this year. ( 37.5% | -3.3 units )
NBA | CHARLOTTE at MIAMI
Play Under – Road teams where the first half total is between 95.5 and 100.5 points in the first round of the playoffs, in the 1rst game of a playoff series
34-11 since 1997. ( 75.6% | 21.9 units )
1-0 this year. ( 100.0% | 1.0 units )April 17, 2016 at 11:30 am #40799
Guaranteed picks today
3:05pm Pistons vs. Cavaliers (500 Stars)
5:35pm Hornets vs. Heat (3000 Stars)
8:05pm Grizzlies vs. Spurs (400 Stars)
10:35pm Blazers vs. Clippers (1000 Stars)
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