NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, April 24

NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, April 24

NBA Playoffs

Pacers are now 7-10 in last 17 games, 7-25-1 against spread in last 33, as they came back from dead with 31-13 3rd quarter in Game 2, after being down four at half. Indiana is 3-3 vs Atlanta this season, 1-1 here- they lost 13 of last 15 visits to Atlanta. Hawks won seven of last ten games. Scola had 20 points in 19:00 off bench in Game 2; George shot 9-16 from floor last game, first time in 14 games he shot 50%+ from floor.

Thunder lost four of last five visits to Memphis; their bench is 10-38 in series, as Ibaka has been only scoring option after Durant/Westbrook. Griz covered twice in last seven games as an underdog. Thunder has won four of six vs Memphis this year. Grizzlies won six of last seven games; they lost Game 1 vs Thunder LY, then won series in 5- their bench made 13-23 in Game 2, after going 9-28 in Game 1.

Clippers won Game 2 by 40 after close loss in Game 1; home side won eight of last nine series games; Clippers lost their last five visits to Oakland- nine of last 11 series games went over total. LA won eight of its last 12 games, with ten of those 12 going over the total. Warriors won six of last nine games overall; under is 47-35 in their games this year, 22-17 on road. Favorites are 7-9 SU, 5-11 vs spread; over is 11-5 in NBA playoffs so far this month. .

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, April 24

Game of the Day: Thunder at Grizzlies
By Covers.com

Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies (+2, 190)

The Memphis Grizzlies swiped homecourt advantage away from Oklahoma City and attempt to take a 2-1 series lead when they host the Thunder on Wednesday in the seven-game Western Conference first-round series. The seventh-seeded Grizzlies recorded a 111-105 overtime victory in Game 2 to avoid a hole and are in a good position with the next two games being at home. Kevin Durant is averaging 34.5 points in the series for second-seeded Oklahoma City.

Durant kept the Thunder alive with a late four-point play in regulation in Game 2 as Oklahoma City eventually forced overtime before Zach Randolph scored eight of his 25 points in the extra session to help the Grizzlies prevail. Durant scored 36 points but it took him 28 field-goal attempts (making 12 shots) to get there as he was hounded throughout by Memphis defensive stalwart Tony Allen. “It is typical defense,” Durant told reporters. “They’ve been playing it all season. We got to move the ball a little bit better.” The Grizzlies scored 25 more points in Game 2 than they did in the opener.

LINE HISTORY: The Grizzlies opened as 1-point home dogs and that has been bet to +2. The total opened 190 and has held firm since.

INJURY REPORT: Grizzlies - G Nick Calathes (Out, suspended), F Quincy Pondexter (Out, foot)

WHAT SHARPS SAY: "Most are anticipating a strong bounce-back performance from the Thunder on Thursday, and I'm on board with that line of thinking after Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined to miss 33 shots in Monday's overtime loss. With that being said, the Grizzlies are an experienced, talented team, and they've proven to be a thorn in Oklahoma City's side defensively. Another physical affair is likely, so it's not surprising we're looking at another relatively low total. Look for a reasonably low-scoring, back-and-forth battle in Game 3." Covers Expert Sean Murphy.

WHAT BOOKS SAY: "The Grindhouse is a very difficult place to play and the Thunder are in for a dogfight to win this series, let alone tomorrows game.  I do think the number is absolutely solid, Thunder rate out as the better team and they are coming off a tough loss, they should be a slight favorite and that’s why we opened them -1.5, but since opening that number we’ve seen an influx of Thunder money so we’ve gone to 2 to help balance the books.  We haven’t seen any sharp action come in on this game so at this point, I do believe our number is very, very solid and don’t see us moving off it." -  Peter Childs of Sportsbook.ag

WHY BET THE THUNDER: Oklahoma City was eliminated from last season’s playoffs by the Grizzlies and the players are very aware that they lost in both visits to Memphis. The Thunder averaged just 89 points in the two losses – played without Russell Westbrook – and know they can’t afford to lose both games this time around. “As we go out on the road, it’s a great opportunity to develop the type of composure, poise, concentration and focus that you have to have in the playoffs,” veteran guard Derek Fisher told reporters. Fisher is one of the players who needs to step up his game as he has yet to make a 3-pointer while averaging 5.5 points in the series.

WHY BET THE GRIZZLIES: Allen has averaged 34 minutes in the first two games with small forward Tayshaun Prince dealing with an illness and his defensive prowess being needed. When guarding Durant, he has been relentless with applying pressure and trying to keep the ball from getting into the hands of the Oklahoma City superstar. Allen doesn’t understand the big deal his suffocating defense received in the aftermath of Game 2. “That was just blue collar,” Allen told reporters. “I’m no star, I’m blue collar.” Allen is averaging 10.5, seven rebounds and 2.5 steals in the series.

TRENDS:

* Favorite is 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
* Grizzlies are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Conference Quarterfinals games.
* Thunder are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Over is 4-1 in Grizzlies last five Conference Quarterfinals games.

COVERS CONSENSUS: 67 percent of wagers are on the Thunder -2. 58 percent of wagers are on Over 190.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, April 24

Thursday's Tip Sheet
By Kevin Rogers
VegasInsider.com

The underdogs continued to cash last night with the Bobcats, Mavericks, and Blazers all covering on the road, while Dallas and Portland won outright. Through the first 16 games of the postseason, underdogs own an impressive 11-4-1 ATS record, including a 6-2 ATS mark by Western Conference ‘dogs. The three series taking place tonight are all tied at 1-1 with the road team laying points in each contest.

Pacers (-2, 186) at Hawks

Series tied at 1-1

Indiana needed a huge second-half surge to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole against eighth-seeded Atlanta, as the Pacers knocked off the Hawks in Game 2 by a 101-85 count. Frank Vogel’s desperate squad outscored the Hawks, 53-33 in the final 24 minutes to even the series at a game apiece, while easily cashing as 7½-point home favorites. Now, the series shifts to Philips Arena, where the Pacers lost two of three times in their first round series to the Hawks last season.

The Pacers received a big boost off the bench in Game 2 from C.J. Watson and Luis Scola, who combined to score 30 points, making up for David West, Roy Hibbert, and Lance Stephenson who put up just 21 points combined. With the series headed to Atlanta, the Pacers will try to work on scoring more points as Indiana hasn’t broken the 91-point mark at Philips Arena in its last five visits. In the two losses in Games 3 and 4 of the first round last season, the Pacers were limited to below 38% shooting from the floor in each defeat.

However, the Hawks did have Josh Smith on the roster and a healthy Al Horford on the floor, which they don’t have this time around. Atlanta hasn’t shot the ball particularly well through the first two games of this series, coming off a 39% effort in the Game 2 loss, while its six-game ATS winning streak was snapped. The Hawks started the season as a solid play when listed as a home underdog, but over the last nine tries in this role, Atlanta has covered only three times.

Since winning and covering at Atlanta on February 4, the Pacers own a dreadful 2-11 ATS record as a road favorite in the last 13 games. In this span as an away favorite of 5½ points or less, Indiana possesses a 2-7 SU/ATS record, which includes an overtime victory at Detroit in which the Pacers erased a 25-point deficit. Last postseason, the Pacers put together a 3-7 SU and 4-6 ATS record on the highway, while being listed as a road favorite in the playoffs for the first time since Game 4 of the opening round in 2012 at Orlando.

Thunder (-2, 190) at Grizzlies

Series tied at 1-1

Oklahoma City cruised past Memphis in the series opener, but the Grizzlies fought back to grab Game 2 in overtime and even the series up at one game apiece. In spite of Kevin Durant’s miraculous fall-away four-point play late in regulation to creep the Thunder closer, the Grizzlies pulled out a 111-105 triumph to cash outright as seven-point underdogs. The win snapped a three-game skid at Chesapeake Energy Arena, as Memphis will look to rely on its starting five to carry them again in Game 3.

Following a poor Game 1, the frontcourt duo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol bounced back in Game 2 by combining for 41 points, while Mike Conley dished out 12 assists and scored 19 points. Durant and Russell Westbrook missed 33 shots between them, as Westbrook misfired on six of seven three-point attempts. Memphis has won five of its last seven playoff games against Oklahoma City since last season’s second round victory, while the Grizzlies have won six of their past seven games overall since April 9.

In the last 11 games as a road favorite since the start of February, the Thunder has covered only twice, while losing six of those contests outright. OKC has split a pair of visits to FedEx Forum this season, which includes a 90-87 defeat as a one-point underdog on January 14. Since blowing out the Rockets in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs last season, the Thunder is just 2-9 ATS the last 11 postseason games, while going 1-6 ATS the last seven playoff contests against the Grizzlies.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, April 24

Game 3 - Clippers at Warriors
By Chris David
VegasInsider.com

Are the days of old school NBA playoff basketball over?

After watching the first 16 games of this year’s postseason, most would answer with an emphatic “yes.”

It’s probably too early to say that defense is optional but it’s fair to say that the offenses are ahead of the defensive units.

Those benefiting from this style has been bettors playing the ‘over’ on a regular basis. So far, the ‘over’ has produced a 12-4 record (75%) and that includes a 3-0 mark last night. I’m well aware that a couple of these winning tickets were helped with late pushes but the tempo and amount of 3-pointers being chucked is ridiculous.

Also, it doesn’t hurt when the refs are quick with the whistle and if these teams convert from the charity stripe, free points with the clock stopped are priceless for ‘over’ tickets. In last night’s Rockets-Trail Blazers matchup, the pair combined for 48-of-57 (84%) free throws. Portland posted a 112-105 win and the closing total was 215. You tell me if those freebies matter?

In tonight’s late-night battle between the Clippers and Warriors, my second question for you is how do you not bet the ‘over’ in this matchup?

Including the first two games in this series, Los Angeles has watched the ‘over’ cash in five straight and 10 of its last 12 games. During this span, the Clippers are averaging 113.5 points per game and more importantly, the defense hasn’t been that great (105.2 PPG).
   
Golden State has watched the ‘over’ cash in five straight games and even though it was held to 98 points in Game 2’s loss to the Clippers, the club is averaging 114 PPG in its last five.

As I mentioned above, free throws are a huge factor and they’ve played key roles in each of the first two games in this series. Golden State and L.A. took 60 attempts in Game 1 and only managed to convert 41 from the free throw line. The Warriors held off the Clippers for a 109-105 victory and the total (211) barely cashed.

It was a much different story at the line in Game 2. The pair connected on 54-of-62 (87%) free throws, which includes a 32-of-35 performance by the Clippers. The biggest surprise there is that Blake Griffin (9-of-10) and DeAndre Jordan (7-of-8) hit 16-of-18 from the line. Los Angeles wins 138-98 and the game cashes with four minutes to spare in the fourth quarter.

Along with the ‘over’ being a cash-cow this postseason, the underdogs have been just as good. The pups have gone 9-7 straight up and 11-4-1 against the spread.

Tonight’s matchup could have you scratching your head because it will feature your first home ‘dog. Actually, the road team is favored in all three games on Thursday.

Los Angeles opened a 2-point road favorite for Game 3 and the total is hovering around 215 points. In the two regular season games played from the Bay Area, Golden State captured a 105-103 win on Dec. 25 and a 111-92 victory on Jan. 30 against the Clippers.

Three straight on Thursday?

VegasInsider.com handicapper Vince Akins has dug into his database and dug up some great trends to back the Warriors. He explained, “Golden State is a tough place to play, particularly in the playoffs where they are 6-1 SU as a home dog in the postseason. The Warriors committed a ridiculous 26 turnovers in Game 2 which did not help their cause. Fortunately, Mark Jackson’s team has bounced back from the sloppy play. In the last eight situations after they committed at least 20 turnovers, the club is 7-0-1 ATS in these games.”

Some ‘cappers like Akins like to use trends in their analysis while others use the eyeball test. One of them being our friends at Doc’s Sports and they believe L.A. is the superior team.

They said, “The Clippers’ loss in Game 1 was a fluke. They were off all night and Blake Griffin was in foul trouble and played only 19 minutes before fouling out. L.A. showed us in Game 2 that this is a real mismatch and maybe this team has first-game jitters or something. We expect more of the Game 2 Clippers in Thursday’s matchup.”

“We’re also aware that the Warriors won both meetings versus the Clippers at Oracle Arena this season. However, in one of those games Griffin got tossed while the Clippers were up in the fourth quarter and the other loss came on no days rest and L.A. didn’t have point guard Chris Paul in the lineup.”

Oddsmakers at Sportsbook.ag have the Clippers listed as a minus-310 favorite (Bet $100 to win $31) to win the series. You can back the Warriors at plus-255 odds (Bet $100 to win $255) to capture the best-of-seven battle and they have homecourt advantage.

TNT will provide coverage of tonight’s at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Game 4 is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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Re: NBA Betting News and Notes Thursday, April 24

NBA Playoff Odds and Picks
By: Michael Robinson 
Sportingnews.com

The three road teams all opened as small favorites in NBA playoff action on Thursday. Each series has been fiercely contested and is tied 1-1 as the venue changes locations.

Indiana Pacers (-2, 186) at Atlanta Hawks

Indiana (57-27 SU, 39-44-1 ATS) might have saved its season with a 24-6 run to end the third quarter of Tuesday's Game 2. That helped turn a 52-48 halftime deficit into a comfortable 101-85 win (as 7.5-point favorites).

The Pacers are trying to avoid becoming the third No. 1 seed to lose in the first round in the last four years (San Antonio in 2011 and Chicago in 2012 were the other two). They will need better production from center Roy Hibbert, who is averaging just 7.0 PPG this series and hasn't registered a block.

Indiana finished the regular season at 3-15 ATS on the road. One of those ATS wins came with all five starters resting and another with three starters out.

Atlanta (39-45 SU, 39-44-1 ATS) has proven to be a tough matchup for the Pacers with its ability to spread the floor with five shooters. Even center Pero Antic can step out and hit a jumper, forcing Hibbert away from the basket where he is much less effective.

The Hawks had a six-game cover streak snapped on Tuesday. They're 24-17 SU and 21-20 ATS at home at Philips Arena.

The Linemakers' lean: For the first time in their past nine games, the Pacers finally had a game go UNDER the total. Playing good defense and keeping games UNDER was the recipe for Indiana's success this season, until things went terribly wrong in March. We don’t think they’re completely back yet, but losing to the Hawks badly in Game 1 was a gut check for them and they responded well in Game 2. We look for a continuation in Game 3, with the Pacers winning and the game staying UNDER the number. The plays are on Indiana -2 and UNDER 186.

Oklahoma City Thunder (-1.5, 190) at Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies proved once again they're not afraid of the No. 2 seed Thunder with a 111-105 OT win as 7-point road dogs on Monday. Memphis eliminated Oklahoma City in the second round of the playoffs last year, taking advantage of the injury to Russell Westbrook.

The Grizzlies (51-33 SU, 36-45-3 ATS) did a great job last game from the line, hitting at 21 of 24 after converting only 18 of 31 in the opener. They now get to return home to FedExForum, where they have a 14-game winning streak (8-6 ATS).

The OVER is 24-17 in the Grizzlies' home games this year, scoring 98.7 PPG compared to 93.6 PPG away.

Oklahoma City (60-24 SU, 44-38-2 ATS) is seeing its scoring depth issue raise its ugly head again. Only three players are averaging more than 6.0 PPG this series, and Kevin Durant (34.5 PPG) shot just 12-of-28 from the floor last game with Tony Allen draped all over him. Durant should take Allen into the post more as he has about a six-inch height advantage.

The Thunder are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 road games after starting 17-11.

The Linemakers' lean: The Thunder shot just 39 percent in Game 2 and still took the Grizzlies into overtime in a 111-105 loss. The spread on OKC is inflated by a point, but this still presents a good opportunity to cash with a small number on the better team. The Game 2 loss by the Thunder isn’t enough to shift momentum in the Grizzlies favor, even though they have played well over their past seven games. The play is OKC -1.5.

Los Angeles Clippers (-1.5, 215) at Golden State Warriors

The Clippers dropped the series opener (109-105) before a convincing win (138-98) on Monday. The spread went from Los Angeles -7 in Game 1 to -8 in Game 2, with the oddsmakers testing the bounce-back theory. Blake Griffin scored 35 points last game (13 of 17 from the field) after being limited to 16 in Game 1 due to foul trouble. He needs to keep dominating the inside while Golden State center Andrew Bogut (ribs) is still out.

Los Angeles (58-26 SU, 47-36-1 ATS) has its own injury concern with point guard Chris Paul playing through a hamstring issue. He has missed some practice, but is listed as probable.

The Warriors (52-32 SU, 42-40-2 ATS) accomplished their goal of a Southern California split, although no team wants to get blown out by 40 points. Stephen Curry was the lone bright spot last game with 24 points. His backcourt mate, Klay Thompson, needs to step it up after shooting just nine of 24 (37.5 percent) in the first two games.

Golden State won both home games against the Clippers this year, splitting 1-1 ATS. Los Angeles is one of the best ATS road teams (25-15-1), with Golden State below .500 ATS at home (19-21-1).

The OVER is 2-0 this series and 5-0 in the last five games for both teams.

The Linemakers' lean: The Warriors were favored in both regular-season home games against the Clippers, and our ratings say the game should be about a pick ‘em, yet the Clippers open as a 2-point favorite. Part of the reason for the inflated number is because we all were very impressed with how the Clippers completely dismantled the Warriors' game plan in Game 2. Golden State couldn’t have played worse, turning the ball over 26 times, while the Clippers played to the level everyone knows there capable of. Despite the inflated price, we like the Clippers laying short numbers on the road because they’ve been doing it well all season. The play is on the Clippers at -1.5.

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